Create a computing-focused economic environment that positions Knoxville*

for the impending industrial revolution (i.e., the Imagination Age) by 2030.

Knoxville’s average annual pay is growing at a nominal rate below many of our peer communities.

For every thousand dollars we can increase average annual pay, an estimated $1.8 million in economic impact is generated.

Average annual pay will be our primary key performance indicator for the new strategic economic direction.

Knoxville’s growth in the 25-54 age range is being far outpaced by the the 55+ age group.

The 25-to-54-year-old age group has only grown 7% in the last twelve years. During the same time period, Asheville grew 12%, Greenville grew 14%, and Raleigh grew 23.5%.

Knox County is on track to lose nearly 90,000 jobs to automation in the next six years.

McKinsey Global Institute has calculated the potential number of jobs that could be lost to automation by 2030. The chart above applies those calculations to Knox County’s industry sectors.

A major aspect of the initiative is a focus on increasing the pipeline of computing talent in the region. The 2030 Protocol specifically asks local institutions – namely, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Pellissippi State Community College; and Knox County Schools – to focus their efforts on increasing enrollment in key programs and integrating more computing- and entrepreneurship-related programming into their curricula.




According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook:

Overall employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations from 2022 to 2032. About 377,500 openings are projected each year, on average, in these occupations due to employment growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupations permanently.

The median annual wage for this group was $100,530 in May 2022, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $46,310.


The world is on the cusp of a monumental economic evolution, and to be frank, Knoxville is not prepared for it. All our research and analysis points to a future driven by computing-centric talent and companies. If we wait for that future to be the present, it will be too late. We must begin implementing the elements necessary now to ensure that our economy doesn’t fall behind. Essentially, what has gotten us to today will not get us to tomorrow. The 2030 Protocol is designed to be a catalyst to ensure that Knoxville is a place that our children and grandchildren want to be.

The chamber will continue to execute on its current efforts that support this transition. These include retaining and recruiting experienced talent, increasing the number of skilled tradespeople, and supporting the growth of housing and childcare availability.

No. We will continue to work with all businesses across the Knox County area with expansion services and regional enhancement support. We will also fulfill all requests that both the City and the County receive in regard to new companies looking to locate here. Our team will move toward the overall goal of The 2030 Protocol by targeting our efforts toward innovative entrepreneurs and high-growth companies recruiting high-wage talent. 

Area organizations and institutions are encouraged to review the full list of strategies above and advocate for their implementation over the next six years. Garnering further support from the business community and presenting a united front is pivotal in the path forward.

*Knoxville is used throughout to signify both the City of Knoxville and Knox County interchangeably unless otherwise noted.

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