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Tennessee lawmakers will meet in special session Monday to consider Ford incentives

Lawmakers will consider $900 million incentives package
Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 2:29 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tennessee lawmakers will gather Monday for a special session focused on the Ford manufacturing plant set to be built at the Memphis Regional Megasite.

Lawmakers will consider an incentives package totaling almost $900 million.

Ford and SK Innovation pledged to invest $5.6 billion to build new-generation electric vehicles at the site, which Ford is calling Blue Oval City.

The project will create about 5,800 jobs.

“It’s the biggest investment the state of Tennessee has seen and it’s in West Tennessee, right here in the Memphis region,” said Beverly Robertson, Memphis Chamber president and CEO.

But the project won’t move forward unless the state keeps its end of the deal.

That’s why Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is calling lawmakers into a special session on Monday.

The governor and top Republicans are pushing a package of incentives totaling almost $900 million.

The incentives are laid out in a series of bills filed on Friday.

In addition to the $500 million the state promised to Ford to get them to come to West Tennessee, lawmakers will consider $138 million on infrastructure to get the site ready.

They will consider spending $40 million to build a new Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) to provide Ford with a direct pipeline of skilled workers.

Lawmakers will also consider $200 million to improve roadways leading to the plant in Haywood, Tipton and Fayette counties.

In addition, $5 million would be spent on consulting services for local governments.

“Our partnership with Ford and SK Innovation will transform West Tennessee, and it’s important we ensure this project has the structure, funding and accountability needed to be successful,” said Lee. “I am calling a special session to secure a lasting impact for Tennesseans, and I thank the legislature for their partnership in an efficient, productive assembly.”

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