Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council hosts Nashville Chamber of Commerce at Fort Campbell
On Thursday October 31st the Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council (EDC) hosted members of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce for an informative “Soldier for a day” experience at Fort Campbell.
The visit focused on the immense economic impact that Fort Campbell has on middle Tennessee and the greater Nashville region; the high-level technologies and skills soldiers learn & utilize during their time at Fort Campbell that make them great leaders and a valuable asset to the workforce; as well as the many out-processing resources and training opportunities available to soldiers as they shift to civilian life.
By now you’ve most likely heard Clarksville was named the number 1 “Best Place to Live in America” for 2019 according to Money.com (Money).
Let’s just start by saying this: the list of The Best Places to Live, is a prestigious one, in fact, it’s one that has been around for over 30 years, and that says quite a bit in and of itself. Money publishes its Best Places to Live in America list yearly and uses “economic health, cost of living, ethnic and economic diversity, public education, income, health and safety, ease of living, and amenities metrics”. All provided by research partner Wilytic according to Money.com.
For some, being named number one comes as no surprise, while others may want to know just what was considered when Money determined its ranking – according to Money.com they put the greatest weight on economic factors: housing, health and safety, diversity and cost of living.
Clarksville-Montgomery County is in the middle of an economic boom like never before, bringing exceptional success stories right along with it. In the past few years we have welcomed Hankook, Google and LG to the neighborhood; began the much asked for commercial development along Madison Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, and both residential and commercial growth in the Exit 1 area is like no one 20 years ago could have ever predicted.
In case you haven’t heard, we’re young, very young. According to a recent study by SmartAsset.com analyzing where millennials (people between 20 and 34) are moving, Clarksville ranks ninth in the nation. Clarksville is also the only Tennessee representative in the top 10. Of the total 9,740 millennials who moved into Clarksville-Montgomery County in 2017, most of them – 7,773 people – came from outside of Tennessee.
Wow, what a year! The Clarksville-Montgomery County EDC has seen big changes since July 2018. Our organization saw the hiring of a CEO as well as a few other leadership changes as the long-time Executive Director of the Industrial Development Board, Mike Evans, retired and Frank Tate stepped in. Some people took on new positions within the walls of the EDC and even with a year of transition, we have seen record-breaking numbers in our community. Much of that is directly related to the hard work of the employees who have dedicated themselves to the mission of the Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Development Board and Convention and Visitors Bureau.
What if I told you right now, we plan to bring in a new company that will continually add $26.9 million into our local payroll every single month?
Here we sit in one of the most ideal situations we could hope for when it comes to the advancement of Clarksville - Montgomery County. One of the main entrances to our Downtown is now for sale and ready to transform an area of town that needs a serious facelift.
It is being proposed that our community gain an amazing, revenue-inducing destination, that the Economic Development Council can promote to potential community investors, with minimum to no burden on the existing property tax rate.
Good Afternoon All,
Thanks to the generous investments by Aspire, the Chamber of Commerce led a very informative and valuable trip to Bowling Green, Kentucky on Wednesday, April 22nd and Thursday, April 23th.
A group of 25+ community leaders representing the Aspire Clarksville Foundation, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Clarksville, Economic Development Council, Montgomery County, and local businesses spent the two days looking at Bowling Green and Warren County’s revitalization efforts that were highlighted in a New York Times article from August 2014.
The visit included discussions and tours with the following:
• Western Kentucky University (21,000 students): Dr. Gary Ransdell, President of Western Kentucky
• Riverwalk and Greenways: Mitch McConnell Park
• Hot Rods Stadium and Downtown Bowling Green: Doug Gorman, Chairman, Warren County Downtown Economic Development Authority
• TIF District Discussions: Mike Buchanon (Warren County Judge-Executive), Bruce Wilkerson (Mayor of Bowling Green), Ron Bunch (President and CEO, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce), Tonya Matthews (Vice President, Partnership Services, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce), Amy Milliken (Warren County Attorney)
• SKyPAC Tour
Since 2008, the TIF District has seen over $250 Million of new Capital Investment stretching from Western Kentucky University to their Medical District with focused development being pushed out from both ends of the district and to date has generate $4.9 million in revenue back to the community to use for new projects in the area.
