Tennessee makes Site Selection lists

Economic development efforts in Tennessee were among the most successful in the country in 2009, Site Selection magazine said on Monday.

Nissan North America’s announcement last year that it would invest $2.5 billion to retool its Smyrna, Tenn., operations to produce lithium-ion batteries and the LEAF electric vehicle was one of the Top North American Deals of 2009, the magazine said.

The project is expected to generate 1,300 jobs.


“According to Nissan’s filing with the Rutherford County Industrial Development Board, the project should create 500 construction jobs over two years and 150-250 support jobs. The project will ultimately create an additional 8,000 jobs in the local service and supplier sectors, bringing the total as high as 10,000 new jobs in Tennessee, ” the magazine reported.

The magazine considered capital investment, high-value jobs, regional economic impact, competition for the project and other factors in determing the top deals of the year.

The Wacker Chemie project in Cleveland, Tenn. — $1 billion investment and 500 new jobs — made the magazine’s honorable mention list.

The magazine also named the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce to its Top Economic Development Groups list. The Memphis Chamber earned honorable mention. Site Selection looked at jobs, capital investment, jobs per capita, investment per capita and other factors in naming the top economic development groups.

“Corporate facility deals in the Nashville area contributed $1.87 billion in capital investment and 4,437 new jobs to the region. Leading the way in employment creation were several large projects in the medical technology and health-care fields. The biggest of those came from Nashville Medical Trade Mart and Simplex Healthcare,” the magazine reported.