Rutherford County tennessee

Getting to Work
County builds durable manufacturing sector

Booster Shot

Tourism industry delivers major economic impact

Still Growing Strong

Rutherford County sets a fast pace for job growth, investment
Sponsored by the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce | 2013

Rutherford County
201 3 Edition , volume 27 Director of content Bill McMeekin Project manager Emily McMackin Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Content Coordinator Jessica Walker Boehm Staff Writer Kevin Litwin Contributing writers John Fuller, Joe Morris, Amanda Moorhead, Stephanie Vozza, Gary Wollenhaupt Senior Graphic Designers Stacey Allis, Laura Gallagher, Kris Sexton, Jake Shores, Vikki Williams Graphic Designers Kara Leiby, Kacey Passmore, Matt West Senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers Michael Conti color imaging technician alison hunter Integrated Media Manager Steve Murillo, Elle Stewart Ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan Chairman Greg Thurman President/Publisher Bob Schwartzman Executive Vice President Ray Langen Senior V.P./Sales Todd Potter Senior V.P./Operations Casey Hester Senior V.P./Client Development Jeff Heefner Senior V.P./Agribusiness Publishing kim holmberg V.P./business Development Clay Perry V.P./external communications Teree Caruthers V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.P./Content Operations Natasha Lorens V.P./travel publishing susan chappell V.P./Sales Rhonda Graham, Herb Harper, Jarek Swekosky Controller Chris Dudley Senior Accountant Lisa Owens Accounts Payable Coordinator Maria McFarland Accounts Receivable Coordinator Diana Guzman Sales Support Coordinator Christina Morgan Sales Support project manager sara quint it director Daniel cantrell Web Creative Director Allison Davis Web Content Manager John Hood Web Designer II richard stevens Web Development Lead Yamel Hall Web Developer I Nels noseworthy Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Creative Services Director Christina Carden Creative Technology Analyst Becca ary Audience Development Director Deanna Nelson New Media Assistant Alyssa DiCicco Distribution Director Gary Smith Executive Secretary Kristy Giles Human Resources Manager Peggy Blake Receptionist Linda Bishop

Rutherford County, Tennessee is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by email at

For more information, contact:
Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce 3050 Medical Center Pkwy. • Murfreesboro, TN 37129 Phone: (615) 893-6565 • Fax: (615) 890-7600

Visit Rutherford County, Tennessee online at
©Copyright 2013 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Ste. 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member Member The Association of Magazine Media Custom Content Council

Member Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce


Still Growing Strong
Rutherford County sets a fast pace for job growth and investment

12 16 20 26

Getting to Work
County builds a durable manufacturing sector

Booster Shot
Tourism industry delivers major economic impact

Global Thinking
Middle Tennessee State University preps students for world markets

Overview 7


Almanac 8 Energy/Technology 32 Transportation 36 Health 40 Education 44 Livability 48 Gallery 52 Economic Profile 56



On the Cover Downtown Murfreesboro is a center of commerce, entertainment and unique retail and dining. Photo by Brian Mccord


All or part of this magazine is printed with soy ink on recycled paper containing 10% post-consumer waste.

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RutheRfoRd County tennessee
Getting to Work
County builds durable manufacturing sector

Booster Shot

Tourism industry delivers major economic impact

Find out what it’s like to live in Rutherford County and what makes it such a special place to be.

Still Growing Strong

Rutherford County sets a fast pace for job growth, investment
SponSored By the rutherford County ChamBer of CommerCe | 2013

Read the magazine on your computer, zoom in on articles and link to advertiser websites. site guide >> Find links to listings for available commercial and industrial properties with our searchable database. success breeds success >> Meet the people who set the pace for business innovation. Dig Deeper >> Plug into the community with links to local websites and resources to give you a big picture of the region. Demographics >> A wealth of demographic and statistical information puts Rutherford County at your fingertips.

Where Space Meets Luxury and Location
The space to accommodate a group of 4,400 meets the intimacy of an all-suite luxury hotel at the geographic center of Tennessee.

We spotlight the county’s innovative companies.

See the Video
Our award-winning photographers give you a virtual tour of unique spaces, places and faces.

guide to services >> Find links to a cross section of goods and services special to Rutherford County.

go online

Nashville SE – Murfreesboro 1200 Conference Center Blvd., Murfreesboro, TN 37129 615-890-4464

Our focus each day is to serve the community and build solid relationships with our customers.

• Checking/Savings • Commercial/Consumer Loans • Mortgage Loans • Investments • Free Online and Mobile Banking • Free ATM Withdrawals for Customers • Personal Attention from Hometown Bankers Proudly offering full-service banking to Murfreesboro/ Rutherford County. Come by and see us at 1950 Old Fort Parkway, call us at 615-225-6150 or visit our website at


Rutherford County


Rutherford County, TN: Best of All Worlds
Dynamic economy, superior quality of life drive growth and investment
Rutherford County is on a growth curve, fueled by its highly diverse economy and outstanding quality of life. The county’s 2012 population stood at nearly 274,500, an increase of more than 50 percent since 2000, and it is adding new businesses almost as fast as it’s adding people. Major players, including Saks Fifth Avenue and, have opened large facilities in Rutherford County, joining a roster of top employers that includes Nissan, General Mills, State Farm, Ingram Content Group and Bridgestone. The county, which ranked second in the nation among the 328 largest counties for job growth between Septmber 2011 and September 2012, offers numerous advantages for business expansion and investment, including a favorable tax and cost structure, availability of a highly skilled workforce, and transportation and logistics infrastructure. Leveraging assets such as Motlow State Community College and the Tennessee Technology Center, Rutherford County is on the lead lap in developing a workforce with the skills needed to meet the growing demand for technical jobs in manufacturing and other sectors. Rutherford County is also home to Middle Tennessee State University, the largest public undergraduate campus in the state. In addition, the county offers an outstanding quality of life, with highly regarded schools, a bounty of outdoor recreation opportunities, cultural and historic attractions, major retail and unique entertainment options.

Thanks to a coordinated strategy, Rutherford County’s tourism-related activity delivered a hefty economic windfall that totaled more than $252 million in 2011 alone. As an address for both living and working, Rutherford County can truly deliver the best of all worlds. For more on the advantages of visiting,

living, working and investing in Rutherford County, contact: Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce 3050 Medical Center Pkwy. Murfreesboro, TN 37129 (615) 893-6565 or (800) 716-7560

Rutherford County

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The South’s Historic Side
Rutherford County has a rich historical legacy, with many of its historic sites connected to the Civil War, including the Stones River National Battlefield and Cemetery, Fortress Rosecrans, Oaklands Historic House Museum, the Sam Davis Home and Museum, and the Confederate Circle at Evergreen Cemetery. Stones River is the burial site of more than 6,100 Union soldiers, while the Confederate Circle at Evergreen Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 2,000 Confederate soldiers. Fortress Rosecrans served as an important forward supply base that was used to protect the railroad and supply warehouses. Oaklands Historic House Museum is a mansion that was caught in the crossfire during several Civil War battles. The Sam Davis Home in Smyrna was built in 1810 and was the homestead of a Civil War legend. The restored and preserved home and museum are on a 160-acre site, and the home includes more than 100 original items from the Davis family.

Targeting Success A Hometown Sensation
The 11th season of Fox’s hit television show American Idol had a Rutherford County voice when Colton Dixon appeared as a contestant. Dixon, a Murfreesboro native, worked his way to one of the top 13 contestants. His elimination from the competition came with some controversy because he never ranked as one of the bottom three performers in any of his appearances. Since his last performance on Idol, Dixon has released his debut album, A Messenger, and appeared on several other shows including The Today Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Dixon now draws on his religious faith to perform as a member of the Christian rock band Messenger. Find more information at

Founded in 1982, Barrett Firearms celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012. Barrett is a large-caliber rifle designer and manufacturer based in Murfreesboro. The company revolutionized the world of long-distance target shooting with the development of its M82A1 .50 BMG rifle, a weapon that has been used to engage targets at more than 1.5 miles. Barrett’s heavyduty rifle is a unique tool used by the military, law enforcement and seasoned sport shooters around the world. Barrett has supplied its signature rifles to more than 73 countries around the globe, all of which are approved by the U.S. State Department to receive such armaments. Learn more at .


Rutherford County

A Gateway to Enterprise
Positioned off Interstate 24, Murfreesboro’s 400-acre Gateway development ( offers a wide range of amenities including 500,000 square feet of office space, proximity to an 18-hole golf course and use of the city’s greenway trail system. Gateway’s location is minutes from downtown Murfreesboro and Middle Tennessee State University, and downtown Nashville and the Nashville International Airport are only 30 miles away. The Gateway complex also includes Middle Tennessee Medical Center and health-care and medical-related offices.

Putting out the Welcome Mat
Opened in December 2010, the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center is a 33,000-square-foot facility that features offices for the Chamber, state-of-the-art conference rooms and a gift shop. The Visitors Center on the first floor is designed to aid area visitors with maps, brochures and kiosks that detail nearby attractions, and interactive touch-screen directories for nearby lodging, dining and points of interest. A signature feature of the center is a timeline that details Civil War battles and key events that took place in Rutherford County. The gift shop offers an array of keepsakes that relate to Rutherford County and are made by local vendors. The center also houses offices for Chamber affiliates including the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau and a Tennessee Small Business Development Center. See more at

the Little Theatre’s Big Legacy
In fall 2012, the Murfreesboro Little Theatre celebrated its 50th anniversary. The theater was founded in 1962 by Margaret “Dumpy” Waller, Jim and Polly Ridley, Nan and Hal Christiansen, and Bren and B.J. Huggins. The theater celebrated its golden anniversary by staging the Anniversary Waltz, the same production from its debut 50 years earlier. For the 2012 season, the theater reran productions from previous seasons that were chosen by the community. Productions included Crimes of the Heart, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and My Fair Lady. Go to to learn more.

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Rutherford County

Getting Down in Downtown
Murfreesboro has a vibrant downtown featuring a number of activities and events. JazzFest is a free event where attendees can eat, drink and mingle while listening to contemporary live jazz. Friday Night Live is a free concert series on the historic public square. Saturday Main Street Market, a weekly open-air market open from June through October on the west side of the courthouse, sells fresh fruits, vegetables, breads and flowers, most from local farms and growers. Free horse-drawn carriage tours are offered on Fridays during the Christmas season, while Trick-or-Treating on the Square is a Halloween tradition that brings the community together for candy hunting. To find more downtown Murfreesboro events and happenings, visit

A Community of Support
Headquartered in La Vergne, the Tennessee Farmer's Cooperative is a farm supply network that partners with 57 other member-owned cooperatives across Tennessee. Each of these co-ops acts as an independent business entity owned by the farmer members of their home counties. This network operates nearly 150 cooperative retail outlets in 83 of the state’s 95 counties. Cumulatively, these co-ops serve an estimated customer base of more than 500,000 people. Since its founding in 1945, Tennessee Farmer's Cooperative has served the state’s farmers by providing members access to its purchasing power advantage and its extensive distribution framework. Visit for more information.

One Big resource
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center, housed in the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce building, is part of a network across the state that includes 20 other TSBDCs, five satellite locations and one affiliate office. The Rutherford County center provides small business owners and entrepreneurs with advice and resources to help their ventures succeed – and most of the services are free. The centers have helped counsel more than 80,000 businesses in areas like accounting and international trade. For more, go to

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Business Climate

Clockwise from top: Downtown Murfreesboro is home to the National HealthCare Corp.’s headquarters.; Nissan in fall 2012 announced it would added more than 800 jobs at the company’s Smyrna facility; Saks Inc. picked La Vergne for a new distribution operation.


Rutherford County

Still Growing Strong
Rutherford County sets a fast pace for creating jobs, attracting investment and promoting expansion
Story by Stephanie Vozza • Photography by Jeffrey S. Otto and Wendy Jo O’Barr

utherford County is the geographical center of Tennessee, and it’s also in the center of the nation’s job creation and growth activities. The county’s diverse, dynamic and expanding economy is attracting new investment as well as spurring expansion at several existing businesses. And all of this adds up to hiring opportunities. The county ranked second in the nation among the 328 largest counties for job growth between September 2011 and September 2012. While average job growth among the nation’s largest counties was 1.6 percent between March 2011 and March 2012, Rutherford County’s job growth rate increased 6.8 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages study. “We have a great community that supports growth and has mapped out a plan to continue the positive probusiness partnership with developers and our local governments,” says Brian Hercules, vice president of economic development for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. “The people of our community are very caring with a strong work ethic.”


