A Voice for the People of Knox County
Devin Driscoll grew up in Knoxville with the importance of hard work, community, and volunteerism at the forefront. After earning a degree from Fordham University, Driscoll returned to Knoxville where he opened Next Level Training, eventually merging with D1 Sports Training. Together with wife, Alison, and children, Ryder and Charleston, Driscoll remains committed to serving Knox County residents.
Why did you decide to run for Knox county Commission?
My entire adult life, my career has been based around working with young people. So I started my business in 2008, with $120 at my apartment complex and backyard basketball court, just training young people. My goal was to provide an environment where kids felt comfortable training and where parents also felt comfortable and safe sending their kids to learn.
So I wrote a business plan for every single school in Knox County, public and private, and I knocked on the athletic directors’ doors, and I hand delivered it to him. And slowly over the months, it started to grow and grow. And what I didn’t realize was I was leaning on local business owners, not for cash or for any data or investments or capital opportunities, but just for advice and different perspectives that I could take to help grow my own. Fast forward to today, and I operate one of the largest D1s in the country right here in Hardin Valley. And I’ve got three other D1s in development in the Greater East Tennessee area, as well as have ownership of others throughout the southeast.
I credit a lot of my success to what I’ve learned from other business owners and operators here in Knox County. And that has been a driving force for me in this campaign.
I decided to run for commission to work toward offering similar opportunities to the next generations. I’ve seen so many young people leaving our area in search of opportunities, but I want them to find that right here. As a commissioner, I plan to work hard to implement a workforce development program into our school system, that dovetails with the Trade Academy Mayor Jacobs is launching in Knox County, so that as a community we are investing in the next generation of our area’s workforce.
What are your plans to further Workforce development?
When a student says, ‘Hey, I want to run a D1, or I want to own and operate my own HVAC company,’ whatever it might be, we give them a roadmap to success.
We would have local business owners in those fields go to these schools and invest some time in helping students learn about their field. If a student knows what they want to do, we get them situated with someone already doing it in the community. If the student chooses to go to college, these mentors would provide guidance on degrees they could pursue, classes to take, what types of internships to go for—perhaps even with the mentor’s company.
The reality is not everyone will go to college, though. Some people will go to a trade school, some directly into the workforce. So we need to train them in high school for whatever path they take. If they build relationships with mentors working in the community, perhaps that creates a pipeline for future employees.
If we can groom and provide education to the next generation of the Knox County workforce, people here can experience the American dream I’ve been able to realize and contribute to the growth of our community.
What is your stance on the implementation of new taxes?
As a small business owner, entrepreneur, and tax payer, I know first hand the challenges that high taxes can create. And as a fiscal conservative, I will always stand opposed to new taxes and burdensome regulations.
I will do my best to keep the government out of the way to make it easier for Knox Countians to live, work, and start a business.
How do you envision you will support the education sector of the county, if elected?
I think we’ve seen over the last couple of years the importance of local government officials working together with our local school board for the success of our county’s students. And I think that my experience as a business owner in the community, but also as someone who has built relationships with so many schools through my work as an athletic trainer, positions me to be an asset in bridging any gaps that exist.
By ensuring Knox County children have access to quality education today, we can ensure the success of Knox County tomorrow. We must see that our schools, teachers, and staff have the tools and resources necessary to be successful.
Additionally, if elected to Knox County Commission, I will support efforts to increase access to the quality vocational education, workforce development, and technical schools within Knox County that I spoke about earlier.
You’ve been vocal about your support of local law enforcement, haven’t you?
Knox County needs to continue to defend its police, not defund them. Everyday our law enforcement officers go to work, they put their lives on the line to keep us and our communities safe. As a conservative, I’m committed to always backing the blue and making sure they have the resources they need to effectively and safely do their jobs.
Where do you stand on infrastructure improvements?
Infrastructure impacts every sector of Knox County’s economy. If elected to the County Commission, I will work side-by-side with all aspects of the county government to make sure our infrastructure is up-to-date, maintained, and does not prohibit development in Knox County.
How do you plan to approach the budget each year?
When Knox County residents pay taxes, they rely on the Knox County Commission to put their hard-earned dollars to good use. As a Knox County Commissioner, it would be my responsibility to make sure that Knox County continues to operate a balanced and efficient budget.
My approach to the budget would be guided by my fiscal conservative principles and drive to improve the lives of all people in Knox County, from the business owners and the general workforce to the senior citizens and young families. I will ensure all are considered during the budget process.
How do you plan to support the growth of business in Knox County?
As an entrepreneur, I know what it feels like to sign both sides of a check. I started my own business and have spent the last 14 years growing it into one of the most successful athletic training facilities in the country. That positions me perfectly to represent the business owners in our community.
I will use the knowledge I have gained as a small business owner to make sure Knox County makes it easier—not harder—for everyone to make a living.
What makes you the right fit for knox county commission?
As someone who was raised in Knox County, started a business here and is raising a family here, I have been lucky enough to experience the American dream in Knox County.
With my professional background and over a decade of community involvement, I believe I have a unique skillset and can help take Knox County to the next level.
Learn more about Devin Driscoll at www.driscollforknox.com.
POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT – Paid for by Driscoll for Commission. Vanessa Raper, Treasurer.