Here are some links if you want some light reading:
Creation ordinance: http://www2.bgky.org/assets/files/CuwT9jbY.pdf
Kentucky TIF details: http://www.freedomkentucky.org/index.php?title=Tax_Increment_Financing
The trip highlighted how Bowling Green and Warren County were able to begin their efforts, create the partnerships necessary to make the effort work, pitfalls they encountered, public outcry and support they were forced to handle, and their overall vision for the future. The program has been an overwhelming success, won national and international awards, and has changed the landscape of downtown and the perception of the community.
While their community is only 120,000 in Warren County and 60,000 in Bowling Green (included in the county population number) they have managed to do some amazing work.
The Intercity visits have been designed to look at similar communities and hopefully spur ideas that can make our community a better place.
I was pleased to hear many good conversations, see great idea exchange, and see leaders from our important entities openly discussing how we can improve our community but projects, teamwork, and hard work.
As I have done in the past I will try to show you how these items relate to our strategic blueprint.
From the Blueprint:
Strategy: Launch an internal education campaign highlighting success stories for Clarksville
Action: Seeing first-hand how other communities address issues and promote themselves is a valuable experience that can spark change at home. Continue to organize leadership tours of best practice communities. Make sure that these Intercity visits are accessible to future leaders as well.
And many thanks for leading a great visit to our Chamber staff and volunteers:
- Melinda Shepard, Executive Director
- Katie Gambill, Chairman
- Lacey Groves, Events Coordinator
Thank you all for your investment in our community and your input as we continually strive to improve our community, Aspire, and your opportunities within our community.
Please see the link to the podcast from last night’s listening session.
Over 1,900 in attendance
More than 1,400 watched the live webcast
And over 2,500 turned away at the gate.
Great community turnout and support.
Please note it is over 5 hours long and may take some time to download.
Good Morning All,
Just wanted to give you a quick update on our Joint Metro Research (JMR) project with the Nashville Chamber.
Yesterday, October 7th, the 2014 Vital Signs publication from the Nashville Chamber was released and for the first time the Clarksville Metro Area was included thanks to your support of the JMR project.
Hopefully, you will see a lot more data in the coming year around the JMR project but this was the first goal and deliverable with the Vital Signs document.
Please find the Vital Signs document attached and I hope to have a hard copy as released for you at our October 30th board meeting.
As to funding, Aspire front loaded the $75,000 payment for this endeavor. The City and County at the time had to get it approved in their budgets after payment was due.
Fortunately, it survived in both budgets and Aspire received the first $25,000 payment from Montgomery County yesterday and expect a $25,000 payment from the City of Clarksville shortly.
The EDC signed the contract and will be able to distribute the data as needed to all relevant entities.
Thank you all again for your support of this project both in financial support and getting the project through the first goal.
Please click the link below for a “Geography of Jobs” (developed by TIP Strategies). This model shows a visualization of job gains and losses over the last 15+ years for every metro area in the U.S.. The number of job gains (blue) and job losses (red) are illustrated by the size and color of each metro’s “bubble”.
By clicking the “play” button, you will see the comparisons unfold dramatically. This visual reveals the domino effect that regional events and national economic factors play in job growth. For example, you can see Hurricane Katrina’s effect in the Southeast, the decline of Detroit, and the Recession years of ’08-early’10. Now you are beginning to see the growth of our economy in the most recent numbers.
Regarding our metro specifically, you will see that we have been very consistent with our growth. We haven’t had huge spikes in growth but also not huge losses. Please take a critical look at your convenience. If you scroll over each bubble it tells you by month the gain and drop for a particular Metro Area. As you will see, our community has done an excellent job over the last 15 years and I believe that the EDC, its member entities, and Aspire investors like you played a crucial role in this.
However, we still have much more to do to continue our growth and endeavors.
Please enjoy and as always your feedback is appreciated.
Good Afternoon All,
As you have seen reported the last few weeks, the Army is conducting a Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) of all installations as they determine the locations for a troop reduction of 40,000 soldiers.
The City of Clarksville and Montgomery County have sent out the request for citizens to express concern and provide support letters to attempt to limit the impact to our community as best as we can. You will find a link below to make it as easy as possible for you to send a letter to help our efforts.
