In addition to talking about education and how it can be improved in the state, Gov. Bill Haslam discussed highlights of the state’s economy and other topics Wednesday at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

“There are some really good things happening in Tennessee,” he said. “Chattanooga plays a big role [in that].”

Here’s a quick rundown of what Haslam highlighted:


-Tennessee is the No. 1 state for auto manufacturing in the country, adding that Southeast Tennessee is a big part of that.

-The Volunteer State is also No. 1 in direct foreign investment, and companies such as Volkswagen and Wacker are contributing to that fact.

-The state’s unemployment rate has dropped from 5.7 to 4.1 percent in about one year.

-“The state’s financial condition is in good shape,” he said, adding that there is an$800 million surplus.

-The Legislature worked hard to cut $550 million of ongoing expenses out of the government, he said.

-Haslam also discussed health care cost increases with the media after the event.

-He referenced efforts to recruit another big business to Tennessee, but declined to give more information about that.

-When asked if he’d endorse a presidential candidate, he said he doubts anyone in Tennessee is waiting with bated breath to see whom he supports.

-Haslam also spoke about the recentnewsthat the Department of Justice said it will end use of private prisons.

Sen. Bob Corker also spoke with reporters after Wednesday’s event.

He also talked about health care.

See both Corker’s and Haslam’s full comments below.