Putnam County wage survey to begin this month

Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association (MTIDA) along with a collaborative regional partnership of economic development organizations has received funding from USDA through a Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) to prepare a wage and benefit survey of industries in a 40-county region of middle Tennessee. The partnership includes: MTIDA, the Upper Cumberland Development District, the South Central Tennessee Development District, the Greater Nashville Regional Council, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce Partnership, The Highlands Economic Partnership, City of Cookeville Economic Development, Tennessee Central Economic Authority, and numerous local economic development organizations and chambers of commerce. 
This regional initiative will support the communities in the mid-state by improving our understanding of the local wage and benefit structure and will be of help when recruiting companies to the region. It’s also valuable information for assisting existing industries to understand the local market as they seek to increase their employee base. The survey will be conducted by the Business and Economic Research Center at MTSU and the project will be led by Dr. Murat Arik. During the last few months, community and regional staff have been preparing the list of industry contacts who will receive the survey. The survey will be available for completion during the early summer and MTSU will be preparing the results of the survey in late summer and early fall. 
The surveys are geographically grouped and organized by counties and will be available on MTSU’s website at the following address:  http://www.mtsu.edu/berc/mtidawageabenefitsurvey.php. Anyone can view this page. However, to participate in the survey a company will need a unique code from MTSU.  Anyone not on the list will need to request this code. 
Bob Bibb, MTIDA Executive Director stated, “This project is a massive undertaking and one that would not be possible without the partnership organizations joining with us. It is our goal to have this study become “The” Wage and Benefit Study that everyone will be able to utilize going forward and by working together as a region, no one community will be burdened with having to do this on their own. It is also our goal to continue this program with our partners every other year. I would like to give special thanks to USDA for their funding assistance and to MTSU for their expertise in gathering and compiling the data. Also, to all the communities in middle Tennessee, we thank you for your partnership in this project and look forward to the end results.” 
George Halford, President/CEO of the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce is optimistic about the information the survey will bring to light. “Getting feedback from industry partners both large and small is crucial. This feedback will allow our region to assist existing industry in broadening their workforce. We are thankful for MTIDA and their partnership with Putnam County”.

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