Atmosphere for Expansion Existing industry expansion has been a driving force behind new job additions in the county. In 2012, Rutherford County’s economic development efforts resulted in the creation of nearly 5,300 new jobs, and a large portion of that total was at existing companies in the county, says Chassen M. Haynes, director of existing industry and special projects for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve also had capital investment of $630 million,” he says. “These numbers came from 24 companies, 19 of which were existing business expansions.” One of those expanding companies was Nissan, which has a major manufacturing operation in Smyrna. In fall 2012, Nissan announced it was adding a third shift and more than 800 jobs at the Smyrna facility. Attracting New Businesses New companies having an impact include online giant, which opened a fulfillment center in Murfreesboro in fall 2012, and retailer Saks Inc. opened a distribution facility in La Vergne around the same time. Hercules says the success in creating

Rutherford County Key Facts
• Population (2012): 274,454 • Change since 2000: 50.1% • Median age: 31.3 • Households: 96,232 • Average household income: $61,212 • Median household income: $54,433 • Per capita income: $24,879

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Above left: An worker fulfills orders at Saks’ La Vergne facility, which covers 564,000 square feet and employs about 250 people. Above right: The Avenue Murfreesboro® is home to stores, restaurants and specialty shops, including the ONU Aveda Salon.

new jobs is owed in part to a skilled labor force and shovelready sites. “We have the upper hand in many relocations because so many of our sites already have utilities and infrastructure in place, so projects can move along quicker,” Hercules says. “The more competitive we can be, the more likely we are to win projects. It is how Murfreesboro landed Amazon and La Vergne landed Saks. We were prepared. We’re also fortunate to live in a very low tax impact area, and we have a number of incentive tools in our belt we can use to make the deal enticing.”
The Place to Live The county is home to Middle Tennessee State University, the largest public undergraduate campus in the state. In addition, Rutherford County offers an outstanding quality of life with high-quality parks systems, greenways and outdoor recreation options, superior K-12 schools, and two major hospital systems. Its communities offer a bounty of entertainment options and unique retail as well as destination shopping attractions. The Avenue Murfreesboro®, an open-air, pedestrian-friendly shopping

center, opened in 2007 and continues to grow with new retailers, restaurants and other attractions opening each year. Our shoppers have requested more local stores and casual restaurants, and we are excited to see these types of businesses expanding in the community and choosing The Avenue,” says Lindy Mullen, marketing manager. Recent arrivals include Bar Louie, ONU Aveda Salon and The Cookie Store. Stones River Mall recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. To remain in line with the aggressive retail growth in the area, Stones River experienced a massive two-phase redevelopment and expansion, which began in 2005. Along with a complete interior makeover, improvements included the addition of several regional and national tenants. “The redevelopment not only keeps the mall relevant to its shopper base, but it has promoted growth and helped support positive economic indicators for which Rutherford County is known,” says Melinda Hudgins Noblitt, manager for Stones River Mall. “We’re very fortunate to be part of such a thriving retail landscape.”


Rutherford County

Food for Thought
Rutherford County entrepreneurs find inviting business climate
As the Shop Local movement gains more traction, three homegrown businesses in Rutherford County are finding success with their products. Marcy Jams! was created by Marcy Beavers in 2010. The Lascassas resident heard that a farmers market was going to start on the square in Murfreesboro, and she and her mother thought it would be fun to get a booth and sell produce from her mother’s garden. Beavers’ contribution would be fresh strawberry jam. Forty jars sold within a few hours and Beavers decided to add pepper jelly the following week. “That’s when things started to get crazy,” Beavers says. “People really seemed to like the pepper jelly. I couldn’t make enough of it to meet demand.” Today, Marcy Jams! is available online as well as in eight retail locations. The company offers close to 50 flavors and has sold approximately 10,000 jars of jelly. “I have really been delighted with the cooperative spirit of so many of the other local businesses in Murfreesboro,” Beavers says. “We all like nothing better than to see each other succeed and keep that success local to Rutherford County.” When the patients of Murfreesboro dentist Dr. Nate Schott started asking for oral health products that didn’t include harmful additives, Schott was surprised he couldn’t find a viable solution on the market. That’s when he invented one. Dr. Nate’s Naturals Toothpaste launched in 2006 and is made from natural, organic, nontoxic ingredients. In 2011, those same concerns for additive-free products led him to add an all-natural lip therapy balm to his product line. Products are available on the Dr. Nate website, in local stores, on and in Schott’s office, Murfreesboro Dental Excellence. Murfreesboro’s Just Love Coffee has been roasting a variety of Fair Trade, organic and shade-grown coffee beans since 2009. Long-time friends Rob Webb and Jason Smith worked together to expand the menu and grow the company. Just a few months later, the pair outgrew their first space and moved to its current roasting facility, which is also company headquarters and a local coffee shop hangout. More than 20 different coffees are offered and enjoyed by loyal patrons. – Stephanie Vozza


Rutherford County

J e ffr e y S . o t t o

Getting to Work
Rutherford County builds durable manufacturing sector
Story by Joe Morris

hen you’ve got it, flaunt it. Rutherford County’s definitely got it, and business and industry throughout Middle Tennessee and beyond are paying attention. The county continues to cultivate an increasingly diverse business base, as well as draw new corporate citizens at a steady clip. Its business-friendly environment includes low tax rates, solid infrastructure, a well-educated workforce and a location that combines easily accessible rail, road, and air modes of travel.
Keep On Growing These are just a few of the reasons that Rutherford County has weathered the recent economic downturn well, and continues to post strong growth numbers, says Brian Hercules, vice president of economic development for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. “Our community has a strong renewable workforce pool thanks to two high-quality public


education systems, Rutherford County Schools and Murfreesboro City Schools,” Hercules says. “In addition, Middle Tennessee State University, which is Tennessee’s largest undergraduate university, is located in Rutherford County along with Motlow State Community College and a Tennessee Technology Center.” Rutherford County has seen a string of recent high-profile expansions: • A new fulfillment center for in Murfreesboro has generated more than 1,100 jobs. • A 564,000-square-foot distribution center opened by retailer Saks Fifth Avenue in La Vergne created more than 300 jobs. • Nissan’s Smyrna manufacturing plant has started production of the all-electric LEAF and the batteries to power it, adding to the several Nissan models, including the Altima, Maxima and Pathfinder, and Infiniti JX, that are made there. The

F r a n k Or d o n e z

Photo Courtesy of Nis san

Clockwise from top: Nissan now produces the electric LEAF vehicles and batteries at its massive assembly operations in Smyrna; General Mills’ Murfreesboro facility recently added 80 jobs; Saks Fifth Avenue’s La Vergne distribution center created 250 jobs.
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top 10 Employers

Nissan North America

Rutherford County Government

Middle Tennessee State University

National Healthcare Corp.

Above: General Mills recently completed a $132 million expansion of its production facilities in Murfreesboro, where Yoplait products are created.

State Farm Insurance Cos.

