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Competing for jobs and attracting industry in today's economic climate is a challenge. Successful economic developers know that at the heart of a competitive economic development strategy is community development. The ThreeStar program is geared to assist your community development efforts and ensure you compete at a higher level through enhancing and improving community assets.


The ThreeStar program is designed to focus on these areas, identified as critical to ensuring the success of Tennessee communities: 


    1. Jobs & Economic Development
    2. Fiscal Strength & Efficient Government
    3. Public Safety
    4. Education & Workforce Development
    5. Health & Welfare


Participation in the ThreeStar program is based on an annual evaluation and activity plan. Local community leaders and Joint Economic and Community Development Boards are encouraged to implement activities that will impact the community’s competitiveness in a global economy. Participating counties (and cities in these counties) will be eligible for a four percent discount (for eligible projects) on both the business development and community development ability-to-pay calculations (CDBG and FastTrack) each year the county fulfills the requirements of the ThreeStar program. Additionally, only cities located in a county that is an active participate in the ThreeStar program will be eligible to participate in the Tennessee Downtowns program. Finally, there is an annual grant for Tier 2 and Tier 3 counties to serve as seed money for activities (not to offset general operating expenses) focused on improving at least one of the measured areas of the program: health and welfare, public safety, and education and workforce development.


Each year, TNECD will provide participating counties with a scorecard that documents progress indicators in the five focus areas. These indicators are used to aid the county in evaluating these key areas, the scorecard will document progress toward achieving the community goals set by local community leaders and JECD Boards.


The scorecard and activity plan is designed to assess and reward each county on its unique progress in the three scored areas identified in their ThreeStar Activity Plan. It is not a competitive system; counties compete only with themselves. Each county can address local issues through proven solutions by collaborating with other communities to share best practices and pool resources.


For more information about ThreeStar, email or call 615-253-7301.


Workshops & Program Materials


  • Jobs & Economic Dev.
  • Fiscal Strength & Efficient Gov.
  • Public Safety
  • Education & Workforce
  • Health & Welfare
Jobs & Economic Development
  1. Annually participate in two of the following events or programs:
  2. Joint Economic & Community Development Board meets statute requirements


Fiscal Strength & Efficient Government

  1. Annual budget adopted on time and filed with the Comptroller’s Office by October 15
  2. Create/maintain an audit committee. Click here to download How to create and maintain an Audit Committee.
  3. Review & sign the Fiscal Strength & Efficient Government Annual Confirmation letter. Click here to download the Annual Confirmation letter.
    • County commission and county mayor annual review of the debt management policy.
    • Annual acknowledgement by county mayor and county commission that an annual cash flow forecast must be prepared and submitted to the Comptroller prior to issuance of debt.


Education & Workforce Development

Visit the Department of Education for more information.


Health & Welfare

Visit the Department of Health for more information.