THE SUCCESSFUL recruitment of a new industrial company occurs in a systematic process with several considerations. The process may also include several entities, all fulfilling a specific role in selecting the next location for expansion. Information and confidentiality permeate the process from beginning to end.
The process of community selection often starts before a company makes the community aware of its interest. For example, a company interested in expansion may scour the internet for months, looking for locations within communities fitting specific criteria. The company may be looking for clustering opportunities, populations with specific skill sets, available land with utilities, and many more considerations. A community’s internet presence provides an open door of information for local attributes. Accurate and up-to-date information remains fundamental to communities properly positioned for industrial recruitment success. The City of Shelbyville and Bedford County’s new website, specifically devoted to economic development, launches in November on the world wide web as shelbyville-bedford.com. The website stands as an open portal to our community’s commitment to economic development and to showcase the myriad of opportunities for business success in the City of Shelbyville and Bedford County.
The concept of clustering occurs when companies prefer to locate around similar industries for logistical and talent purposes. Automotive manufacturing in middle Tennessee reflects the clustering concept. Parts suppliers routinely flank large automotive plants for supply and support.
Employees with the correct skillset also present as one of the top priorities in selecting a new location. The need for a trained population drives all aspects of workforce development. The Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership invests many resources into workforce training from an awareness of its importance to attract new industry and support existing industry.
Shelbyville-Bedford designated the 231 North Business Park as the focal point for attracting new industry and supporting the existing industries with additional land opportunities. The availability of open land, known as greenfields, also weighs heavily into a company’s decision on where to locate. Companies look for open expanses of land conducive to building. Topography, utility availability, soil types, and highways for truck traffic play an essential role in a company’s final location selection. Communities looking for recruitment success must focus on remaining competitive with peer locations. Shelbyville and Bedford compete with other counties and municipalities for landing new business and industry.
Companies may hire a site selector to aid them in the process of choosing a new location. Once hired, a site selector may then assist the company in compiling information and selecting communities to review. In the next step, the site selector will contact the community directly or through an intermediary. For example, some site selectors contact the state of Tennessee directly for assistance in communicating with the local community. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development routinely facilitates communications between site selection and local economic development organizations representing the local communities.
If the community’s profile fulfills the company’s needs, the site selector and company may physically visit the community. This site visit represents the first in-person contact with the company. The competition between communities for the project begins at this visit! -GN