New jobs are always on the horizon in the Nashville Region.
Creativity is in the Nashville Region’s DNA, from Music Row, where tomorrow’s hits are being written today, to General Motors’ assembly lines for its future all-electric fleet and Oracle’s planned $1.2 billion downtown tech campus.
Innovators are flocking to the Nashville Region, where they find a deep talent pool educated, in part, by the area’s more than two dozen two and four-year institutions of higher education. These include Vanderbilt, Belmont and Lipscomb universities and three historically Black colleges and universities: Fisk University, Tennessee State University and Meharry Medical College.
Even the global pandemic couldn’t slow down the pace of job creation in Nashville. In 2019, the region gained 6,748 announced new jobs. In 2020, that number grew to 11,815 announced new jobs.
“The pattern is expected to continue in 2021, as Nashville continues to be a favorable destination for company growth and talent in-migration,” says Jeff Hite, senior vice president of economic development for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.
“The most significant factor in Nashville’s economic strength is our talent. Job creators chase talent. Not only is the region home to a strong talent pipeline…but also Nashville is attracting talent from across the globe,” he says.
In 2019, 81 new people a day called the Nashville Region home. Yet, despite the challenges experienced in 2020, the region continues to be an attractive place for talent to live, work and play.
Some of the world’s best-known brands make their home in Nashville, including Amazon, Asurion, Bridgestone Americas, Nissan North America, HCA, Tractor Supply, Dollar General and AllianceBernstein.
Recent successes include job growth in tech and advanced manufacturing. Tech in Middle Tennessee grew by 13% to an estimated 53,844 workers in 2019. From 2014-19, the number of tech jobs in Middle Tennessee grew by 36%, significantly outpacing national growth.
Oracle expects to create 8,500 jobs at its planned campus in an emerging neighborhood on the east bank of the Cumberland River. Most recently, NTT DATA announced the establishment of a digital innovation center in Nashville. The company will invest $9.9 million and create 350 jobs, focusing on health care and manufacturing technology positions.
In July 2021, retirement technology company Smart USA Co. announced it chose Nashville for its U.S. headquarters. The London-based retirement technology platform is the U.S. division of Smart Pension Ltd., one of the world’s fastest-growing retirement technology businesses. The move brings 130 tech jobs to the region.
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“Nashville has all the recipes to be a great place to work and live,” says Smart USA Co. CEO Jodan Ledford. “We are excited to be among the trailblazers putting down roots here and to join the growing Nashville fintech community.”
GM is leading job growth in advanced manufacturing. The company is investing nearly $2 billion in Spring Hill to build electric vehicles. In addition, Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution, will invest $2.3 billion to build its second battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States. The project will create 1,300 new manufacturing jobs in Maury County.
Music City Roots
The Milken Institute named Nashville the Eighth Best Performing City of 2021 based on foundations for growth and recovery. The region boasts a business-friendly environment and tax structure, and it benefits from a diverse economy. With a balance of health care, technology, music and entertainment, corporate operations, manufacturing and supply chain management, Nashville remains one of the country’s most attractive growth centers, Hite says.
Recruiting tech talent to Nashville is easier than in many other cities, thanks to no state income tax, a lower than average cost of living, a great quality of life, including a vibrant entertainment and nightlife, and excellent schools, says Brian Moyer, president and CEO of the Greater Nashville Technology Council.
“But the X-factor that truly sets Nashville apart can be traced to our iconic Music City roots. People have been coming to Nashville for more than 100 years to pursue their dream of a career in music. It’s a very entrepreneurial journey that is now baked into the fabric of our community,” he says.
This results in a tech community that is not only innovative but also highly creative, inclusive and collaborative.
“Creativity is inherent to our region, and our tech community actively seeks, values and promotes diverse perspectives. Innovation thrives here because it’s born from different points of view – it’s in our creative DNA,” Moyer says. “We’re collaborators who love sharing ideas, celebrating one another’s advances, with the belief that it will bring us all to a better place. It is a region unlike any other.”