Let me share some numbers on the worst case scenario if Fort Campbell is targeted and loses up to 16,000 soldiers as is being modeled and reviewed by the Department of the Army for all installations (These figures come directly from the Army’s assessment):
Current Status of Fort Campbell Army Post:
• 32,281 Active Personnel
• 39,427 Active component soldiers, army civilians, and contractors
• Installation Resident Population:
o 15,087 soldiers
o 12,069 family members
o 27,156 individuals that reside on post
• 43,294 reside off-post
• Total population impact of Fort Campbell Army Post: 70,450
• 2nd Largest Post in the Army
• Annual $4.0+ Billion Economic Impact
SPEA Modeling for Troop Reductions:
• Reduction of up to 16,000 soldiers:
o 15,221 Permanent party soldiers
o 779 army civilians
• Average Salaries:
o Soldiers: $46,760
o Civilians: $57,523
• Total Army Employees and Family members that could be displaced:
o 16,000 soldiers
o 8,928 spouses
o 15,360 children
• 1,000s of students displaced from the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS)
• Extreme devastation on our Residential Housing and Rental Markets
• Hospitals, Police, and Fire would be dramatically Affected
In my opinion, the worst case scenario could change the community for the next 20 years.
I have also attached a copy of the SPEA issued by the Army that the community is currently working to respond by the August 25th deadline.
This is a 970 page document but the pertinent information on Fort Campbell is located on pages 251-271.
Additionally, below is a rough timeline of reductions by the Army and potential future reductions if sequestration continues:
Army Drawdown Schedule:
• 2011: Army at 580,000 soldiers
• Currently: Army at 515,000 soldiers
• October 2014: Army at 510,000 soldiers
• End of 2015: Army at 490,000 soldiers
• End of 2017: Army at 450,000 soldiers
• 2018-19: Army at 420,000 soldiers (if sequestration takes place in 2016)
• 2020: Army at 390,000 soldiers (if sequestration continues)
Some argue that the Army needs a minimum of 490,000 soldiers to maintain a medium risk level.
We will be at 450,000 soldiers by the cuts already handed down to the Army.
As you can see there are all types of risks associated and tough decisions that must be made concerning the Army and our national defense.
Here are a few things that you can do NOW:
• Find the Link below and send a letter to our Legislative Delegation through Montgomery County and the City of Clarksville
• Share this with your friends, neighbors, decision makers, employees, and anyone that has a desire to protect Fort Campbell
• Be prepared to fight for our soldiers and our installation as the review continues and we reach out to you
• Write your own personal letters
U.S. Army Environmental Command
ATTN: SPEA Public Comments
2450 Connell Road (Building 2264)
Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-7664
• Ask others to write letters
U.S. Army Environmental Command
ATTN: SPEA Public Comments
2450 Connell Road (Building 2264)
Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-7664
• Get involved
As Aspire Investors, you are committed to our endeavors, those of the Chamber, Industrial Development Board, Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Clarksville, and Montgomery County. I urge you to take this serious, to pick up your phone, pens, keyboards, and be present at any public hearings for Fort Campbell. This issue has a potential far reaching and an extremely negative impact on the future of our community, our efforts, and your businesses.
I know you will all be valued partners in the community’s efforts on this issue.
I have also included the email from the Chamber of Commerce, City of Clarksville, and Montgomery County for you all to view below:
The City of Clarksville and Montgomery County Government asks for the
public’s help in voicing concern about the potential drawdown of
Ft. Campbell personnel through the 2016 sequestration.
Click here and sign the support letter provided
on Montgomery County's homepage.
Upon signing and submitting the online letter,
it will be automatically sent to the following Tennessee Congressmen:
• Phil Roe
• Jimmy Duncan
• Chuck Fleischmann
• Scott DesJarlais
• Jim Cooper
• Diane Black
• Marsha Blackburn
• Stephen Fincher
• Steve Cohen
Our voices must be heard to keep the cuts to
Ft. Campbell minimal.
Please spread the word…the more letters receive of support, the better!
Comments on the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment and/or Draft Finding of No Significant Impact for Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment are requested to be submitted to U.S. Army Environmental Command, ATTN: SPEA Public Comments, 2450 Connell Road (Building 2264), Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-7664 or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Inquiries may also be made via phone by calling 210-466-1590 or toll-free 855-846-3940.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Black, Montgomery County Communications Director, at 931-648-8482 or Jennifer Rawls, City of Clarksville Communications Director at 931-648-6128.
