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Nashville, TN: Doing Business Right

Learn how location, quality of life and a diverse economy put Music City on a high growth trajectory.

By Teree Caruthers on May 5, 2016

Nashville, TN
Nashville / Jeffery S. Otto

When executives at Baton Rouge, La.-based Amedisys began shopping for a city to locate a new executive office, many of the South’s hot spots made the company’s short list of prospects. 

“The first thing we looked at was staying in Louisiana, so we looked at New Orleans,” Amedisys CEO Paul Kusserow. “We looked at Dallas and Atlanta. We looked at a whole bunch of different places, and Nashville came out way on top.”

Kusserow says Amedisys, one of the nation’s largest home health and hospice care providers, chose Nashville over other cities for many of the same reasons a growing number of firms are calling Music City home: its strategic location, access to talent and enviable quality of life.

“In terms of for-profit health care, Nashville is very centrally located, so it was a good choice,” Kusserow says.

Nashville’s location is crucial to the growth of not only firms in the health-care industry, but also those in high-growth industries, such as advanced manufacturing, automotive production, distribution and logistics, and information technology, says Courtney Ross, chief economic development officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. The city’s international airport and location at the convergence of three interstates also makes it appealing for corporate headquarters and operations.

Nashville Remains Health-Care City USA

“Because of where we’re situated in the country, we’re a very short travel distance to the rest the nation,” Ross says. “We’re within a two-hour flight of most of the country, and that’s really important for business. Another thing that’s important for companies – especially call centers and data centers – is to be located in the Central Time Zone.”

Nashville ranks highly among the nation’s fastest-growing metros for jobs, particularly in business services employment, which has nearly doubled over the past five years due to growth in health, entertainment and staffing services. The Brookings Institution named Nashville among the top five metros for growth in 2015.

Community Health Systems is investing $66 million to construct a new shared services center in southeast Nashville that will create 1,500 new jobs over the next five years. UBS Financial Services is expanding its footprint downtown with 1,500 new jobs, in addition to opening a $11 million, 350-person office in Franklin. Other companies expanding headquarters in the area include Bridgestone Americas, AIG, HCA, ServPro and Smith Travel Research.

Nashville continues to earn national accolades for attracting jobs and talent. Recent rankings include:

 No. 1: Economic growth potential, Business Facilities

 No. 2: Best job markets for women, Headlight Data 

 No. 2: Top city for millennial entrepreneurs, Kauffman Foundation

 No. 4: Cities creating the most white-collar jobs, Forbes

 No. 5: Cities Americans are flocking to, Forbes

 No. 5: Top cities for creative workers, SmartAsset.com

 No. 5: Top cities for tech graduates, DataFox

 No. 5: Top cities for economic growth, The Brookings Institution

 No. 6: Best places to start a business, Thumbtack.com

 No. 8: Cities creating the most tech jobs, Forbes

 No. 9: Best up-and-coming cities for tech jobs,  ZipRecruiter.com

Tops for Talent

Along with its convenient location and transportation network, one of the city’s most attractive assets is its educated workforce and availability of talent. That was the biggest perk for Amedisys, which is working to recruit executives who can grow the company in the midst of the ever-changing health-care landscape.

“We need good thinkers who understand the landscape, where things are going and who have a variety of skills – people who understand health-care data, how managed care works, how health care is delivered,” Kusserow says. “In Nashville, there’s an abundance of those people, so we moved here because we knew these were some of the issues we would be wrestling with in the future, and we needed good talent to bring onto our team.”

Vibrant and Diverse

Nashville’s alluring quality of life and affordability make it easy to recruit talent. That swayed Amedisys’ decision to invest in the city, where it plans to create 120 jobs over the next five years.

“If we can’t find the people we need here, we know we can get them to move here because there’s so much opportunity in Nashville’s health-care industry,” Kusserow says. “For anyone interested in music, restaurants, sports or being in a university town, it’s also a very good place. There’s just a lot of diversity and a sense of vibrancy here that is really engaging.”

Partnership 2020, the Nashville region’s public-private economic development initiative, continues to focus on growing the workforce, Ross says, “not only making sure that we can attract it, but also that we can retain it and provide the right type of workers for companies that are growing or relocating here.”

Those efforts are paying off as firms flock to Nashville. Phoenix-based TriWest Healthcare Alliance, which manages health-care benefits for military families, chose the city for its fourth office, and Florida-based Intermedix Corporation, a provider of analytics and technology-enabled solutions for global health and safety, is establishing an innovation lab and executive offices downtown that will support 116 jobs.

Manufacturing Is Strengthening In Nashville

Nashville also caught the eye of two San Francisco-based firms bringing hundreds of jobs downtown. Ride-sharing services leader Lyft is investing $5 million to locate its customer experience headquarters in the city, creating 380 jobs, and DayNine Consulting, a human resources and financial consultant for some of the world’s largest enterprises, is opening an office expected to support 200 jobs.

“Not only is Nashville a dynamic economic center, it holds a competitive talent pool that will play a vital role for us as we continue to gain global momentum within the workday services ecosystem,” says Tim Ramos, CEO and co-founder of DayNine Consulting.

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