JECDB 2021 Annual Report

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As we build upon our past success, we are reminded of what lies ahead for our organization, as well as for our cities and communities. Since 1989, our goal has been to lay a foundation for economic and community development. We have done so with great accomplishments, earning us recognition as one of the most effective economic organizations in Tennessee.

“Future Forward” embodies what we stand for and what we do. It may not be a familiar phrase, but it lays a foundation and gives us direction. It serves as a reminder of our many achievements and how they continue to propel us into the future. Throughout 2021, we saw this phrase take hold in the transition to many technical and advanced fields of employment. Project announcements included those in the medical, transportation, food and renewable energy fields. Even e-commerce and logistics have become highly efficient and technology driven industries.

A Message from the Executive Director

But our challenges and goals continue. We must not just compete, but win. Looking ahead, we must continue to… • W ork with developers, not only for future sites, buildings and structures, but for the development and expansion of infrastructure including roads, utilities and business environments. • Develop exceptional employee talent through joint programs and educational systems, including our TCAT Center and Cumberland University, creating college graduates who ultimately build a dynamic talent pool to meet and exceed corporate demands. I also believe there exists many unique opportunities in tourism, technology/data operations, and office and professional job growth. When combined with our economic base, these new opportunities will drive many of our future developments. This annual report offers a glimpse into one of our most successful years ever, revealing record-low unemployment, significant project investments and considerable job creation – all during a time of uncertainty. More importantly, in its pages, you’ll see a structure comprised of many vehicles that will continue to lead us in both a systematic and organized manner. My time as your director has been both rewarding and humbling. For that I will forever be grateful. Here’s to a future that can only move us forward.

G.C. Hixson

executive director


Board of Directors Randall Hutto

Lynn Daugherty

Kenneth Martin

Steve Casey

Rick Bell

Luke Winchester

Sue Vanatta

Don Chambers

Jennifer Milele

Scott Jasper

Chris Crowell

Caleb Thorne

Sonja Robinson

Eddie Goodwin

Mike Jennings

Rob Porter

Camille Burdine

Bobby Franklin

John Bryan

Ex-Officio Members Melanie Minter

Mark Pody

Phil Smartt

Aaron Maynard

Jeff Luttrell

Mae Wright

Austin Floyd

Susan Lynn

Dr. Paul Stumb

Tom Brashear

Scott Benson

Mark Hinesley

Clark Boyd

Officers of The Board 4

Caleb Thorne, Chairman

Tammy Stokes, Secretary

Rob Porter, Vice-Chairman

Phil Smartt, Treasurer

Robert Rochelle, Attorney

Purpose of the Board As stated in the interlocal agreement that created the Joint Economic & Community Development Board of Wilson County, the purpose and mission of the Board shall be as follows: To develop, recommend, and direct a strategic plan of policies and action that improve the economic well-being of the community and those activities and services which support economic growth and improve the quality of life of the community’s members; To encourage an entrepreneurial spirit among present businesses and citizens; To help spawn expansions of local industry and businesses; To seek out those enterprises which support the development of the future as outlined in the strategic plan for the purpose of enticing them to locate in Wilson County; To foster an open communication among all groups in the county concerned with economic development including, but not limited to: residents; present industry and businesses; governments; educators; public and private developers; and other public organizations.

Responsibilities of the Executive Committee The Executive Committee has the following responsibilities: administer the policies of the Board; recommend an annual operating budget to the Board; recommend the hiring and/or termination of the Director of the organization; supervise the daily operations of the organization and the Director of the organization; hold regular meetings the frequency of which should be at least monthly; meet on call as often as needed in addition to monthly meetings; suspend, without pay, the Director of the organization pending action of the Board; and select officers of the Executive Committee.

The Joint Economic & Community

Executive Committee Rick Bell

Kenny Martin

Mike Jennings

Randall Hutto

Don Chambers

Phil Smartt, Treasurer

of Wilson County logged attendance at 259 meetings

Officers of the Executive Committee Mike Jennings, Chairman

Development Board

and/or events.

Robert Rochelle, Attorney

Tammy Stokes, Secretary



A major online seller of pet food, squeaky toys and other pet related products announced its decision to locate in Wilson County, TN in 2021. Chewy’s founded in 2011 and headquartered in both Florida and Massachusetts decided to lease its new 691,920 square foot facility located off Interstate 840 at Couchville Pike in southeast Wilson County, TN. The new center is expected to exceed over $100M in investments when fully operational in late 2022 and could require up to 1200 employees. Chewy executives indicated that the new center will provide the ability to better service its more than 19 million customers throughout the country.


