“The ability to highlight the strengths and connections of both the Clarksville MSA and the Nashville MSA, and their connection to each other, is very exciting. There is a very unique and strong association that we must understand so we can adequately relay and share with potential investors in both markets. This research will help strengthen our recruitment of business and industry, as well as improve our marketing of the region,” said Cal Wray, Executive Director of the Clarksville-Montgomery County EDC.
The research, to be completed by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Research Center, will take place over the next 13 months and will intensely analyze the impact of the Nashville and Clarksville regions on each other. The Research Center will focus on the concept of functional joined metros and how they contribute to the social and economic growth of the regions they represent. The proposed project will introduce a new way to understand the relationship of Clarksville-Montgomery County and Nashville as one dynamic, unified market for industrial and economic recruitment.
This $100,000 research project will be funded equally by four entities. Those entities being the Nashville Chamber of Commerce Research Center, Aspire Clarksville Foundation, City of Clarksville, and Montgomery County Government.
Kim McMillan, Mayor of the City of Clarksville said, “As members of the Middle Tennessee Mayor's Caucus, Mayor Bowers and I had been involved in the original research conducted by the Research Center which focused on the Nashville area MSA and MPO.”
“When that research was unveiled, I approached them about the need to conduct a similar study for the Clarksville MSA and MPO. As we discussed the possibilities, it became clear that a study focusing on the relationship between Clarksville and Nashville will provide vital information as our communities continue toward unprecedented opportunities in growth and population. The Aspire and EDC leadership immediately saw the potential this research can provide. This is a true team effort and I'm looking forward to the process and results,” McMillan said.
The Research Center will be the catalyst behind the project and will bridge a variety of public and private data that will help to solidify the relationship of the two markets. This opportunity will finally include the Nashville MSA and Clarksville MSA in market research where the two regions closely affect each other. The final research will only prove to strengthen middle Tennessee and impact the two cities ability to recruit large targeted projects.
“The research on the Clarksville MSA offers a new and innovative look at the importance of ClarksvilleMontgomery County as the center of a metropolitan region. The unique relationship of two adjacent metropolitan areas, Clarksville and Nashville, provides the setting for an exciting new direction in research that addresses the strengths and dynamics at work throughout both. Relatively uncommon are two successful and rapidly growing metro areas adjacent and complementary in so many ways as are these two,” said Garrett Harper, Vice President, Research and Information, The Research Center, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Currently, the U.S. Census Bureau defines the Clarksville MSA as an area consisting of four counties, two (Montgomery and Stewart) in Tennessee and two (Christian and Trigg) in Kentucky, anchored by the city of Clarksville. The Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin MSA is the 36th largest MSA in the U.S. and is the largest metropolitan area in the state of Tennessee. The joining of the two regions, to total more than 2 million people, for statistical purposes will be monumental when working in economic recruitment.
“The scope of research will comprise many of the key economic and demographic forces that continue to propel forward both metro areas each with their unique and important attributes. A variety of reports and findings will highlight aspects of the adjacent metro areas and spotlight the major role that the Clarksville MSA plays in the broader region,” Harper said.
The end goal will be to provide factual and beneficial information that will align two distinct governments and their regional supporting agencies.
Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers said, “The results of this research will benefit all Clarksville-Montgomery County by revealing factual data of our community’s growth and economic development. Nashville-Clarksville has proven to be one of the most dynamic and growing areas in the multi-state region.”
“The research project will provide a new way to understand the Nashville-Clarksville dynamic and show strengths and opportunities of the two areas. It will incorporate leading research content that defines overall patterns, issues, changes, challenges and opportunities for the area,” said Bowers
The potential results from the research are multiple, varied and far reaching. The research will provide a foundation for a new vision for the future and planning for Clarksville-Montgomery County. It will also foster regional prosperity and create a fresh start for understanding the course of action for the economic development of the Middle Tennessee region.