Ingram Content Group

Alvin C. York Veterans Administration Medical Center


automaker announced in fall 2012 plans to add a third shift and 800 jobs in Smyrna on top of 1,200 created since 2011. • A $132 million expansion by General Mills at its Murfreesboro facility added 80 jobs to its payroll. “Rutherford County has been good for us in terms of proximity to our customer base, and our workforce is one of the highest quality groups within General Mills,” says Pat Murphy, plant manager. “We also benefit from the business-friendly environment within the county and the state.”
Manufacturing: Built to Last Rutherford County has made a strong manufacturing sector a linchpin of its economic development strategy. David Penn, director of MTSU’s Business & Economic Research Center, says manufacturing generated 19,200 jobs and $1.2 billion in payroll in Rutherford County, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2011. “This means that 30 percent of all payroll earned in the county and 20 percent of wage and salary employment in 2011 was directly attributable to manufacturing,”


Middle Tennessee Medical Center Source: Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce

Penn says. “In fact, of the 300 largest employing counties in the United States, Rutherford County ranks seventh highest in terms of the proportion of all payroll, total, public and private, generated by manufacturing.” The Great Recession disrupted the manufacturing industry in Rutherford County as it did in virtually every other county in the United States, Penn points out, but adds that manufacturing jobs in the county have increased as the economy has recovered, with jobs growing by 12.6 percent over the past three years, starting with the first quarter of 2009. Because transportation equipment manufacturing, including automotive assembly, is the largest component of this sector in the country, the big challenge going forward will be to ensure a steady pipeline of workers that can handle the increasingly complex computerized machinery on the assembly lines, he says. That shouldn’t be a problem, Hercules says. “Our community has actively engaged business, industry, education and nonprofit groups in developing workforce pipelines to meet our labor needs,” he says.


Rutherford County

W e n dy J o O ’ B a rr

Saks Fifth Avenue’s 564,000-squarefoot distribution facility in La Vergne handles online orders for the retailer.

J e ffr e y S . OTTO

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Rutherford County

Booster Shot
Thriving tourism sector delivers big economic impact
Story by Jessica Walker Boehm Photography by Wendy Jo O’Barr and Frank Ordonez

utherford County is attracting visitors for both business and pleasure in increasing numbers, creating an economic impact that shows no signs of slowing. In 2011, tourism-related spending in Rutherford County totaled $252.8 million, an increase of $24.3 million over the prior year. Compare these numbers with 2001’s total of just above $140 million and it’s easy to see that the area’s tourism and hospitality industry has come a long way. In addition to benefiting from the increased amenities and employment opportunities that local tourism efforts bring, the county’s residents pay approximately $200 less in taxes thanks to the money the hospitality industry generates. Rutherford County has been steadily reaping the rewards of the Gateway development that began in 1998 when the city of Murfreesboro
Left: The Avenue Murfreesboro® includes more than 100 shops and dining spots. Right: The Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel & Conference Center is adjacent to the Avenue and has 238 two-room suites.


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P h o t o C o u rt e s y o f M T At h l e t i c C o mm u n i cat i o n s

invested $12.7 million for 358 acres near Interstate 24. Today that area is home to the Oaks Shopping Center, as well as the Murfreesboro Gateway, a mixeduse development that includes not only Middle Tennessee Medical Center, corporate offices and other businesses, but also a collection of retailers and restaurants that draw thousands of visitors each year.
Conference Center delivers Open since 2008, the Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel &

Conference Center has 238 tworoom suites and provides more than 43,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. “Since opening, the hotel has attracted a significant amount of new business to the area,” says Becky Vealey, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. Nicky Reynolds, vice president of the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau, says the county was not able to compete for large-scale functions because it lacked a meeting space that could accommodate more

than 300 people. The opening of the Embassy Suites in 2008 has helped draw those larger corporate conventions, conferences and social events that bring in outside money. “These events bring a huge influx of visitors to the area for multiple days, which creates a significant economic impact,” Reynolds says. The facility’s convenient location also makes it appealing to visitors. It’s directly off Interstate 24 and adjacent to the Avenue Murfreesboro®, an open-air


Rutherford County

Clockwise from top left: Middle Tennessee State University’s Charles M. Murphy Athletic Center hosts numerous events, including MTSU basketball games; Part of the Gateway development in Murfreesboro, The Gateway Village includes residential living; Downtown Murfreesboro, a growing center of commerce, is home to local shops such as Trendy Pieces and Bella’s Boutique; The Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel & Conference Center, open since 2008, can accommodate large conventions and conferences, as it has more than 43,000 square feet of conference space.

shopping center with more than 100 retailers and restaurants. Overall, the county offers nearly 3,900 hotel rooms and 300 restaurants. Its visitor appeal is enhanced by major historic attractions connected to the Civil War, such as the Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, and a slew of signature annual festivals, including Uncle Dave Macon Days, Old Timers’ Festival and the Murfreesboro JazzFest that celebrate the area’s diverse musical heritage.

Attracting Sporting Events Rutherford County is also drawing sports fans – particularly those who enjoy youth soccer. The Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro and soccer venues located in Smyrna lure many state, regional and national soccer events to the county. In 2011, Rutherford County hosted the U.S. Youth Soccer Region III (Southern Regionals) Tournament, which brought in approximately $8 million generated by more than 10,000 players, coaches, tournament

officials and spectators. Aside from soccer, other youth sporting events that have taken place recently include tennis tournaments, fast-pitch softball tournaments, equestrian events and youth baseball championships. Middle Tennessee State University’s sports teams also draw fans to the area. The school is home to facilities such as the Charles M. Murphy Athletic Center, where men’s and women’s basketball games are held, as well as the Granville “Buck” Bouldin Tennis Center, Reese Smith

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Middle Tennessee Christian School Training for Eternity
CoMprehenSiVe • Grades PreK-12 • Middle school and varsity athletics • Fine arts program • College preparatory curriculum • Accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Southern Association of Independent Schools, National Christian School Association and Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association ChriST-CenTered • Christian faculty and staff • Integration of Biblical principles in all areas of school • Weekly chapel • Daily devotional and prayer College prep • Advanced placement and college dual credit courses • $3.2 million in academic, athletic and leadership scholarships awarded to Class of 2012; a class of 51 students • Average ACT scores of the Class of 2012 is 23.9 • 60% of our fourth and fifth graders qualify for the Duke Talent in Progress (TIP) test • Standardized achievement test in grades K-8 average in the top 22% of the nation

Schedule Your Visit:
(615) 893-0601


Rutherford County

Top: The Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel & Conference Center draws new business to the county. Bottom: Rutherford County hosts youth sports events at venues that include the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.

Stadium and Field, and Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium. A new indoor tennis complex is also on the way, spearheaded by MTSU and the city of Murfreesboro, in order to attract more regional and national tournaments.
Expansion Plans A major expansion project was recently completed on Waldron Road in La Vergne that has turned the heavily traveled corridor into a five-lane road between Interstate 24 and Murfreesboro Road. The $13 million project is expected to draw new businesses to the area. “Waldron Road is an attractive gateway into La Vergne and will be a useful tool in bringing in more visitors,” Reynolds says.

by the numbers

Tourism-related spending in 2011

Increase in tourism spending in the county since 2001

Number of hotel rooms in Rutherford County

Savings in local and state taxes for Rutherford County households because of tourism-related spending Source:

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The 250,000-square-foot James E. Walker Library at MTSU includes 350 computer workstations. p h o t o b y br i a n M c C o rd


Rutherford County

Global Position
Middle Tennessee State University preps students for world market

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MTSU’s new Student Union opened in August 2012 and is a central gathering place on the campus. The center includes several restaurants, among them the sit-down eatery, Blue Raider Grill.

Story by Amanda Moorhead • Photography by Brian McCord, Wendy Jo O’Barr and Frank Ordonez

iddle Tennessee State University began with a humble enrollment of just 125 students more than 100 years ago, but thanks to an ever-evolving curricula, that number now exceeds 25,000. As MTSU has grown, it has brought new jobs, new residents and new expertise to Murfreesboro, and a wealth of new programs with an emphasis on global education that ensure the institution and Rutherford County stay competitive. MTSU is emerging as a major player in preparing students for today’s global marketplace. In 2010, the school joined forces with


the Hangzhou Normal University of China, establishing The Confucius Institute at Middle Tennessee State University.
a new world view Guanping Zheng, the program’s director, says the initiative “bears the responsibility of bringing international perspectives to education and promoting diversity that enhances the quality of higher education.” The program provides scholarships and opportunities for U.S. students including a study abroad platform. Enrollees can learn about Chinese culture and language, while also helping to

foster relationships and partnerships between communities in Rutherford County and in the world’s emerging superpower. The program has also become a magnet for Western study-abroad pupils because the classes are held in English. Student Taffy O’Neal spent the 2011-2012 school year as a student in Hangzhou. She says she valued the program for a number of reasons. “I, of course, made many friends – Chinese and international; in fact, I now know at least one representative from about 20 different countries, just


Rutherford County

Above left: MTSU’s Mass Communication Building is home to the new Center for Innovation in Media, which features state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Above right: The new Student Union at MTSU was designed to be an on-campus gathering spot.

from this year,” she says. “That, too, was a great experience that taught me a lot about interaction and communication.” MTSU has formed other ties with its counterparts in China including co-hosting an international conference on the teaching of math and sciences with Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou, which attracted 50 Chinese and 50 American professors. Established in 2011, the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research at MTSU is designed to investigate traditional Chinese herbs and how they can be included in modern pharmaceutical treatments. The ongoing partnership with China Agricultural University in Beijing provides opportunities for both staff and students

to intern at MTSU for anywhere from three to six months.
From the Ground Up Another facet of MTSU’s comprehensive navigation of tomorrow’s job market includes specialized, specific programs and centers, like the Concrete Industry Management program, the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia, the Center for Popular Music, and one of the nation’s foremost technologically leading aerospace programs. The Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative is a two-year program to teach the essentials of the air traffic control business, with an incredible 99 percent hiring rate for graduates. The program

MTSU Facts and Figures
• Founded: 1911 • Enrollment: 25,394 • Academics: Bachelor’s degrees in eight areas: Arts, Business Administration, Fine Arts, Music, Science, Science in Nursing, Social Work, and University Studies. The College of Graduate Studies offers master's degrees in 10 areas, a Specialist in Education degree, a Doctor of Arts degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree. • Employees: 2,205 •

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Rutherford County

has a custom-made air traffic control f light simulator that is unparalleled by any other in the nation. So much growth necessitates new facilities, such as the: Science Building: MTSU broke ground in May 2012 on a 250,000-square-foot science building that will include state-ofthe-art labs, classroom space and research facilities. More than 80 percent of MTSU students will have at least one class in the new building, which will be adjacent to the James E. Walker Library on the campus’ south side. Student Services Building: This $16 million project has a forecast opening date of fall 2014. Services to be housed here include Admissions, Financial Aid, Advisors and the Bursar’s Office. A bridge will connect the building to a new student parking garage, which will extend across Blue Raider Drive to the second floor of the new Student Union. College of Education Building: As one of the top producers of teachers in the state, MTSU recognized the need for a new $30 million building, which opened in 2011. The three-story, 87,000-square-foot facility includes cutting-edge technology that helps teachers prepare for the changing landscape of the classroom. Student Union Building: This campus hub opened in August 2012. The $65 million building, which comprises three floors and covers nearly 211,000 square feet, houses a book store, game room, food court, conference center, 840-seat ballroom and 95-seat movie theater. Located on the campus’ east side, the Student Union is next to the new College of Education building and the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

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Learning for the Future
Program offers pathway to high-tech manufacturing jobs
Story by Gary Wollenhaupt Photography by Wendy Jo O’Barr and Frank Ordonez


public/private initiative has given Rutherford County a head start in developing a workforce with the skills needed to meet the growing demand for technical jobs in manufacturing and other sectors. With support from tire company Bridgestone, Motlow State Community College and local high schools are creating new paths for students to receive certificates and associate degrees in mechatronics. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary process that fuses mechanical, electrical, and computer-assisted engineering to create technologies used in the design and manufacturing of a range of products. The initiative’s goal is to educate skilled workers for manufacturing jobs that require technical knowledge even for the most basic positions. “There is big demand for

The Bridgestone Commercial Solutions Education Center in La Vergne includes training labs and classrooms for workers.


Rutherford County

Students prepare to obtain jobs in the mechatronics-related fields through training at Rutherford County schools and Motlow State Community College.

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employees in all sectors, but especially for skilled technical workers,” says Paul Latture, president of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.
Industry Input The program was designed with industry input and includes training for Bridgestone workers at labs at the company’s La Vergne manufacturing plant. In addition, a certificate program in mechatronics is being rolled out at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, which will allow students to work on their associate degrees at Motlow. The program is based on a three-tier international certification program created by Siemens, a German engineering group, and it will begin with the class of 2014. Classes will be taught by Motlow instructors at Bridgestone, where a series of grants totalling more than $3.2 million purchased equipment and classroom space. Also helping to prepare and educate the workforce, Middle Tennessee State University has plans to offer a bachelor’s program in the mechatronics field into which Motlow students would be able to transfer. “There are multiple entries and exit points to the program based on what the students want,” says Fred Rascoe, director of career readiness at Motlow. The program prepares students for jobs in the local marketplace. In addition, some companies are sending workers through the certificate program in order to prepare them to step into jobs in maintenance and other positions that require a greater level of technical know-how. “Industries in Middle Tennessee asked us to come up with a program that met their needs
Top to bottom: In cooperation with Motlow State Community College and Bridgestone, Murfreesboro’s Oakland High School is now offering a certificate program in mechatronics.; Rutherford County students attend classes and complete required coursework to obtain jobs in mechatronics-related fields.


