Original Date: 01/22/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Back in the early days of the Nation, Tennessee and Virginia were part of the wild frontier and home to the earliest pioneers. Tennessee derived its name from tana-see, an old Yuchi Indian word meaning The Meeting Place, while Virginia was named by Sir Walter Raleigh in honor of England’s Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I. What became the tri- cities region of northeastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia is an area of natural beauty nestled in the Appalachian Mountains and rich in history. Greeneville has the only monument in the United States which honors both the Union and Confederate armies. Abingdon features the Barter Theatre, where patrons once bartered items (e.g., ham, spinach) in exchange for theater tickets; and playwrights such as Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams, and George Bernard Shaw accepted the items as royalties. Lady Bird Johnson once bartered a potted plant to see a play. Jonesborough is the oldest town in Tennessee, and was once the capitol of the State of Franklin. The State, named for Benjamin Franklin, never received congressional approval but came very close to becoming the fourteenth state of the Union. Bristol is legally two cities that straddle the Tennessee-Virginia stateline, but share the same main road aptly named State Street. The city was originally established in 1771 as a trading post along the Wilderness Road blazed by Daniel Boone.
Not long ago, the communities of northeastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia fought amongst themselves in turf-guarding rivalries. But often, none were large enough or strong enough to achieve certain goals on their own. Around the early 1990s, an active movement toward regionalism began as the communities realized the benefits of working together toward common goals. Today, the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia Region consists of 14 counties, over 60 local governments, and 650,000 residents in northeastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia. In 1999, the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia Region became the first region ever to win the All-America City Award from the National Civic League. Participants for this award are judged on citizen involvement, effective government performance, philanthropic and volunteer resources, a strong capacity for cooperation, and community vision and pride. During the competition, the Region’s presentation highlighted its efforts to involve youth in the decision- making process; improve healthcare in isolated communities; create an interest in rural medicine among future physicians; and celebrate and preserve the Appalachian region’s storytelling and musical traditions. The success of winning the All-America City Award has resulted in increased participation by the Region’s communities.
The Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia Region continues to set new, more aggressive goals and metrics to ensure the continued success and innovation of its region. In addition to these projects, the Region has implemented numerous organizations to actively promote its cultural heritage. Among the best practices documented were the Region’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory; Greene County Partnership; Planning and Development Districts; and Academic Incentive Programs. By working together, the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia Region will continue to improve the quality of life throughout northeastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia. The BMP survey team considers the practices in this report to be among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|AIM|| ||Appalachian Inter-Mountain|
|ASQ|| ||American Society for Quality|
|CWDF|| ||Coalfield Water Development Fund|
|DSL|| ||Digital Satellite Links|
|ETSU|| ||East Tennessee State University|
|EVA|| ||Electronic Village of Abingdon|
|GOAL|| ||Grades of Academic Leaders|
|NETTA|| ||Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association|
|NFS|| ||Nuclear Fuel Services|
|TIPS|| ||Teachers, Industries, Parents, and Students|
|WRL|| ||Watauga Regional Library|
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.