Job growth is “near a record breaking high” in Wilson County over the past 12 months according to the county's chief recruiting arm for industrial and retail development.
G.C. Hixson, executive director of the Wilson County Joint Economic and
Community Development Board said Wilson County has added more than 1,000 new industrial or related jobs since July of last year, which represents about one-fourth of the number of new jobs that have been added over the past decade.
“I don’t know when we last saw these types of employment growth numbers. We’ve got to be near a record breaking high, Hixson related.
Hixson, reporting from his agency's end of the fiscal year analysis, said "these new employment opportunities represent new industries that have located in Wilson County as well as a number of expansion projects completed by existing industries over the past 12 months."
Hixson pointed out that the employment number does not include new retail jobs that have been created during the past fiscal year.
He said, while the employment number "speaks for itself," the impact on the local economy is “just as dramatic."
Hixson estimated that the new jobs created represent an annual payroll of more than $30 million, which he said, "obviously means more dollars to be spent locally and more local sales tax revenue to be generated to aid local schools, build roads, improve lifestyle amenities, and generally benefit Wilson County."
He said the county's transportation arteries, its central location, excellent infrastructure features, and a "spirit of cooperation among local government officials" have all contributed to the success his office has realized in creating new employment opportunities.
The three largest employers to locate operations in Wilson County during the last fiscal year and creating more than 600 new jobs were Starbucks with 400 employees; Communications Test Design, Inc., 130 employees; and Hollister Incorporated, 86.
Major expansions were reported at Amazon, Ozburn Hessey Logistics and Custom Packaging, Inc. and accounted for more than 500 new jobs.
Hixson's report was the 25th annual report to be issued by the JECDB. The agency was created in 1989 to be the principle recruiting force for new industry and retail development in Wilson County including the county's three municipalities, Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown.