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Tennessee: Corporate Headquarters’ Choice

Learn why growing numbers of global, national and local businesses are making Tennessee their corporate address of choice.

By Bill Lewis on February 12, 2017

Murfreesboro TN
Murfreesboro / Frank Ordoñez

International companies such as Bridgestone Americas and Hankook Tire, famous national brands like Hardees and locally founded businesses such as LEDIC Realty are making Tennessee their corporate address of choice and investing billions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs.

They are attracted to Tennessee by a powerful combination of advantages including world-class infrastructure, a business environment that encourages investment, no state tax on earned income, a skilled workforce and a quality of life that makes recruiting and keeping top talent easy.

Another advantage – Tennessee’s central location – made the state irresistible to CKE Restaurants, the parent company of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains. The company is moving corporate offices from California and St. Louis to its new headquarters location in Franklin. The new office will employ more than 120 people.

Advantage Tennessee

Tennessee’s advantages all came together for TwelveStone Health Partners. The company, formerly known as Reeves Sain Medical, is building a new headquarters in Murfreesboro, where it has grown since 1980.

“Murfreesboro, as the geographic center of the state of Tennessee, uniquely gives TwelveStone Health Partners the ability to deliver our goods and services to millions of patients in the South, within about three hours,” says CEO Shane Reeves. “Tennessee is proving to be a very pro-business state with low taxes, minimal regulations and many progressive tort reform laws. Because of our proximity to Middle Tennessee State University, we have an excellent source for hiring skilled individuals.”

LEDIC Realty considered locations outside of Tennessee but selected Memphis as the location of its new national headquarters. The company, which is a fully integrated manager, owner and developer of multi-family properties across the United States, was founded in the city in 1979.

LEDIC announced it would invest $10.2 million in the new state-of-the-art headquarters facility and create 300 new jobs in Tennessee.

Tiremaker Bridgestone Americas has a significant footprint in Tennessee, with more than 4,500 employees, two tire plants, an industrial products plant, 54 retail stores, a distribution center and five retread franchises. The company has had a presence in the state since 1983, when it acquired a tire manufacturing plant in LaVergne. Bridgestone Americas, which established its corporate headquarters in Nashville in 1992, has solidified its commitment to Tennessee with a new 30-story headquarters now under construction in downtown Nashville. The $200 million project is expected to house 1,700 Bridgestone Americas employees.

The new building, scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2017, will allow the company to bring together, for the first time, four of its key business units into a combined headquarters. The move will create 600 new headquarters positions. Bridgestone Americas was wooed by a number of locations, but Nashville won out, in part because of its lower business costs, reasonable cost of living and high quality of life.

High-Quality Jobs

The state set a record for new jobs in 2015 with 25,837 job commitments among 161 projects. More Tennesseans are working than at any other time in the state’s history and the labor force growth rate is bettering the national average.

“Not only is the state attracting more jobs, we’re also bringing in higher quality jobs,” says Randy Boyd, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD).

An example of that is ATC Automation, which announced a $10.4 million expansion to create 110 jobs in Cookeville.

“The vast majority of these jobs are production engineering jobs that will pay considerably higher salaries than Putnam County’s median wage. Another example is the state’s work with Digital Reasoning, a Franklin-based cognitive computing company, which is creating nearly 200 tech-related jobs,” says Boyd.

The state’s economic development leadership has set an ambitious goal of being ranked No. 1 in the Southeast for high-quality jobs. TNECD’s goal is to have 55 percent of job commitments in a county be above the county median wage. That level currently is 50.2 percent. A related goal is to be ranked as one of the top two states in the Southeast in per-capita income.

Others are noticing Tennessee’s success. The state was ranked No. 1 for foreign direct investment (FDI) job commitments in 2015, by the 2016 Global Location Trends report from the IBM Institute for Business Value.

In addition, the Brookings Institution found that Tennessee ranks No. 1 among the states for advanced industry job growth. And Southern Business and Development magazine named Tennessee the 2016 State of the Year for Economic Development. Nashville was also named Co-Major Market of the Year by the magazine, with honorable mentions to Knoxville and Chattanooga.

“Tennessee combines internationally competitive low-business costs, central location, strong quality of life, pipeline of workforce talent and low costs of living. For these reasons, major employers are picking Tennessee as their corporate address of choice,” says Boyd. – Bill Lewis

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