Thermo Fisher, a life sciences company headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, announced its new manufacturing center would be located off I-840 at the Speedway industrial Park in Wilson County, TN. The new $100M plus single-use technology assembly facility will make bioprocess containers and fluid transfer assemblies used in the development of vaccines and other therapeutics. The project is expected to begin with 400 new positions leading up to1,400 potential positions. Company executives indicated that the new center will “play a critical role in the company’s effort to support the global pharmaceutical industry’s work in developing life-saving biologics and vaccines to address many diseases.”


Sunrise Medical, an international leader in manual and powered wheelchairs headquartered in Malsch, Germany with a worldwide employment of over 2,200 employees announced its new North America manufacturing facility in Mount Juliet, TN in 2021. The 134,640 square foot facility located in the Beckwith Farms Industrial Park will include assembly and product support for its 17 proprietary brands of manual wheelchairs, e-mobility, motorized scooters, seating & positioning systems and other daily living aids products. The facility will serve as its North American headquarters and operations center.


National Indoor RV Centers announced its decision to construct its new 189,350 square foot facility in Lebanon, TN. The new center, located east of the Lebanon Premium Outlets at 1540 Old Murfreesboro Road will have access from South Hartmann Drive and Murfreesboro Road. The new facility is designed to meet the demands of RV storge, service, sales and total operations of RV ownership. NIRV expects the center to become operational joining its other five United States centers in late 2022 or early 2023.


Lebanon, TN welcomed Walmart’s newest component to its expanding e-commerce network in 2021. The almost one million square foot structure located near the Interstate 840 and Central Pike interchange on Hixson Boulevard is designed to meet its growing online sales while also servicing its growing small business retail sales operations. The expected seventy-five-million-dollar investment is expected to require an initial seventy associates. The expected date of operation is in the third quarter of 2022. 6

MARCH 22, 2021


The nations largest consumer co-op, Recreation Equipment, Inc. announced its decision to construct its fourth distribution center in Lebanon, TN. The specialty outdoor retailer with over 20 million members will create more than 280 jobs and has an operation date of fall of 2023. The center will serve more than 70 REI stores and 5.6 million members for its new 400,000 square foot facility. The facility will be constructed with industry leading sustainability and technology including being “net zero” energy consumption and LEED Platinum certified. Overall design will be based upon having a productive and healthy environment that considers how employees work, rest and connect to nature.


Nashville Box, LLC announced its decision to invest $3.3M in personal property at its new 100,000 square foot structure at Eastgate Boulevard in Lebanon, TN in 2021. The new company will utilize an integrated business and manufacturing approach to service businesses with high volume corrugated packaging needs. The new center is expected to employ an initial 48 team members whose goal will be to partner with their national and international customers in ever changing e-commerce and delivery industries.


IXS Coatings, Inc. with its national and international product brands of Ultimate Linings and Line-X located a new 301,320 square foot research, manufacturing, and distribution center in the Speedway Industrial Park in Wilson County, TN in 2021. The new location allows IXS Coatings to better serve their growing base of clients found in the oil & gas, robotic manufacturing, security and defense and transportation sectors. The operation is expected to have an initial investment value of $49M requiring an initial fifty employees averaging $80,000 per year.


Shenandoah Mills, a manufacturer of mixes, batters and breaders for restaurant, retail and industrial accounts announced its new expansion in 2021. Shenandoah Mills, a family owned and operated business, has been in operation since 1990 at its current location of 121 South Cumberland Street in Lebanon, TN. And while having expanded at their original location several times they had reached their capacity. The new facility located at 200 Maddox Simpson Parkway in Lebanon will include a state-of-the-art innovation center where future and current customers can work and coordinate with its R & D department in the development of new and/or improved recipes. The new location announcement brings with it, the addition of several employees as well as the opportunity to meet future growth demands at both facilities.


Major Industrial Manufacturers & Distributors

2021 ended with 8 million square feet of industrial space under construction




CEVA Logistics

VMI & Logistics Provider for DELL & Nissan

FedEx Suppy Chain

Electronics Manufacturing, Refurbishment & Forward Distribution


Distribution & Logistics

Amazon Fulfillment Services

Fulfillment Services

FedEx Ground

Distribution Hub

Cracker Barrel

Corporate Headquarters

Lochinvar, LLC

Water Heaters, Boilers & Pool Heaters

Under Armour

Sports Apparel Distributor

O’Reillys Distribution Center

Auto Parts Distribution

Performance Foodservice Nashville

Food Distribution

Pace Analytical National

Environmental Laboratory Testing


Automotive Metal Stamping

Communications Test Design, Inc

Repair, distribution and logistics

Performance Food Group

Food Distribution

Manheim Nashville

Auto Auction Facility


Food Distribution

Journeys Distribution Center

Distribution of Footwear & Accessories

LEGACY Supply Chain Services

Third Party Logistics Provider

Famous Footwear

Footwear Distribution

Rooms To Go

Furniture Distribution

American Wonder Porcelain

Tile Manufacturer

Lifeway Christian Resources

Christian Publications Distribution

Wilson County Population CENSUS 2020 CENSUS 2010 AREA

Wilson County 147,737 Lebanon 38,431 Mt. Juliet 39,289 Watertown 1,553 Source: U.S. Census Bureau

