Friendly Business Climate Heats Up Economy in Rutherford County, TN

On Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 18:12
Murfreesboro TN

Things just keep getting better in Rutherford County TN. Whether it’s existing industry expansions or new business announcements, Rutherford County continues to attract major investments, resulting in significant job creation that is keeping the county’s unemployment rate well below the national average.

Rutherford County combines a favorable tax structure with aggressively customized incentive offerings, availability of a highly skilled workforce, and transportation and logistics infrastructure to create an ideal climate for new companies and existing businesses across a range of industries.

A $1.4 billion lithium-ion battery plant under construction in Smyrna will supply batteries for the LEAF, Nissan’s battery-operated vehicle. Joining LEAF production, which begins in 2012, will be the Rogue, a sports utility vehicle that will begin production in 2013.

General Mills Expansion

General Mills, which opened its Murfreesboro facility in 1979 to make frozen pizza, is in the midst of an 18-month, $132 million expansion that will create additional capacity for the company’s growing Yoplait yogurt business and add 80 new jobs to the almost 900-person payroll.

“General Mills is thrilled to continue to grow in Murfreesboro, and we value our strong partnership with the local community,” says local plant manager Pat Murphy, adding that jobs accompanying the expansion will pay an average of $20-plus an hour.

NHK Seating of America Inc. began construction in November 2010 on a new $54 million plant that is expected to employ up to 224 workers when all phases of production are implemented in 2015. Initial production at the Murfreesboro facility will be for the manufacture of automotive seat frames.

Rutherford County Health Care is Healthy Sector

Growth isn’t limited to the manufacturing sector, however.

Health care also plays a significant role in the county’s positive economic forecast, with a new office tower planned at the just opened, $283 million Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital campus in Murfreesboro and the location of ClaimTrust Inc., a fast-growing provider of revenue software for the hospital industry that moved its headquarters from South Florida to Murfreesboro in 2009.

“This area is the health-care capital, so it made geographical sense to be here,” says Joe Ferro, president and CEO of ClaimTrust. “We need a highly skilled staff and we couldn’t find it in South Florida. I saw Murfreesboro as a strategic advantage, where we would pay competitive salaries and improve the quality of life for employees by keeping them here, rather than having them commute out of the county. We have found a highly skilled workforce here. The people are phenomenal.”

Ferro, whose company employs 58 people locally and maintains a satellite operation outside Boston, is very pleased with his experience in Murfreesboro.

“I am thrilled to be here,” he says. “The people in economic development and at the chamber have been wonderful, the financial institutions have been reasonable to work with and we were able to have our new building constructed in a reasonable amount of time. The quality of the workforce is outstanding.”