Knoxville (WVLT) -- There was a big announcement today for the Knoxville Metro Area.
The area is sometimes known to us as "Innovation Valley", and now Metro Knoxville has joined an elite list of our nations mid-sized regions.
Expansion Management Magazine ranks the area as the third best in the nation for business and expansion.
"Knoxville has received rave reviews nationally in a host of publications and this is another on that long list," said Mike Hamilton, chairman of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.
Thursday's announcement that the entire Knoxville Metro has been named third in the nation for business and expansion, leaves leaders from Knox, to Anderson, Blount, Loudon and Union counties with some pretty big bragging rights.
"We're obviously tied in very close with the metropolitan area, cross boarder communities, cross boarder shopping and so on," said Matt Murray, chairman of Blount County's Economic Development Board. We're very much integrated from an economic perspective.
"This is so wonderful, we put so much emphasis on education in Oak Ridge," said Jane Miller, Oak Ridge's Vice Mayor.
Education and economics were just a couple of areas included in the rankings.
Reputation among site consultants, quality of life, infrastructure, health care costs, taxes, and government spending were also included.
"It was a nationwide panel looking at different areas of the country," said Hamilton. "For them to have an unbiased opinion to look at our area and say, hey this is a great place to live, have a business and its a great place for education, just validates what we've been saying for so long."
How did we get to number three?
The same way leaders say we'll get to number one, cooperation and not competition.
"When people come to Knoxville they don't think about the city limits, or even Knox County," said Bill Haslam, the mayor of Knoxville. "They think of the area, Oak Ridge, Blount County, all of that adds to us, it doesn't take away from us."
It provides a trickle down affect that area business say is good news all the way around.
"It just means more business for us, so we're excited about that," said Mollie Ward, the manager of Trio.
Knoxville was the only Tennessee city ranked in the top 15 of mid-sized cities.
Omaha, Nebraska finished second and Raleigh, North Carolina got the number one slot.
To see the specific areas the Knoxville Metro and Tennessee in general scored the highest in, you can click on the link below.