Good Afternoon All,
As promised, I want to update you on another endeavor funded by the Aspire Foundation.
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Red Carpet Tour is designed to bring Site Location Consultants, Company Executives, and Economic Development Partners to our community to share our assets, industrial sites and buildings, quality of life, and workforce with key national and international decision makers and influencers.
Economic Development Team:
Didi Caldwell Global Location Strategies
Jay Garner Garner Economics
Lucas Hankins KPMG
Mike Michalski MCS Strategies
Alexandra Segers SSOE
Kimberly Williams McCallum Sweeney
Company Executive Northeast United States Area
Local and Regional Partners:
Mayor Carolyn Bowers Montgomery County
Phil Harpel Montgomery County
Wally Crow Industrial Development Board
Dick Batson Industrial Development Board
Joyce Norris Industrial Development Board
Charlie Foust Aspire Foundation Board
Tommy Bates Aspire Foundation Board
Pat Finney Hemlock Semiconductor, LLC
John Watz Workforce Essentials
John Bradley TVA
Heidi Smith TVA
Brad Maul TVA
Bob Helton RJ Corman
Chase Armstrong RJ Corman
Allen Borden TN Dept. of Economic & Community Development
Reggie Mudd TN Dept. of Economic & Community Development
Jamari Brown TN Dept. of Economic & Community Development
Jamie Stitt TN Dept. of Economic & Community Development
Chassen Haynes TN Dept. of Economic & Community Development
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 – Wednesday, June 4, 2014
To further the recruitment of Industrial Prospects by showing companies and site locators first-hand the assets that Clarksville and Montgomery County can offer to industries looking for locations and expansions.
1. 6 Site Location Professionals in Montgomery County
2. 1 Company with potential investment visiting the community
3. IDB Sites and buildings being toured
4. Expected Ability to make proposals to 2 current projects being worked by the consultants.
5. Excellent exposure to some of the nation’s premiere site location firms.
Because of your investments into the Aspire Foundation, important initiatives like the Red Carpet Tour are able to be executed in a quality manner that directly impacts the recruitment of industry to our community.
Below is the itinerary that the Aspire Foundation was able to fund and the Industrial Development Team was able to execute:
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Check-in Omni, downtown Nashville
250 Fifth Ave South, 37201
5:30pm CST Meet ED Team in Omni Lobby for departure to Songwriter Reception
6:00pm Songwriter Reception featuring Rivers Rutherford
170 Second Ave North
Regional ED Partners in attendance include TN Department of ECD, TVA, board members & local Foundation Investors
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
8:45am Meet ED Team in Omni Lobby for departure to Clarksville
10:00am Driving Tour of Clarksville-Montgomery County to include:
Corporate Business Park & North Expansion
Austin Peay State University
Liberty Park/Clarksville Marina
11:30am Working Lunch at Economic Development Council Office, Aspire Room
David Smith, DBS Engineering
Wally Crow, Industrial Development Board
Harold Riggins, Fort Campbell ACAP
12:15pm Depart Clarksville for Nashville Omni
Afternoon Free time in Nashville
4:00pm Reception at Omni in Music Row 4 Room
6:00pm Depart Reception for CMT Awards at Bridgestone Area
7:00pm CMT Awards Show
Thursday, June 5, 2014
As you can see we had a great agenda for our guests and were able to show them many items in Montgomery County that are critical as they assess sites and communities for their clients.
I would like to commend Mike Evans and Emily Jones for pulling off the event with excellence from start to finish.
Finally, RJ Corman invested added support by providing our transportation and for helping in our discussions on logistics and their endeavors for making Clarksville a major hub of logistics. Their participation was essential in helping these site locators add data to their matrix on our community.
For Reference in the EDC Strategic Blueprint:
Strategy: Market Clarksville-Montgomery County to targeted audiences across the globe.
Actions: Continue to host your own site consultant and business influencer events in Clarksville-Montgomery County,
building the itinerary around major cultural or sports events in the region (e.g., the County Music Awards event in 2013).
As always please feel free to give any feedback or let me know if you have any questions.