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Destination Growth: Rutherford County, TN is Booming in Business

Area is a destination of choice for expanding and relocating businesses

By Bill Lewis on March 12, 2018

Rutherford County, TN
Murfreesboro / Jeff Adkins

It’s no accident that Rutherford County is the destination of choice for expanding and relocating businesses. In fact, maintaining the momentum of new investments and job growth is a top priority for both the private and public sectors.

“Rutherford County boasts a combination of factors that make it ideal for many businesses. We have a friendly business environment, local governments who work together to welcome and assist new growth, a cost of living index below the national average, quality education from the elementary level all the way up to colleges and technical schools, and a geographic location adjacent to three major interstate systems,” says Brian Hercules, senior vice president of economic development for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.

Business confidence continues to grow in Rutherford County, which attracted more than $389 million in capital investment in 2017. The county added more than 1,523 jobs during that time. The U.S. Bureau of Labor ranked the county as the fifth top-performing county in the United States in 2015 and 2016 in terms of job growth.

“Momentum builds on itself, and Rutherford County has great momentum in economic development in multiple sectors, and businesses take notice. These businesses find a growing community with good schools and a workforce with diversity and ever-improving skills availability,” says Chris Jones, president/CEO of Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation and chairman of the economic development committee for the Chamber.

Diverse Economy

The economy is strengthened by entrepreneurial local business as well as global enterprises such as Schwann Cosmetics, which has its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Murfreesboro. Key sectors of the economy include advanced manufacturing, automotive, health care and professional services.

Companies arriving in Rutherford County discover a business-friendly climate and quick access to major markets thanks to a central Southeast location and a well-developed transportation network that includes multiple interstates, rail service, Nashville International Airport, Murfreesboro Airport and Smyrna Airport, which has a control tower and multiple runways capable of handling the largest jets.

Employers are also attracted to the county’s educated workforce and a quality of life that makes it easy to recruit and keep top talent.

Recent business arrivals include HYLA Inc., a mobile device reverse logistics company that chose La Vergne as its expansion location. The company is investing more than $1 million and creating about 225 jobs.HYLA works closely with Fortune 100 companies, including the largest mobile service providers, mobile device manufacturers and technology retailers. It provides technology and expertise enabling the collection, processing, renewal and distribution of previously owned mobile devices.

HYLA’s La Vergne facility will assess the condition of each device, remove customer data, conduct repairs and resell the devices throughout the United States and around the world. The company has collected and repurposed more than 43 million devices, diverted over 9,500 tons of waste away from landfills and avoided 51.5 billion gallons of ground water pollution.

“We selected the State of Tennessee, Rutherford County and La Vergne due to the central location, business-friendly environment, and high-quality talent pool,” says Biju Nair, president and CEO of HYLA.

Other global brands with roots in Rutherford County include FedEx, Kasai and Amazon, which operates a fulfillment center.

Destination Rutherford

Economic progress is enhanced by initiatives such as Destination Rutherford, a unified public-private effort aimed at economic development, tourism, workforce development and existing industry expansion.

“This integrated focus enables Rutherford County and its municipalities to collaborate on important issues and have chamber staff members devoted to carrying out the program’s goals. The advantage of having an initiative like Destination Rutherford is that it allows Rutherford County to be nimble and responsive to an ever-changing business environment and economic development requirements. Overall, it just makes Rutherford County more competitive,” says Bill Jones, Destination Rutherford’s chairman.

“I believe investors, both public and private, realize how competitive economic development and business recruitment has become and believe Destination Rutherford gives all of Rutherford County the best chance at continued success in those efforts,” he says.

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