TNECD Announces Rollout of Transportation Network Growth Opportunity Initiative

  • Economic development tool used to connect and leverage research and innovation assets statewide
  • Initiative focuses on making Tennessee the No. 1 destination in the Southeast for mobility R&D investment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) announced today the rollout of the Transportation Network Growth Opportunity (TNGO) initiative.

TNGO, which received initial funding from the Tennessee General Assembly during the 2023 legislative session, serves as a tool to diversify the state’s economy by leveraging research and innovation assets to attract mobility research and development (R&D) investment to Tennessee.

Through June 30, 2024, Victoria Hirschberg, assistant vice president for research, outreach and economic development at the University of Tennessee System, will work alongside TNECD as interim director to oversee the rollout of TNGO.

“Victoria has more than a decade of experience in economic development, and her knowledge will be vital as TNGO is launched statewide,” said TNECD Commissioner Stuart C. McWhorter. “I look forward to working with Victoria and our other agency partners to strengthen Tennessee’s R&D sector, which will make our state a premier destination for the next generation of innovation and high-quality jobs.”

The mission of TNGO is to make Tennessee the No. 1 destination for mobility R&D investment in the Southeast by organizing and deploying statewide research and industry assets to connect, compute, power and fuel the future.

For more information or questions, please email

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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