USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Harriet Cannon today joined representatives from Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association (MTIDA) and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) to announce funding that will be used to conduct a wage and benefit survey for a 36 county region in Tennessee.
“It’s our mission to emphasize the importance of supporting rural economic development by providing funds for conducting surveys, technical assistance, training and other job-creation activities,” Cannon said. “The results of this study will allow MTIDA as well as local economic development organizations to have an increased knowledge of the region which will allow them to better recruit new investments.”
MTIDA received a $45,000 Rural Business Development Grant to conduct a wage and benefit survey of industries located in the rural areas of middle Tennessee. The survey and associated marketing materials will allow local economic development officials to share the survey results with existing and potential industries looking to locate or expand in the rural communities in the mid-state region. The survey will be accomplished through a regional partnership with MTSU’s Business and Economic Research Center in Murfreesboro, Upper Cumberland Development District, South Central Tennessee Development District, Greater Nashville Regional Council, Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Highlands Economic Partnership, and Tennessee Central Economic Authority.
Others participating in the event include Robert Bibb, Executive Director, MTIDA; Kendrick Curtis, Assistant Executive Director, MTIDA; Dr. Murat Arik, MTSU Business and Economic Research Center; Mark Farley, Executive Director, Upper Cumberland Development District; Matt Von Lunen, Division Administrator, Greater Nashville Regional Council; Jeff Hite, Vice President, Nashville Area Chamber; Dr. David Urban, Dean, Jennings A. Jones College of Business at MTSU; Jessica Farlow, Vice President, Tennessee Central Economic Authority; P.D. Mynat, General Manager, Murfreesboro Electric Department; Chris Jones, President, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation; Mark Kimbell, General Manager, Gallatin Department of Electricity and other USDA Rural Development staff.
USDA Rural Development is moving investments to rural America with housing, business and infrastructure loans and grants to create jobs and strengthen rural economies with an emphasis to assist areas of persistent poverty.
For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Middle Tennessee contact the Nashville Area Office at 615.783.1359. Visit us online at www.rd.usda.gov/TN.