Maury County has a Talented, Ample Workforce

With a wealth of resources to expand skills, Maury County's talented and plentiful workforce is helping new and expanding employers get their operations up and running smoothly.

Betsy Williams
On Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 04:00
Columbia, TN

For relocating and expanding companies, Maury County offers a proficient and plentiful workforce to help employers get their operations up and running smoothly.

With a wealth of educational and training resources, including the accredited Columbia State Community College, a network of technical training centers and the job training-focused Northfield Center, this southern Middle Tennessee county meets company employment demands with a skilled and flexible approach.

Recruiting the Best and Brightest

Putting the right employee in the right job is the task of the South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance, which works with companies over an eight-county region to help them identify the best and brightest workers from a regional labor pool of more than 100,000.

“Educated workforce individuals are now accustomed to the reality that a high school education is not enough for today’s employers,” says Jan McKeel, SCTWA’s executive director. “More and more job seekers are heading back to acquire some form of additional education and training. We are all about people going to work and being able to take care of their families. If they’ve lost their jobs or want better positions, we want to maximize their abilities.”

Maury County's workers are trained in a combination of skill sets that are in demand for a number of industries, McKeel says, including manufacturing, customer service, health care and corporate support.

Thousands Earn Career Readiness Certificates

“More than 15,000 employees in the regional workforce – including 5,200 Maury County workers – have earned a National Career Readiness Credential,” McKeel says. “We’re tops in the state of Tennessee as a region.”

The NCRC is a credential based on the WorkKeys Employment System, a comprehensive procedure for measuring, communicating and improving the basic skills required for success in the workplace. More than 40 area companies have utilized this program to recruit and retrain workers since the SCTWA introduced the tool five years ago, McKeel notes.

“We have so many certified workers because we have a trained and trainable workforce with a good foundation,” she says. “Our employers understand the importance of that, and they have supported our efforts.”

Northfield: An Engine for Job Training

Having a five-star facility that houses all these services is the proverbial icing on the cake.

Opened since 2011, the Workforce Development and Conference Center at Northfield, with the SCTWA acting as landlord, is a facility that enables many different educational institutions to offer classes under one roof, McKeel says. Classes not traditionally available in the area are now offered on a regular basis in the Spring Hill-based former General Motors administrative facility, including green jobs and solar photovoltaic technologies, EMT/paramedic programs, automotive technology, heating ventilation and air-conditioning classes – and more are planned.

“The technology centers and Columbia State are crucial to our plan at Northfield,” McKeel says, noting that one-third of the building is utilized for training at no cost to the institutions providing it, while two-thirds of the 300,000-square-foot building is available for lease to companies providing jobs and economic investment.

Maury County’s abundant, savvy workforce played a big role in TRG Customer Solutions’ decision to open its newest customer service center in Spring Hill, leasing 50,000 square feet in the Northfield Center in 2011. Employment is expected to exceed 300, a large percentage of which had previously been unemployed.


Betsy Williams has extensive experience in economic development and advocating for businesses of all sizes.