Location, Affordability and Workforce Make Maury County, TN a Top Choice
For three straight years, Maury County has ranked in the top six among Tennessee’s fastest-growing counties, boasting between a 2 and 2.5 percent population growth year after year. In 2015, it ranked as the state’s fourth fastest-growing county, proof that not only can it lure new investment but draw relocating talent as well.
Driving that growth is a vibrant manufacturing sector that is only getting bigger with announcements such as Armada Nutrition, a company that manufactures nutritional supplements that is adding 300 new jobs in Spring Hill and investing $2 million in an expansion.
Wil Evans, President of the Maury Chamber and Economic Alliance, says Maury County has experienced a 6 percent growth in automotive manufacturing in the last five years.
“General Motors recently announced an $800 million investment that will bring with it 800 new jobs. Tenneco Automotive, a General Motors supplier, also announced an expansion,” Evans says. “Metal fabrication has also experienced a 4 percent growth over the past five years, and business services is another growing industry.”
Evans says Maury County’s location in southern Middle Tennessee is a major attraction for relocating and expanding businesses such as Call 2 Answer, a 24/7 medical and urgent contact provider that will invest $800,000 for a new contact center that will create 250 jobs in Maury County.
“Our location and proximity to Nashville is a major asset. It offers a strategic advantage for companies looking to locate in Middle Tennessee,” Evans says. “ A lot of companies are interested in the Nashville market, and since Maury County was added to the Nashville MSA in 2012, we are Nashville. The strategic advantage we offer is while we are Nashville, we also offer relocating businesses a lower cost of living and lower land prices, so it’s easier for them to come in and make an investment for less than they would pay in other areas of Middle Tennessee.”
Evans says Maury County residents can easily take advantage of the big city amenities Nashville has to offer without the traffic, skyrocketing housing costs and other issues associated with large urban centers. Maury County enjoys a cost-of-living index of 90.2, compared to the Nashville MSA cost-of-living index of 93.5, which Evans says makes the county a more affordable option for relocating families.
“That fact is further illustrated in our housing costs,” Evans says. “Our median home price is about $153,700, and we offer a diverse range of housing options, from a 1,200-square-foot starter home that may have been built in the 1950s or ‘60s to a brand new, 3,000 to 4,000-square-foot home. You get about 15 to 20 percent more home for your money than you would in other communities around Nashville.”
DEEP TALENT POOL
Also among Maury County’s business advantages is a deep pool of skilled talent that begins in the earliest stages of the K-12 system. Maury County Public Schools implemented the Seven Keys to College and Career Readiness, which requires all high school students to participate in either an advanced placement course, dual enrollment program, industry certification, work-based learning or military prep program. The effort is paying off. The latest data shows the school system with the highest ACT scores in southern Middle Tennessee.
“These students are coming out of the K-12 system ready for college or to explore career options — whether it be manufacturing or other skilled trades that they can pursue and and make a great living. This helps illustrate to our existing industries and those new industries we’re recruiting that they will have access to a long-term supply of talent,” Evans says.
Beyond high school, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) will soon add a second campus in Mt. Pleasant offering CNC certification. This new campus will complement existing programs in Spring Hill offering CNC machining, industrial maintenance, automotive technology and nursing. Additionally Columbia State Community College offers an associate’s degree in mechatronics. These programs are in place to meet the immediate needs of new and existing industry in Maury County.
“You’re seeing a partnership between TCAT, Columbia State Community College and Maury County Public Schools to grow and strengthen the workforce and supply existing and future businesses with the workers they need,” Evans says.