State Focus: Tennessee Reigns Supreme In The Southeast

The new U.S. headquarters of So.F.teR. in Lebanon, TN is dedicated to the production, development and sale of engineering plastics for the automotive, appliance, construction and electrical markets.
The new U.S. headquarters of So.F.teR. in Lebanon, TN is dedicated to the production, development and sale of engineering plastics for the automotive, appliance, construction and electrical markets. (Photo:

By the Business Facilities Staff
From the May/June 2015 issue

Tennessee recently snared an unprecedented honor from Business Facilities, become the first state to win back-to-back BF State of the Year awards. But the Volunteer State isn’t content to rest on its laurels. Here is just a sampling of the recent projects that have been announced in Tennessee:

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) and Cummins, Inc. officials have announced the company will invest $6.7 million to expand its current parts and distribution center in Memphis, creating 70 new jobs for Shelby County. Cummins Inc. is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, distributes and services diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.

”Memphis and the state of Tennessee have been terrific long-time partners with Cummins and we are pleased to grow and expand in this great city,” Norbert Nusterer, Vice President, Parts Business, Cummins Inc., said.

In 2014, Cummins employees spent over 4,000 hours volunteering in the Memphis community. The Cummins Distribution Center has been in Memphis since 1996 and employs a workforce of more than 800 to distribute a variety of products including component parts, rebuild kits, and remanufactured engines worldwide to insure premium support to their customers.

By expanding the size of the Memphis PDC (parts distribution center), Cummins will be able to support the further growth of global supply chain requirements. This investment will allow the company to synchronize warehousing activities and optimize freight and transportation options, operations that are critical to the success of Cummins and its customer satisfaction.

Cummins partnered with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s combined brokerage and consulting team on this project.

“No other city in the world can claim the logistical capabilities like Memphis, and Cummins Inc., knows this,” Phil Trenary, President and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber said.

Cummins plans to begin expanding in June 2015, with final completion expected in December 2015.

Community Health Systems Chairman and CEO Wayne T. Smith recently announced that CHS will invest $66 million to expand its current operations in Tennessee by constructing a new Shared Services Center in Nashville. Through this expansion, the national healthcare company will create 1,500 new jobs over the next five years.

“Companies right now have a choice between not only what states they want to do business in but what countries, and when a company like CHS chooses to expand right here in Tennessee, it speaks volumes to the rest of the world about the high quality business environment we have and our talented workforce,” said Gov. Bill Haslam.

“We’ve known for thirty years that Middle Tennessee is a great place to do business. We looked at many states and sites for this expansion and ultimately determined that Middle Tennessee offers the business environment, skilled workforce and quality of life to support our growth,” Smith said.

Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading operators of general acute care hospitals and one of Tennessee’s largest employers. The organization’s affiliates own, operate or lease 199 hospitals in 29 states with approximately 30,000 licensed beds. As Community Health Systems celebrates its 30th anniversary, it is expanding its physical footprint by constructing a new office building near Cane Ridge Road in southeastern Davidson County. The six-story, 240,000 square foot CHS Shared Services Center will perform some business and administrative functions that support the organization’s affiliated hospitals, enhancing operations efficiencies and standardizing processes.

Across Tennessee, CHS has 19 affiliated hospitals and corporate headquarters in Franklin, totaling nearly 16,000 employees across the state.


Branding continues to be a fundamental in all areas of marketing. In many cases final decisions are determined not necessarily upon products but upon their brand recognition. This occurs in many cases due to either product confidence and/or established track records.

In Wilson County, Tennessee “Home Grown Brands” continue to drive its success. Recognized for being the birthplace of corporations such as Cracker Barrel and numerous others, Wilson County has continued to expand its home grown brands. In 2013 those additions included Amazon, Starbucks Distribution Center, CEVA Logistics, KHS America and others. In 2014, Under Armour’s one million square foot “Distribution House” and Federal Express’ 300,000 square foot ground distribution center were added. Other industries joining the Wilson County “Brands” in 2014 included Novamet Specialty Products, So.F.teR. USA, Diasol, B & G Foods, Technotiles and others.

Why is it important to have an established brand? Not having a positive economic brand today means no differentiation. Having no differentiation will lead a company or a community to neither long-term growth and/or success. What allows companies to become part of a community’s brand? Many times after a client has evaluated a community’s data, conducted multiple site visits and finished extensive analysis it is the community’s “feel” or “brand” that becomes a determining factor.

