The Williamson County economy supports a diverse mix of targeted business sectors. While the county continues to see rapid growth, economic development efforts have been strategic and intentional. It is with this thoughtful effort that the economy continues to be home to a variety of companies and headquarters across industry sectors. Recognizing the competitive advantage of locating within Williamson County, and that a diverse economy reduces risk for local businesses, Williamson County Economic Development has identified four target industries to provide a concentrated focus on to strategically grow the county.
Research & Development
Home to over 40 corporate headquarters including Nissan North America, Tractor Supply Company, Mars Petcare and Community Health Care Systems, Williamson County has proven to be an ideal location for corporate operations. Its rapid growth, upscale suburbs and large retail and corporate office parks make it an attractive location for corporations across industries. Large companies like Nissan find “a significant competitive advantage” locating within the City of Franklin (Bill Krueger, Vice Chairman of Nissan Americas). Mars Petcare has “truly felt at home” in Thompson’s Station (David Macnair, Vice President, Research & Development of Mars Petcare), and Comdata is proud to call Brentwood home because “it offers a wealth of talented people” and has “allowed Comdata to grow to become a major player in the electronic payments market” (Steve Stevenson, President of Comdata Corporation).
Williamson County’s central location provides quick and easy access to downtown Nashville. Its upscale suburbs provide attractive housing locations for executives and with 52% of residents having a Bachelor’s degree or higher, a highly skilled workforce is just in our backyard.
The Nashville region is globally recognized as a health care hub, with more than 250 companies headquartered in the region impacting and driving healthcare across the US and world. More than 250 health care companies are headquartered in the Nashville region, several within Williamson County. Community Health Systems, HealthSpring Inc. (Cigna), Healthways, MedSolutions, Healthcare Management Systems and DaVita, to name a few, have found success in Williamson County. With nearly 30% growth and over 3,200 jobs projected to be added in this industry over the next 10 years health care is a strong driver of the Williamson County economy.
Visit the Nashville Health Care Council here for more information.
Some economists have made the case that IT and the creation of intellectual property is the 21 century’s version of manufacturing. Whether that is the case or not, there is no doubt information technology is playing a key role in the future of the US economy. Williamson County is poised to reap the benefits largely because of the concentration of existing high tech companies in the Brentwood/Maryland Farms and Franklin/Cool Springs area and the education and skill level of the existing workforce. This highly talented labor pool makes Williamson County an ideal location for technology companies looking for innovation, high quality resources and creative people and spaces. In fact, roughly 40% of the members of the Nashville Technology Council are based in Williamson County.
Over the last 10 years, technology jobs, specifically computer systems design and related jobs have grown by 115%. An even greater growth was seen with Technical Consulting Services which grew by nearly 240%. This significant growth proves the technology industry continues to expand in Williamson County and offers many advantages for technology companies looking to relocate here.
Learn more about the Nashville Technology Council click here.
Research & Development
Located in Williamson County, the Mars Petcare Global Innovation Center is leading the way in making Williamson County known for its research and development. This $87 million, 90 acre state of the art facility (one of five in the world), will serve as the company’s home base for creating future pet care innovations for its North American market.
Farther north in Franklin sits the Cool Springs Life Sciences Center. Another state of the art facility, the CSLSC provides a world class bioscience business environment that benefits tenant companies as well as the biotech community by providing a unique campus dedicated to life sciences research, development and manufacturing. This 15-acre campus is specifically designed to accommodate the unique needs of life science and biotechnology firms, particularly those engaged in biologics, pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, medical devices, associated specialty manufacturing, biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device manufacturing in a space built-to-suit the unique needs of each tenant.
In Nashville we have access to the Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization. The CTTC provides professional commercialization services to the community, optimizing the flow of innovation to the marketplace and generating revenue. They serve as an efficient and effective conduit for the transfer of promising intellectual property to industry; contributing to regional economic development by licensing locally and supporting new venture creation, all while encouraging greater collaboration between academia and industry.
Research and development in physical, engineering and life sciences is projected to grow by 23% over the next 10 years in Williamson County. As this industry grows, it presents an excellent opportunity for an existing research and development company to relocate and find a new home next to a leading R&D facility, with high quality of life while accessing state of the art facilities and resources.
Learn more about the Vanderbilt University Center for Technology Transfer & Commercialization here.
Learn more about the Cool Springs Life Sciences Center here.