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  • Writer's pictureState Rep. Kelly Keisling

State Rep. Kelly Keisling: Fentress County No Longer on Distressed List

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee has the fewest distressed counties statewide since 2007, down from 15 in 2019 to 11 counties according to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

Fentress County have shown tremendous improvement and we are proud to support continued efforts for greater stability and prosperity. As these counties improve beyond distressed status this means more residents have access to quality jobs and economic security and we are committed to efforts that sustain this progress.

Each year, ARC prepares an index of county economic status for every county in the United States. Economic status designations are identified through a composite measure of each county's three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income, and poverty rate. Based on these indicators, each county is then categorized as distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive or attainment. More information is available here.

Fentress County advanced out of distressed designation, signaling improved economic conditions for their residents. No Tennessee counties were added to the distressed list this year.

“We are focused on supporting rural Tennessee, especially our distressed counties as we strive for greater economic outcomes,” said Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe. “In 2013, Tennessee had 26 counties classified as distressed, and we are pleased to announce a drop to a 13-year low. Today’s news reaffirms our long-term rural strategy, which is built around a full suite of community development grants and enhanced efforts to support job creation in our most economically vulnerable communities.”

“I was honored to receive the good news that Fentress County has moved off of the distressed county list,” Fentress County Executive Jimmy Johnson said. “I would like to thank Governor Bill Lee, along with his staff and the Department of Economic and Community Development for the plan and great guidance to follow to make this possible. We will strive harder than ever to make Fentress County a better place for our citizens to live. Thanks to all who have supported us on our journey.”

To reach State Representative Kelly Keisling, call 615-741-6853 or email him at Connect with Kelly on Twitter and Facebook.


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