2026 Projections 2020 Census 2010 Census Growth 2010 - 2020


APRIL 1, 2020 APRIL 1, 2010

17th in the United States Wilson County ranks 10th in the State of Tennessee

113,993 26,190 24,548 1,477

Tennessee ranks






172,985 147,737 113,993 29.6%

44,541 38,431 26,190 46.7%

43,776 39,289 24,548 60.0%

1,866 1,553 1,477 5.1%

345,887,495 331,449,281 308,745,538 7.4%

7,343,345 6,910,840 6,346,105 8.9%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau & ESRI


The Joint Economic & Community Development Board of Wilson County Quality of Life video debuted in 2021.





Wilson County Lebanon Mt. Juliet Watertown TOTALS

$7,752,806 $32,287,997 $27,860,067 $555,161 $68,456,031

$15,187,659 $42,196,600 $35,447,107 $739,497 $93,570,863

95.9% 30.7% 27.2% 33.2% 36.7%






January February March April May June July August September October November December TOTALS

1 3 1 2 2 1 1 0 6 0 2 0 19

4 4 10 4 3 6 4 14 2 5 1 3 60

**Wilson County includes Watertown 10

1 17 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 5 25 55




January February March April May June July August September October November December TOTALS

55 18 54 59 45 72 43 44 34 42 37 26 529

54 110 96 98 110 95 127 66 108 114 137 141 1256



2021 BUILDING PERMIT ACTIVITY 50 47 91 57 55 60 40 57 40 36 23 53 609

Residential Real Estate Wilson County home sales continued to rise with 3,484 residential homes being sold in 2021. This is an increase of 9.8 percent. Also, median home prices rose in 2021 by 8.5 percent to $417,078. On average, 290 homes closed each month of 2021. Homes were on the market a median of 11 days. Source: Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors

EDUCATION OVERVIEW 2020-2021 The Wilson County School District has been recognized by the Tennessee Department of Education as an Exemplary District, the highest ranking available, for exceptional student growth and achievement measures. In addition, seven of the twenty-one eligible schools received Reward School Status in 2021. Lebanon Special School District enjoys a history of being a high performing district, gaining Level 5 recognition multiple years, as well as being acknowledged as an “Exemplary District” by the State of Tennessee. The Lebanon Special School District is also recognized as a Reading 360 Model School District for Early Literacy. Cumberland University’s growth continues to increase each year and currently has 51 undergraduate majors, 36 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate programs.

Graduation Rates

Wilson County School District had a 96.3 percent graduation rate, well above the state average of 88.7 percent. Green Hill High School had the district’s highest graduation rate at 98.1 percent while Mt. Juliet High was 98.0 percent. Wilson Central was 96.6 percent, Watertown High was 95.2 percent and Lebanon High was 93.9 percent.

WILSON COUNTY SCHOOLS K-12 Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools TOTAL ENROLLMENT

13 4 5 18,525


4 2 3,459


5 1,371

HIGHER EDUCATION (FOUR YEAR) Cumberland University (Lebanon) TOTAL ENROLLMENT 2,540


ACT Scores

TN College of Applied Technology (Lebanon)

Wilson County School District had an average composite ACT score of 20.6 for the 2020-21. The state average ACT score was 19.1.


Nashville Superspeedway It had been more than 10 years since Nashville heard the NASCAR engines roar, but the Nashville Superspeedway was re-opened for the 2021 NASCAR season during Father’s Day weekend, near Gladeville, just southeast of Nashville in Wilson County. From June 18-20, the D-shaped oval track, the longest concrete oval in NASCAR, hosted the NASCAR Cup Series, the “Ally 400,” as well as the NASCAR Xfinity Series race and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The event was an overwhelming success and a huge spotlight for the community. It sold out its 38,000 seats and dominated in television ratings with 2.6 million viewers. “As we set the course for Nashville Superspeedway, it is our mission to establish a new standard not only for what a racetrack can be, but especially what it can mean to our community and NASCAR fans across the region,” said Erik Moses, a veteran sports executive and seasoned venue management leader, who was named track president in August, 2020. “With our roots firmly planted in racing, we believe the fun and excitement can go well beyond the track. Our goal is to become a premier sports and entertainment destination,” he continued. “We are proud that NASCAR has chosen a home here in our county and the impact of this new partnership will be immense. We look forward to many years of successful races and events,” added Randall Hutto, Wilson County Mayor & JECD Board member. Development also continues on the 800-acre Speedway Industrial Park, located adjacent to the Nashville Superspeedway. It will provide muchneeded industrial space for the area to help meet the surge of e-commerce many companies are facing. 12