Rutherford County

because they were having problems filling jobs for trained skilled technicians,” Rascoe says. “The industries here have changed from manual labor-based operations to robotics and automation.”
Preparing for the Future Bridgestone provided space for the program at its La Vergne plant, which allowed it to be up and running in about a year. Keith Hamilton, manager of the North America Manufacturing Education Center at Bridgestone, says that Bridgestone supported the program because of a shortage of skilled workers in the local community. In addition, the company is facing a large number of retirements in the coming years. Bridgestone wanted to educate current employees to be ready to take over those technical jobs while also developing local workers who are ready for the jobs of the future. “Our first choice is to recruit locally, and by helping grow the workforce within the community, we think that down the road our ability to recruit in the community is going to be greatly improved,” Hamilton says. The certificate programs at Motlow have been running for three years, and graduates have found jobs in the area, Rascoe says. In addition, many local companies contact the program’s leaders looking for top-notch intern candidates. “They’ve had no problem obtaining employment if they didn’t have a job already,” he says.

What’s Online 
Learn more about Rutherford County’s high-tech workforce at

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Rutherford County


Linked In
State Route 840’s completion opens new avenues of opportunity
Story by Gary Wollenhaupt

ith the completion of State Route 840, Rutherford County sits in the middle of a 78-mile corridor in southern Middle Tennessee, opening major opportunities for development. The final 14-mile leg of SR 840 opened officially on Nov. 2, 2012, finishing a project that was in the planning stages in 1986. The route, envisioned as a southern bypass around Nashville, runs through five counties and bisects Rutherford County, connecting with Interstate 40 east of Nashville at Lebanon, Interstate 65 at Franklin and Interstate 40 to the west near Dickson.
Fast Road to Development U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and Gov. Bill Haslam were among the officials at the grand opening celebration. Alexander launched the project when he was governor. “SR 840 becomes part of one the nation’s top-rated four-lane highway systems, one that has spread auto jobs to 85 of our 95 counties,” Sen. Alexander says. “These 78 new miles of interstatequality highway will be a magnet


for jobs providing new industrial sites as well as relieving congestion. Tennesseans built SR 840 with no federal dollars, no tolls and no debt – and our gas tax still is six cents below the national average.” With distribution facilities and major manufacturers that include Nissan, Ingram, Whirlpool, General Mills and Bridgestone, Rutherford County is already a major logistics hub. The new limited-access highway will enhance the county’s logistical advantages by offering even easier access to Interstates 40 and 65 via Interstate 24. Rutherford County already offers numerous transportation advantages, including its location in the geographic center of Tennessee, within a one-day drive of 75 percent of the country’s major markets.
Prepared for Growth For companies that serve the growing Tennessee automotive market, the completion of Route 840 means a more efficient transportation route around busy traffic in Nashville. It also means a number of undeveloped sites

Brian McCord

The 78-mile State Route 840 was officially completed in November 2012.
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40 31A 41

40 840

La Vergne


65 31

96 840


41A 24 231

State Route 840 is predicted to bring more growth to Rutherford County.

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Rutherford County

now have direct interstate access via the new Route 840 interchanges. “We anticipate more commercial, industrial, light industrial and residential development along those interchanges, and our comprehensive plan recommends that those areas be zoned as such,” says Doug Demosi, planning director for Rutherford County. Companies with transportation and distribution needs will find green field sites available for custom development. “The infrastructure to support large-scale development isn’t present yet, but I think it adds more fuel to the idea that investment needs to be made in those areas from the private and public sectors to continue to make those areas more attractive,” Demosi says. The new route will ease traffic for commuters and travelers in the county, one of the fastest-growing locations in the country. To improve safety and ease travel, the Tennessee Department of Transportation placed Dynamic Message signs to Interstate 40 in Dickson and Wilson counties to provide motorists with real-time traffic information. TDOT estimates the opening of SR 840 will save travelers valuable time by avoiding the congestion in downtown Nashville. Commercial vehicle traffic in the city’s downtown area is also expected to decrease.

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Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & SurgiCenter recently added 155,000 square feet to its facility, which now houses all 21 of its specialty practices.
F r a n k Or d o n e z

Keeping Pace
New facilities and technology move health-care industry forward
Story by John Fuller

ith two major hospital systems, a Veterans Administration facility, one of the region’s largest medical practices and the entry of new players, Rutherford County residents are assured of access to high-quality health care. Rutherford County is the fastest growing county in Tennessee,


with more than 136,000 new residents expected by 2025. Today, the county has an impressive slate of medical facilities offering the latest technology and awardwinning health-care providers and treatment programs.
Strong and Growing Middle Tennessee Medical Center opened a new campus in

2010 in Murfreesboro’s Gateway Development. MTMC has an 86-year history of serving county and surrounding area residents. The $267 million hospital has 286 patient rooms and offers an array of specialty areas. In 2012, the hospital added a thoracic surgeon and a neurologist who provides a service to more easily


Rutherford County

detect epilepsy. MTMC has broken monthly records for births and usage of the hospital’s state-of-the-art emergency facilities. Since moving from its former facility in downtown Murfreesboro, MTMC serves an even broader geographic area. “We feel very fortunate to have such a fine facility serving the residents of Rutherford County and beyond. We are very much a part of the growth of the area,” says Gordon Ferguson, president and chief executive officer of MTMC. TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center, located in Smyrna, is a 109-bed facility that offers a number of acute-care services. TriStar StoneCrest has kept pace with the latest medical and technological advances. In May 2013, the hospital formally opened a new neonatal intensive care unit so it can care for premature infants. The hospital also implemented a new robotic surgery program. StoneCrest is highly focused on expanding access to primary health services, recruiting several new primary-care physicians in the Murfreesboro, Smyrna and Antioch areas. “We are equipped to provide the Rutherford County community a vast range of health services close to where they live or work. These services range from cancer treatment to cardiac care,” says Mark Sims, chief executive officer of TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center.
Specialty Hospital Opens TrustPoint Hospital is a new 70,000-square-foot facility that specializes in physical rehabilitation services and psychiatric care. The 76-bed Murfreesboro hospital opened in the summer of 2012. “Having a facility like
Middle Tennessee Medical Center, located on a 550,000-square-foot campus in Murfreesboro, includes 286 private patient rooms.

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W e n dy J o e O ’ B a rr

TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center in Smyrna offers robotic surgery services and has added a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

TrustPoint in Rutherford County is significant,” says Kevin Lee, chief executive officer of Polaris Hospital Co., owner of the TrustPoint facility. “The patient always feels more comfortable when their health-care facilities are nearby because they have the support of their family and primary care physicians.” TrustPoint Hospital brings a high-level team approach to inpatient physicals and provides expert and compassionate behavioral health care in a safe and therapeutic environment. The hospital has 120 employees and Lee says that should increase to more than 200 in the near future.

high-quality Facilities Rutherford County also has an excellent Veterans Administration facility. The Alvin C. York Campus of the VA’s Tennessee Valley Healthcare System provides primary care and subspecialty medical, surgical and psychiatric services to veterans. It has 347 acute-care beds and 245 long-term care beds. Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & SurgiCenter, which traces its community roots back to 1949, has nearly 500 employees including 70 physicians serving a growing population. To serve the community, MMC has undertaken an ambitious expansion. A three-story

155,000-square-foot addition was completed in early 2013 at MMC’s existing 78,000-square-foot facility on Garrison Drive in the Gateway development. The expansion allows all 21 specialties to practice in one location. “The addition also addresses future needs of our patients, as well as providing a better working environment for our staff,” says Joey Peay, chief executive officer of MMC. “I’m just amazed that in my lifetime we have come to see such a vibrant and sophisticated medical community here in Rutherford County. We are extremely proud of the level of quality physicians and facilities we have here.”