In Wilson County, TN it is a spirit that allows industries to tap upon committed employees with their unique work ethic. It is an ethic that allows for an employee and community to work in partnerships to make themselves, employers and the community successful. And while the newer brand addition may not be able to fully attest to this attribute, existing establishments continued to do so in 2014. Those Wilson County expansions in 2014 included Lochinvar, LLC, Mayekawa, USA, L & W Engineering, Performance Food Group, Perma-Pipe, and others whom announced over $35M in new investments while hiring hundreds of new partners.

Certainly a committed and dedicated workforce contributes to the success of any business. It cannot in all cases however overcome other marketing advantages. Strategically located on Interstate 40 and easy access to I-24, I-65, State Routes 109 and 840, Wilson County reaches over 75 percent of the major U.S. markets found within a 650 mile radius.

Wilson County and its three cities of Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown are positioned to share and contribute to the area’s economic strengths. Located adjacent to Nashville/Davidson County, TN, its geographic position continues to offer the appeal of a large metropolitan city with the quality of life advantages of a less congested environment. Perhaps that is why Wilson County is recognized as both the third-fastest and second-wealthiest county in Tennessee. Both of these factors have contributed to continued residential and commercial growth, which led to its 28 percent population growth during the last decade.

The continued attention to smart growth and controlled development continues to add to Wilson County’s “quality of life” brand. Expanding industries, job growth, record residential sales and rising incomes brought forth the opportunity to add additional retail commercial names in 2014. These included such brands as Gander Mountain, CVS, Starbucks and others.

Gone however are the days when a community can simply rest upon its established brand. Realizing this factor has led the community leadership to launch further into improving its education systems. Recognized for its commitment to outstanding physical facilities in 2014, the new $40-million Watertown High School opened in Wilson County. Also brought online in 2014 was the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Center in Lebanon, TN. This newly renovated, 40,000-square-foot facility began offering industry specific classes in the spring of 2015. The center will expand its partnerships with both professional services and manufacturing industries in developing specific training and certification programs. Also contributing to the uniqueness of educational providers occurred when Baker Aviation moved to Lebanon, TN.

Interested in tapping into the ingredients that contribute to Wilson County “Brands” both recognizable and successful? For further information, visit


Are you looking for a location that’s within a two two-day drive by truck to 65 percent of the U.S. population. Your search stops here: Dyersburg, TN.

Dyersburg can be found on the interstate highway system roughly equidistant from Chicago and New Orleans. It is located on the main line of the Canadian National Railway, also halfway between Chicago and New Orleans, with direct rail connections from as far away as Prince Rupert Sound in Canada and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dyersburg is only 75 miles from Memphis, TN, which has the third largest rail center and fourth largest inland port in the U.S.

Dyersburg also is on the corridor of Interstate 69, which will connect Canada to Mexico through seven U.S. states. It is only 75 miles from the World Headquarters and SuperHub of FedEx, at Memphis International Airport, which has international freight and passenger service.

Dyersburg/Dyer County has an interstate highway bridge crossing the Mississippi River into Missouri, the only such bridge between Memphis and Cairo, IL. Dyersburg is served by Interstates 69, 55 and 155, as well as by US Highway 51 and US 412. Distance to I-40 is only 40 miles via US 412.

Dyersburg/Dyer County is home to Dyersburg Municipal Airport, a general aviation airport which can accommodate corporate and some commercial jets on its 5800-foot-long runway. The Port of Cates Landing, an intermodal river port on the Mississippi River, is only 25 miles from Dyersburg. The Port of Cates Landing is now a Foreign Trade Zone, and will allow barge shipments from the Gulf of Mexico via the Port of New Orleans, as well as northward along the river system.

Dyersburg also has an abundant amount of telecommunications capacity, including fiber optic cable service in its industrial parks. Telecommunications options are provided by a number of national carriers.

Dyersburg/Dyer County has been designated a federal Scenic Byway, along the Great River Road through Dyer County, for the purpose of preserving alternative travel routes that offer scenic views and vistas to auto travelers, runners and bicyclists throughout the United States. The Forked Deer River, a tributary of the Mississippi River, runs through downtown Dyersburg. A Riverfront Park is currently under development, including a scenic hiking trail, a Farmer’s Market, a canoe and kayak boating dock, a River Center (for study and preservation of the inland water system), a walking trail and scenic overlooks along the riverfront.

