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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:29 AM
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
It's not "dying" in the sense of a collapse in population, businesses completely shutting down, etc, but it's certainly seen better days. I completely agree with fourwinds above on the class comments.

I went to high school in Sullivan County, graduated 11 years ago, and the class that students' parents came from is pretty much the class they ended up in, with a few exceptions here and there. The people who came from better educated, more successful families generally got at least a bachelor's themselves and left the area, unless they stayed in medical or education. By and large, those people are now middle class. Those who came from high school only families generally didn't go to college and remained in the area. By and large, those people aren't doing as well. I think the "company town" dynamic and where your parents worked at Eastman all played into that. I'd say maybe half the parents in my class worked at Eastman or one of its vendors. This was before the recent trends of Eastman only wanting tip-top candidates and white collar Eastman staff tending to reside in Johnson City and Washington County.

Kingsport does tend to have low aspirations, from the trend fourwinds described with the residents to the political leaders. Of the people I know in Kingsport who aren't doing that well, I doubt many will do much better. The mayor and aldermen is a game of musical chairs between cronies.
Good overview--I do agree here.

I grew up in Church Hill, TN and my parents and sister and some other close relatives live in Kingsport. A large percentage of people do remain in their "classes" after each generation. That is a good way to describe it on the whole.
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:36 AM
Location: Gray, TN
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I don't have the stats to back it up but I feel like the HS and college graduation rates from the class of 2005 is substantially higher than the class of 2005's parents.

I don't think a college degree means all that it used to. It used to guarantee success. Now, especially for the least useful majors, the best case scenario is that it gives you a fighting chance. A lot of college grads are working retail or some other minimal job outside their major.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:33 PM
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We were always told that JC tended to be more "diverse" and somewhat less conservative. We were told that JC had more of a transient population, so more newcomers, less of the born-and-bred East Tennesseans going back multiple generations. Just keep in mind that "less conservative" in East Tennessee still feels incredibly conservative to any moderate liberal.
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