Rutherford County

TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center
Location: 300 StoneCrest Blvd., Smyrna Beds: 109 Employees: 481 Opening Date of New Facility: 2003 Awards & Certifications: Top Performer in the Nation on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission. It is one of 244 hospitals in the nation to achieve this distinction for the second straight year by sustaining improvement efforts. Received an “A” hospital safety score by The Leapfrog Group. A certified primary stroke center and received ACR accreditation for Breast Ultrasound and Ultrasound–Guided Biopsy.

Middle Tennessee Medical Center
Location: 1700 Medical Center Pkwy., Murfreesboro Beds: 286 Employees: 1,400 Opening Date of New Facility: 2010 Awards & Certifications: Gold level status partner in the American Red Cross Tennessee Valley Region’s Champions for Life campaign. Received “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group. Stroke Care Program awarded recertification from The Joint Commission by earning Gold Seal of Approval.

TrustPoint Hospital
Location: 1009 N. Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro Beds: 76; Employees: 120 Opening Date of New Facility: 2012 Accreditation: Accredited by The Joint Commission

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & Surgicenter
Location: 1272 Garrison Drive, Murfreesboro Employees: Nearly 500 Services: 70 physicians in 21 specialty practice areas. The center sees more than 30,000 patients each month and its surgery center handles more than 350 surgical cases each month Facilities: MMC added 150,000 square feet to its 78,000-square-foot Garrison Drive facility in 2013, allowing all of its specialty areas to be housed in one location

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Eagleville School, part of Rutherford County Schools, offers an agriculture program. F ra n k Ord o n e z


Rutherford County


Top of the Class
High-quality schools produce results in Rutherford County
Story by John Fuller

utherford County’s school districts have achieved an excellent reputation for preparing students for the future. The county’s two public school systems, Murfreesboro City Schools and Rutherford County Schools, are consistently among the top performing districts in the state in a number of key academic areas. The 7,600-student MCS has a unique focus on prekindergarten through sixth grade learning. Teachers at its 12 schools concentrate on research-based, effective instructional strategies allowing children to succeed in their education, and it’s paying off. Murfreesboro City Schools have the highest growth in Middle Tennessee in reading and language arts achievement, as well as high math and social studies test scores.


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McFadden School of Excellence in Murfreesboro, part of Rutherford County Schools, is a technology-oriented magnet school open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Expect More, Achieve More
The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce has joined a group to support high academic standards in K-12 public education. The Expect More, Achieve More Coalition seeks to build statewide and local awareness of Tennessee’s ongoing effort to raise expectations in the classroom through the Common Core State Standards. Those standards focus on more critical thinking and problem solving skills, teaching students important concepts in earlier grades, and building on those concepts each year. Over the next year, the coalition will focus on arming parents, educators, students and community members with the tools they need to ensure all students graduate ready for success. Numerous resources are available including a fiveminute video that explains what the Common Core State Standards are and how they fit in with Tennessee’s other education reform efforts. An online resource is also available for parents, teachers and community members.

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W e n dy J o O ’ B a rr

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In 2012, the district exceeded the state growth standards in gains in all grade levels and in most content areas. Discovery School in Murfreesboro was one of just 219 public schools in the nation to be named by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School based on academic excellence.
Growth Plans for Schools MCS is completing a major addition to Hobgood Elementary School and is in the early stages of building a new school on the west side of the city, which will open in 2014. Plans call for a two-story design with heating and cooling provided by geothermal technology.

Rutherford County Schools, which serves students in prekindergarten through 12th grade, consistently ranks among the best school districts in Tennessee and has outpaced national rankings on a number of measures. Rutherford County Schools is one of the fastest growing districts in Tennessee. Since 1998, the district has added nearly 14,000 students for a total population of almost 40,000. During that time, the district has opened 19 new schools and completed additions or renovations at 12 others. Despite this rapid growth, Rutherford County Schools has served as a model district in the areas of

academics, planning and safety measures. In 2012, the state named Rutherford County Schools one of only 21 “Exemplary” school districts and named six Rutherford schools as “Reward Schools” for scoring in the top 5 percent in achievement, growth in student gains or both. The district has a great focus in helping students prepare for the world of work.
School-to-Work Innovation “Local businesses are desperately in need of a welltrained workforce, and we have career and technical education programs available to provide career education for our students,”


Rutherford County

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says James Evans, community relations coordinator for Rutherford County Schools. Another important local asset that brings together local schools and the business community is the Business Education Partnership (BEP) Foundation, an affiliate of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. For 25 years, the BEP has worked with Murfreesboro City and Rutherford County schools to create a bridge between the worlds of education and business, so classrooms provide students with the lessons they need to succeed in a constantly changing business and manufacturing environment. “Currently, the most critical area for Middle Tennessee, as well

as the entire country, is to enhance science, technology, engineering and math,” says Lee Rennick, BEP executive director. The BEP has created professional development programs for teachers and counselors, and business and leadership programs for students, which address those critical issues. Some of those programs include the State Farm Summer Business Camp, job shadowing and the BC³ Academy for Math/Science Study Enhancement. Another successful initiative is the BEP/Nissan teacher mini-grant program that provides funding for teachers to use on classroom projects that represent ideas over and beyond their required curriculum.

