Economic Development Series: Site Selection
Most of the inquiries from companies considering locating in Johnson County come from their site selection consultants. Multiple site selection discussions are currently underway at Aspire and often result in a decision to locate here.
“A lot of times, research is being done before a community even knows it’s being considered,” explained Aspire Vice President of Economic Development Amanda Rubadue, CEcD. “New company announcements, speculative buildings coming online and other similar news show that our communities are growing and are a great place to do business. Activity breeds activity, and those things really make an impact when site selectors are doing their initial community research.”
Rubadue explained the process: “When a company is considering an expansion or relocation to another area, often they’ll hire a site consultant to analyze their needs and match them up with a location that fits those needs. Site selectors review factors like an area’s workforce, real estate offerings, incentives available and quality of life to find the best fit.”
She continued, “Site selectors start out with a long list of communities or regions and will cross areas off their list based on the company’s priorities. Depending on the type of company, proximity to a major highway, university or airport may be a factor that either keeps a site on their list or eliminates it.”
Aspire works diligently on a day-to-day basis to promote Johnson County. “We build relationships with site selectors across the country to promote our community assets,” Rubadue explained. “This helps us stay top-of-mind when the site selector has a company that could be a good fit in one of our Johnson County communities.”
Rubadue added that Aspire also maintains a database of sites and buildings that makes it easier to submit potential locations to the site selector.
“Aspire is currently working with site selectors to finalize projects in two of our Johnson County communities,” Rubadue said.
She added that inquiries come from site selectors representing businesses across the country and even some with overseas connections. For example, Aspire’s discussions with Daechang Seat Co., Ltd., USA led the South Korean-based company to announce plans in June to open a facility in Franklin to produce auto seat frames. Also that month, Aspire’s discussions with G and H Orthodontics led to its announcement of plans to expand in Franklin to serve its growing customer base in more than 100 countries.
Aspire President and CEO Christian Maslowski concluded, “Our efforts to attract new businesses via site selectors are supported wholeheartedly through our 5-year Economic Development Strategic Plan. We are pleased with the success of our aggressive efforts to bring new businesses and employers to Johnson County.”