The Riverfront Park is part of a newly designated federal Blueway, which connects Dyersburg to Memphis via a canoe and kayak route that begins in Dyersburg and terminates at the cobblestone wharf in Memphis. This park is within easy walking distance of the newly renovated McIver’s Grant Public Library in downtown Dyersburg.


Strategic location and valuable assets are the foundation of Clarksville-Montgomery County, Tennessee’s appeal as a premier destination for industrial relocation and expansion. Already an established economic powerhouse within the Middle Tennessee region of the United States, concentrated efforts to deliver world class infrastructure and business support have made a name for the area as an international hotbed of development activity—right in the heart of Auto Alley. Clarksville-Montgomery County’s total package, from “Deal Ready” land to affordable metropolitan living, places this historic locale at the top of site selectors’ lists time and again.

When your company or client is ready to move forward in relocation, Clarksville-Montgomery County has options including a pad ready site, acreage for a build to suit or an existing building to retrofit. There are more than 1,100 acres available in the Corporate Business Park, which includes two certified sites. Existing buildings ranging from 2,000 square feet to over 150,000 square feet are available in both commercial and industrial settings. A prime advantage is that the Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association (MTIDA) has deemed the pad ready site as “Deal Ready,” saving an incoming company six months of construction time and hundreds of thousands of dollars with a prepared 40-acre site that is prepped for a building foundation.

The Industrial Development Board’s featured building, 1136 Dunlop Lane, is ideal for distribution or light manufacturing and boasts over 150,000 square feet within Corporate Business Park South. The property is expandable by another 90,000 square feet and includes three separate office areas totaling 3,000 square feet on over 18 acres of land. Situated just two miles off I-24 and otherwise serviceable by water, rail and air, 1136 Dunlop Lane is not just a building but also a transportation solution.

The Clarksville-Montgomery County Corporate Business Park is zoned M-2 Industrial and is under full ownership of the Industrial Development Board. The master plan for the park is to transition from heavy manufacturing to light manufacturing to office and distribution space on the South end. The southern end has amenities including sidewalks, four-lane roads and attractive street lighting. Enhanced first responder capacity is being installed with a nearly $3 million EMS and Fire Station construction project scheduled for completion in late Fall 2015. The emergency service area is located on Industrial Boulevard, across from the Hankook Tire Plant, and includes a combined 10,000 square feet to help service the Corporate Business Park. All businesses throughout the park benefit from significant savings in both time and expense from site selection to start-up with industrial grade gas, water, power and sewer infrastructure already in place. Utilities are attractively priced and highly reliable with Environmental Phase I reports complete. Due diligence is currently being completed on the new North park expansion as well.

“Service after the sale” is one of the greatest strengths among the economic development team, and prospects are encouraged to explore the many reasons so many national and international companies have chosen to settle in Clarksville-Montgomery County. While the economic development team in Clarksville-Montgomery County works aggressively to recruit new industry, existing businesses are the backbone of the community. Testament to the favorable environment and support provided, more than 40 manufacturing facilities call Clarksville-Montgomery County home, from one of the oldest, a smokeless tobacco manufacturer, American Snuff, LLC established in 1907, to the newest member of our community, Hankook Tires, who in 2013 selected a prime location in the Clarksville-Montgomery County Business Park as home for its first North American manufacturing site.

The city and county work closely with the State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and other regional partners to market the industrial vitality of the region effectively, and local incentives are available based on capital investment and job creation, while a skilled and available workforce simplify staffing and recruitment.

Home to Fort Campbell, one of the nation’s largest military installations, Clarksville-Montgomery County proudly welcomes retiring Soldiers to bring their technical skill sets into the local workforce. The local skilled and available workforce is also supported by ready access to higher education and multiple career training facilities in a Right to Work environment. Relocating employees and residents enjoy a high quality of life with metropolitan amenities, abundant schools and low taxes devoid of personal state income tax. With a convenient location and an excellent business climate, it’s clear why many new and current industries choose to build or grow in the city-county.

Contact Mike Evans, Executive Director of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board, to learn more about available property, relocation options and incentives. E-mail Mike at or call (931) 647-2331.