W e n dy J o O ’ B a rr

Clockwise from left: A student takes notes in a science class at McFadden School of Excellence in Murfreesboro; McFadden is home to a community garden located in the center of the school, which includes plants, flowers, rain barrels and chickens; Murfreesboro City Schools have the highest growth in Middle Tennessee in reading and language arts achievement; Part of Rutherford County Schools, Eagleville School educates more than 750 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

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Stay, Play, Explore
Rutherford County offers the good life – and plenty of it


Rutherford County

Located on the Stones River in Murfreesboro, the Ransom’s Mill dam near the Manson Pike Trailhead is a popular spot to visit. P h o t o b y j e ff A d k i n s

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Story by Jessica Walker Boehm

ome to a variety of distinctive destinations, Rutherford County enables residents and visitors to learn about local history, enjoy entertainment and explore the great outdoors. “Our community features a unique blend of Civil War history and the amenities of a major metropolitan area,” says Nicky Reynolds, vice president of the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Historic Attractions Located in Murfreesboro, Stones River National Battlefield comprises approximately 650 acres and commemorates the Civil War’s Battle of Stones River, which is known as one of the war’s bloodiest


skirmishes and resulted in 23,000 casualties. Also in Murfreesboro, Oaklands Historic House Museum offers a glimpse into what life was like during the Civil War through tours and programs. The Sam Davis Home and Museum in Smyrna also preserves Rutherford County’s Civil War history. Sam Davis, who was working with the Confederate army, was captured by Federal troops and eventually hanged after being accused of espionage. His former home, built in 1810, is open for tours and contains more than 100 original pieces left behind by his family. Murfreesboro’s Cannonsburgh Village shows visitors how Tennesseans lived from the 1830s to the 1930s. The village includes

a gristmill, school house, general store, doctor’s office and more, as well as a visitor center with souvenirs. Murfreesboro is also home to the county’s first school, Bradley Academy, now known as the Bradley Academy Museum & Cultural Center.
Festivals, Community Events The Uncle Dave Macon Days festival is a popular annual event that draws more than 40,000 people to Cannonsburgh Village and celebrates old-time music and dance. Main Street’s Murfreesboro JazzFest also offers musical entertainment each year with live performances by local, regional and national jazz artists. Another Murfreesboro festival, International FolkFest brings

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Students learn about the life of a Civil War infantryman at Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro. The site is where the Battle of Stones River began on the last day of 1862. It is considered one of the Civil War’s bloodiest conflicts.


Rutherford County

performers from more than 50 countries to Rutherford County to entertain crowds with dancing and singing. The week-long annual event is put on by the International Folkloric Society. Held at Veterans Memorial Park in La Vergne, the Old Timers’ Festival is a three-day event that features carnival rides, concerts, magic shows, arts and crafts vendors, a parade, and more.
Cultural Destinations The Murfreesboro Little Theater, which celebrated 50 years of entertainment in 2012, puts on plays and musicals such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. The city is also home to Tucker Theatre at Middle Tennessee State University

and the Murfreesboro Center for the Arts, which includes a theater and gallery with rotating exhibits. Smyrna’s Lamplighters Theatre Company also hosts live performances, such as A Christmas Carol and Father of the Bride, and offers summer camps that focus on creative movement, character development and vocal training. When it comes to musical performances, several groups in Rutherford County provide concerts throughout the year including the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra, Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra and the Tennessee Valley Winds.
Recreational Opportunities During warm weather months, water-based attractions are popular in Rutherford County.

Murfreesboro has Boro Beach water park, which is part of the Sports*Com facility, and Smyrna’s Splash Pad at Gregory Mill Park features a playground with sprinklers and sprayers. The county is also home to the 12-mile Murfreesboro Greenway System, which includes the Stones River, Lytle Creek and Gateway trails, and the 10-mile Smyrna Greenway System. Both systems have paved trails ideal for walking, running, biking and in-line skating. Additional outdoor attractions in Rutherford County include six public golf courses, Murfreesboro’s Barfield Crescent Park and Wilderness Station, Kids’ Castle playground at Old Fort Park, and Percy Priest Lake.

Left: Murfreesboro’s Cannonsburgh Village draws more than 40,000 visitors and hosts the annual Uncle Dave Macon Days festival. Right: Located in Smyrna, Gregory Mill Park is a favorite summer destination and includes a Splash Pad and picnic areas.

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Rutherford County

Rutherford County Courthouse on the Square in downtown Murfreesboro Photo by Brian McCord

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Rutherford County

A Civil War monument on the Square in downtown Murfreesboro. Photo by Frank Ordonez

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Ad Index
10 Adams Place 54 Advanced Cooling, Heating & Refrigeration 1 Ascend Federal Credit Union 39 Cannonburgh Moving & Storage C2 Consolidated Utility District 54 CPL CPR & First Aid C3 Culvers 2 Doubletree Hotel Murfreesboro 5 Embassy Suites Murfreesboro 56 Exit Realty – Masterson Network 43 Family Practice of Murfreesboro PLLC 54 Five Senses 24 Middle Tennessee Christian School 24 Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation C4 Middle Tennessee Medical Center 35 MidSouth Bank 6 Murfreesboro Electric Department 10 Murfreesboro Water & Sewer Department 24 Neel-Schaffer 39 Ole South Properties

Ad Index (cont.)
4 Rutherford County 54 S&W Electrical Contractors 31 Smyrna-Rutherford County Airport Authority 6 Southern Co m m u n it y Ba n k 3 1 Th e I m ag i n g C e n t e r o f Mur fr e e s b o ro 1 5 W i l s o n Ba n k & Tru s t 5 4 YMC A R u t h e r fo r d Co u n t y

economic profile
Business snapshot
Excellent location along Interstate 24, low tax structure and competitive wages make Rutherford County a perfect place for corporate headquarters, manufacturing and distribution. The county also has the state’s largest undergraduate university, making it a top spot for higher education.

industry sectors (% of workforce)
Accommodation and food service: 10.0% Administrative services: 7.0% Construction: 3.0% Educational Services: 9.0 % Finance, Insurance and Real Estate: 4.0% Health Care/Social Services: 12.0% Information: 3.0% Manufacturing: 22.0% Other Services: 4.0% Professional, Scientific and Technical: 2.0% Public Administration: 3.0% Retail Trade: 12.0% Transportation & Warehousing: 5.0% Wholesale Trade: 4.0%

Rutherford County Population
2012 population estimate: 274,454 2000 population: 182,023 Percent change: 50.1% Median age: 32.99 Households: 101,215

Major Employers in Rutherford County
Murfreesboro Rutherford County Government: 6,073 Middle Tennessee State University: 2,205 National Healthcare Corp.: 2,071 State Farm Insurance: 1,662 VA Medical Center: 1,461 Smyrna Nissan: 6,350 Asurion: 1,050 Square D/Schneider Electric: 900 Taylor Farms: 750 Vi-Jon: 738 La Vergne Ingram Content Group: 1,500 Bridgestone/Firestone: 900 Venture Express: 500 Schneider Electric: 426 Saks: 313

Major population centers (2011 estimate)
Murfreesboro: 111,327 Smyrna: 40,946 La Vergne: 33,389

Median Household Income (2011)
Murfreesboro: $48,766 Smyrna: $51,059 La Vergne: $55,998

Labor Force
Civilian labor force (1/13): 145,870 % growth from 1/12: 3.6% Unemployment rate (1/13): 6.5%

Per Capita Income (2011)
Murfreesboro: $27,915 Smyrna: $24,273 La Vergne: $21,689

What’s Online 
For more in-depth demographic, statistical and community information on Rutherford County, go to

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