The year is off to a great start in Southern Middle Tennessee. The region is trending up on both company expansion activity and new recruitment visits, and four company announcements have resulted in 399 new jobs thus far.
Thanks to the support of our community partners, TVA, Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association and South Central Tennessee Development District, in 2015 we worked with 16 companies to facilitate expansions which added more than 2,300 new jobs to the region. Currently, we are working 45 projects.
So you might ask, what’s driving this success for the Southern Middle region? Based on a regional perspective, I attribute this growth to these three factors:
1) Growth of the automotive sector
2) Education and workforce development efforts
3) Industrial inventory development
Growth of the Automotive Sector
Tennessee has been ranked the No. 1 state in the nation for five of the last six years in automotive manufacturing strength. Our state is home to more than 900 automotive suppliers and three OEMs which produce roughly seven percent of all cars made in the United States. In 2015, sales of cars and light trucks set a record of approximately 17.5 million vehicles, and 2016 projections are even higher.
Southern Middle Tennessee is home to one OEM, General Motors. Located in Spring Hill, General Motors has recently started to produce the Cadillac SRX midsize SUV and will begin production of the GMC Acadia later this spring. With the new volumes these two cars provide, many tier 1 and tier 2 automotive suppliers are eager to locate nearby in an effort to reduce transportation costs and provide better support to General Motors. Recent automotive announcements in the area include Magna Seating, Samuel, Son & Co., Comprehensive Logistics, Ryder Logistics, Magneti Marelli, Multimatic, SaarGummi Tennessee, Proper Polymers, Nissan Powertrain, Global Manufacturing Services, Aspen Technologies, Sekisui Plastics and Century Mold.