Maury County achieved several accolades in 2014, including being named second in the state for number of jobs announced and landing nearly $100 million in capital investment.
This past year, 661 new jobs were announced with $97.5 million of investment into the county, Wil Evans, Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance president, said.
Evans gave the Maury County Commission a year-in-review report during its regular meeting last week.
The average employee salary — which accounts for each individual position — is $37,000, or about $24 million in annual salaries that will be pumped into the local economy, Evans said.
“It was a very strong year,” he said.
General Motors suppliers Comprehensive Logistics and Magna Seating announced more than 500 new jobs. Both are building new facilities on Beechcroft Road in Spring Hill. Magna is aiming to occupy its facility by next month, Evans said.
In Columbia, CLARCOR Inc. — an international manufacturer of filtration products, systems and services — announced plans to purchase the former Porter Walker Building on Oakland Parkway to build a research and development center.
The facility will employ 35 people.
Samuel &Son, a metal processor and distributor, announced 42 new jobs and plans to open a new operation at the NorthPointe Industrial park.
Mt. Pleasant’s Sekisui Plastics recently completed a $5.9 million expansion that is expected to create 32 new jobs.
Maury County ranked No. 2 in the state for number of jobs announced from July 2013-14 in a 14-county Middle Tennessee region, Evans said. Davidson County was first.
“I think it illustrates that our economy is really starting to recover,” Evans said. “We are starting to see employers hire back and willing to locate here. To be measured such as that, amongst the Nashville region, is something that I am very proud of.”
Maury County was ranked No. 4 in state for population growth from July 2012-13, according to the U.S. Census Bureau data. Williamson, Rutherford, and Wilson counties were ahead of Maury, respectively.
The county was designated as a Valley Sustainable Silver Community in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s economic development program, one of only 25 in the nation.
What is oftentimes a slow period of economic development towards the end of the year, we are finding ourselves to be very busy right now. I don’t know if we will be able to squeeze any more announcements in 2014, but I think we will be off to a strong 2015 with our projects.Wil Evans - Pres., Maury County Chamber & Economic Alliance
There has been increased interest at Cherry Glen Industrial Park in Mt. Pleasant, Evans said.
This year not only marked growth in Maury County, it also saw relationship building on a national and international level.
Japanese Consul-General Motohiko Kato visited Maury County from his regional office in Nashville. After that trip, Spring Hill High School was selected to host Japanese exchange students for a weekend.
Travis Groth, MCCEA economic development director, traveled to Japan and networked with U.S. and Japanese businesses. Evans attended a ceramics convention in Europe to build relationships with prospects.
A delegation of local business leaders and MCCEA officials went to Washington, D.C., and met with presidential policy advisers from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Economic Council.
County Commissioner Davis Burkhalter, who represents the Spring Hill area, lauded the MCCEA’s efforts, but he warned commissioners about what they say on social media, which could hinder development.
“Be very careful of airing out our dirty laundry in social media, because theses companies do look at that,” Burkhalter said. I am not going to tell anyone what they can or can’t say, … but let’s just be very careful and let’s be cheerleaders for Maury County.”
Economic officials continue to try and lure companies to the area, Evans said.
The MCCEA has 26 active projects, which equates to 3,811 potential jobs and about $1 billion in capital investment, he added.
“What is oftentimes a slow period of economic development towards the end of the year, we are finding ourselves to be very busy right now,”Evans said. “I don’t know if we will be able to squeeze any more announcements in (2014), but I think we will be off to a strong 2015 with our projects.”
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