Clarksville, TN – You see it on TV, hear it on the radio and read about it daily in every news source, both online and in print. It’s as hot a topic as ever; economic growth as we begin to come out of a recession.
Right now, all over the country, community leaders are working strategically to make sure that their communities continue to grow. That rings especially true in Clarksville-Montgomery County.
The Wall Street Journal recently published that Clarksville-Montgomery County is the fifth fastest growing city in the nation, and the only city in Tennessee to make it in the top 10 list, according to U.S. Census. Of the 10 fastest growing, Alpharetta, GA. is the only other Southeastern city.
On the heels of that news, the focus will be advancing growth in the areas of retail, industry, real estate and enhancing the all-around quality of life. Changes like these don’t happen by chance, nor do they happen by the accord of one person. They happen by the commitment of visionaries who can see the limitless possibilities that this community, the fifth largest in the state, brings to Middle Tennessee.
To a great degree many of the improvements and progressions that have been seen in the community have been led by the efforts and leadership of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council (EDC) and its partners; the Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Development Board, Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Aspire Foundation.
They are not alone in this effort, however. They have had great support of both City and County governments and the business leaders who have invested in, and shaped this community over the past decade to become one of the strongest economies in the South. The community has proven its resistance to hard times over-and-over, even during economic downturns and especially after the devastation of the 1999 tornado and the flood of 2010.
In order to harness the next wave of opportunities and avoid pitfalls, a new strategic plan for growth and development must be adopted. The upcoming plan, or strategic blueprint, is in the planning and research stage and will map out the most effective ways the EDC and its partners can market and promote the assets that make the community great for tourism, industry and small business.
Interestingly enough, the team of consultants leading this effort clearly stated in their preliminary findings, Clarksville-Montgomery County has much to be proud of but the people who live in the city-county aren’t being cheerleaders for this thriving community. Unfortunately, many don’t know what is in their own backyard.
“But now, we must all move forward together in promoting and selling the assets that make us a unique, stand-alone community in the middle Tennessee region; and some of that education needs to begin locally,” said Drew.
Continued aggressive economic recruitment is always a top priority, and one the EDC has taken very seriously. Clarksville-Montgomery County has had several positive changes in its industrial landscape; most recently was the groundbreaking for the $75 million Bridgestone Metalpha U.S.A. expansion.
Additionally, the Corporate Business Park has seen expansions at Jostens, Florim USA and Akebono Brake as well as the addition of the Agero call center in the past 12 months. These additions and expansions mean thousands of jobs for the community, some with average wages that exceeds the State of Tennessee’s per capita income by 40 percent.