Tennessee State Fair The Wilson County Fair has had a successful and popular 100-plus-year run, but this year it added a new partner — the Tennessee State Fair. The inaugural Wilson County Fair–Tennessee State Fair ran for 10 days in August 2021 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. The merger came about because the Tennessee State Fair needed a new home because of the redevelopment plans at the fairgrounds in Nashville, the previous home of the state fair. “It’s a new location for the state fair,” Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said. “A new beginning for the Tennessee State Fair, which will certainly become the greatest state fair in the country.” The nationally acclaimed Wilson County Fair, the largest county fair in Tennessee, typically draws around 500,000 visitors. While the state fair had brought in around 110,000 to 120,000 in recent years to its event in Nashville. For this inaugural fair, the number of visitors from across the state and around the region totaled 480,627. This great number of guests to the area translated into increased revenue in many forms, from hotels to restaurants.

2021 attendance at the Wilson County Fair/ Tennessee State Fair was 480,627.

Tennessee backed the merger with an initial commitment of $5.3 million in state budget dollars. Those involved believe that investments need to continue with additional facilities and infrastructure as the fairs evolve.

Cedars of Lebanon

The new fair in Wilson County will continue to grow and attract not only more visitors, but businesses who will partner with the fair through advertising and sponsorships.

June 2021 attendance

State Park July 2020 – was 1,497,622.

“We enthusiastically welcomed thousands of visitors to Lebanon and appreciated their excitement and support for what we see as being a major visitor draw for the area in the years to come,” said Caleb Thorne, JECD Board Chairman. The August, fair combined with year-round attractions such as Fiddlers Grove Historical Village and Cedars of Lebanon State Park, will continue to attract visitors to Wilson County. 13


Located within a half mile of Interstate 40 at Exit 232 on Highway 109 North, Hickory Ridge Shopping Center is expected to open in the fall of 2022. Lebanon’s newest shopping center consisting of 60,387 square feet will be anchored by a 48,000 square foot Publix grocery store. The new development encompasses fourteen acres and will also be home to a new Whataburger and a Wash N’ Roll carwash.


NEW IN MT. JUILET In 2021, 140 industrial RFPs were responded to, with 13 of those actually conducting onsite visits to Wilson County.



In 2021, the Joint Economic & Community Development Board of Wilson County unveiled the redesigned website.


2/12 Wine Tasting Excursion Train 3/12 Murder Mystery Excursion Train 3/26 50’s Car Show & Wine Tasting Excursion Train 4/09 Spring Mile Long Yard Sale 4/16 Community Easter EGGstravaganza & Easter Bunny Excursion Train 5/14 Artisan Spring Fling Marketplace & Wine Tasting Excursion Train 5/21 Train Robbery Excursion Train 6/11 Big Hill Challenge 7/04 Independence Day Parade & Fireworks 7/16 Watertown Jazz Festival 8/06 Wine Tasting Excursion Train 9/03 Bluegrass/Fall Festival & Excursion Train 9/24 Train Robbery Excursion Train 10/08 Fall Mile Long Yard Sale & Christmas Market 10/31 Trick or Treat on the Square 12/03 Watertown Christmas Parade

Recruitment Overview

Business Facilities Magazine selected Tennessee as one of their 2021 States of the Year. Tennessee captured the Best Dealmaker award. Thanks to recent deals, such as Chewy, Inc., that chose Wilson County TN to locate its newest facility. Congrats went out to all the EDOs that made it happen with their projects during 2021. The full release can be seen at:

Above Left: Coordinated the 2021 Wage & Benefits Survey Above Right: Business Facilities Magazine 2021 States of the Year. Far Left: The JECDB supported local advertising in the Lebanon & Mt. Juliet Chamber magazines & purchased advertising in several national outlets.


WILSON COUNTY More than a destination: it’s a prime location.

Wilson County is strategically located in the center of thriving Middle Tennessee with access to three interstates, rail and an international airport. Wilson County truly has something of interest for everyone.


19 200 Aviation Way, Suite 202 Lebanon, TN 37090 615.443.1210 20

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