HomeNewsNewsmaker of the Year: State Senator Ed Jackson

Newsmaker of the Year: State Senator Ed Jackson

State Senator Ed Jackson has been in office in Nashville representing his district that includes Madison County for eight years.

His re-election in November assures him of another four years in office.

During that time, Jackson has helped make veterans’ services a bigger priority in state government in the past decade.

He’s also played key roles in aiding schools as both administrators at the local and state level have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and how to handle learning as our society has gone through the pandemic and is coming out of it.

While Haywood County isn’t one of the counties in his district, District 26, Gov. Bill Lee credited Jackson in 2021 with playing a role in representing West Tennessee and putting a positive foot forward for the region when recruiting potential clients to the area now known as Blue Oval City.

It’s that representation and working for his constituents that has garnered him the honor of the inaugural Newsmaker of the Year by The Jackson Post.

This past summer, the proposed Work Ready Lab that’s been in the planning stages from local leadership for six years was announced as being a requested item to be part of the 2023-24 state budget from the Tennessee Board of Regents and Higher Ed Commission as well as Gov. Bill Lee.

Jackson was credited by local leaders this year as being a key part of getting that far in the process, which is a significant step. The funding, which is planned at $34 million, isn’t officially approved by anyone, but for those who can ask for it to officially state it on their list of priorities for the upcoming budget is significant early in the process.

“When we first started working with the idea of a workforce development center years ago, Senator Jackson was here for those conversations and saw the benefits and potential for that immediately,” said Greater Jackson Chamber CEO/President Kyle Spurgeon.

Jackson Mayor Scott Conger credited Jackson with being present for a number of meetings linking him, former Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris, Spurgeon and other local leaders with key people in state government to start conversations.

Rep. Johnny Shaw (D-Bolivar), who represents part of Madison County in the State House, credited Jackson as being a person that is approachable even in times of disagreement.

Jackson’s experience in Nashville combined with his positioning on Senate committees helped his ability to ask for meetings with key people in the education department for local leaders.

Because of that, local leaders are able to have legitimate hopes of having the Work Ready Lab be built on the campus of Jackson State Community College and be a place where people seeking employment can connect with various employment services including training opportunities all in one place.

Jackson has since pledged his support of the project with hopes of helping it come to fruition as soon as possible.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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