After Maury County was named as the fastest growing county in Tennessee in the most recent U.S. Census, business leaders in Maury County say ‘we’re ready’ to build upon the momentum by securing the future workforce.
Maury County Chamber & Economic Alliance unveiled its new campaign “We’re Ready” as part of the Align Maury workforce initiative at its annual celebration at Puckett’s Restaurant on Tuesday night. Over 300 business leaders gathered to celebrate the county’s consistent economic growth and plans for the future.
“It’s primary focus is to help our existing industries in Maury County and our employers continue to be successful by filling their employment vacancies,” Wil Evans, president of Maury County Chamber & Economic Alliance, said.
Evans acknowledged that almost all of the industries and businesses in Maury County are looking for workers in some capacity due to recent worker shortages in an array of industries since the pandemic.
“Our number one initiative is workforce development and talent pipeline enhancement,” Evans said.
The Alliance began its initiative to develop a strong workforce in 2020 by hiring consultants to complete a workforce alignment study. The study provided an in-depth review of Maury County’s workforce and provided over 30 recommendations to improve the connections between education and out workforce. The “We’re Ready” campaign is part of that effort to draw people and businesses to Maury County.
Maury Co. ‘no longer a secret’
Dennis Fisher, 2023 Align Maury Steering Committee Chair, explained the “We’re Ready” campaign’s objectives found on the new website www.mauryisready.com.
“Maury County is no longer our little secret. More and more families and businesses alike want to call us home,” Fisher said.
“There’s something special about living in Maury County,” Fisher said. “We are invested and ensuring the area has everything our residents need to make Maury County a great place to live.”
He cited a few of the attractions that seem to draw new residents and businesses to Maury County such as Maury Regional Health’s hospital and healthcare services, Columbia State Community College, the manufacturing industry, low taxes, attractive real estate and its close proximity to Huntsville, Alabama and Nashville.
Because of those things, Maury County has experienced much economic growth over the last several years.
From 2014 to 2019, Maury County added 125,000 jobs and saw total earnings rise 15.1% during those five years.
Statistics show upward trajectory
Evans shared a few more economic milestones for Maury County in 2022 at the annual celebration.
Eleven new projects were announced in 2022, leading to the following:
The creation of 3,364 new jobs
$151 million dollars in new annual payroll
$4.83 billion in new capital investments
Three economic highlights
Three major economic highlights were made in 2022, including Ultium Cells expansion, Fiberon relocation in Columbia and Brazilian Professionals relocation to Mt. Pleasant. Those projects resulted in 820 new jobs and $593 million in capital investments.
The chamber has grown to almost 600 members and has celebrated 44 ribbon-cuttings in 2022.
The county has also experienced growth in the formation of small businesses. From 2010 to 2020, the county has seen a 25% growth in self-employed entrepreneurs.
Ready to grow, innovate
“We are ready. We are ready to work,” Fisher said. “We’ve shown time after time that our workforce has what it takes to service a wide range of business needs from automotive production to advanced manufacturing to research and development.”
He also named corporations that have made a strong name in Maury County, including Groove Life, Smile Direct Club, JC Ford and Landmark Ceramics, calling the county an “innovation hub.”
“We are ready to innovate. Columbia State is committed to preparing our region’s workforce to meet the demands of a modern economy,” Fisher said. The school consistently partners with out K-12 schools and employers to celebrate growth and make Maury County an innovation hub.”
Also to the burgeoning arts scene and makers at the 12,000 sq. ft. Columbia Arts Building, Fisher said, “We want to support your dream.”
The Align Maury Advisory Panel will review, prioritize and implement other recommendations to build Maury County’s workforce.
The annual dinner ended with awards, including Christa Martin receiving the Volunteer Award and Columbia Pastor Russ Adcox being announced as the next Maury County Chamber board chairman.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Herald: Maury Alliance celebrates $4.83B in economic investments in 2022