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TNECD has $88.3M for FastTrack grants after $1.25M to PPG Industries approved

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(The Center Square) – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has $88.3 million of uncommitted funds in its FastTrack business incentive grant account after a $1.25 million grant to PPG Industries was approved at the State Funding Board’s June meeting.

PPG plans to build a $225 million paint and coatings manufacturing facility in Loudon and says it will create 129 new jobs at the more than 250,000 square foot facility.

The FastTrack grant program are state grants sent to companies to help offset the costs of expanding or moving into the state with the goal of increasing the number of full-time jobs and the average wages of jobs available in an area.

PPG promised to have an average wage of $34.57 at the facility. The TNECD compared that wage to the median wage of $17.98 in Loudon County to justify the incentive.

Economists question the effectiveness of financial incentives to private businesses to expand or come to a new state.

The use of hourly wage as an indicator is questioned because high salaries of a few corporate leaders can skew the average higher while it would not have the same impact on the median wage.

Overall, the TNECD has a FastTrack incentive grant balance of $613.3 million with $525 million of those funds committed to businesses moving to or expanding in Tennessee.

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