Murfreesboro’s growth attracts big companies, fuels area economy

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Murfreesboro’s growth continues to attract big businesses, helping to fuel the area’s economy. 

Global companies like Nissan and Asurion have paved the way, investing early on in the rapidly-growing region. 

Since 2003, electronics insurance company Asurion has expanded its footprint in Rutherford County. 

“We occupied at that time a third of the facility,” said Michael Dimler, Asurion’s Vice President of Operations. 

Over the years, the use of its Technology and Logistics Center in Smyrna has grown in size and efficiency – fixing, replacing, and preparing to send out phones across the country. 

“This line has the capacity to ship a box a second,” said Dimler on our tour. “Over 16 years, our business has grown. In lockstep with both Murfreesboro and Smyrna.” 

But it’s not only Asurion. 

Amazon, Bridgestone, and Nissan are among the large employers in the area helping the area’s economy. 

“I think we recognized this was a growing area,” said Dimler. 

Dimler said when you add the logistics, the city made for the perfect location. 

“We’re right off a major corridor, I-24,” said Dimler. “Our location here puts us three hours away from being able to ship anywhere overnight across the country.” 

Also with this foresight was Nissan. Tracy Woodard is Nissan’s Director of Government Affairs. 

“In 1981, when we broke ground in Smyrna, Nissan saw opportunity in an untapped market, with a good workforce, plenty of space, room to grow,” said Woodard. 

Although technology has automated much of the processes, both businesses said the human touch is still necessary. 

Nissan’s Smyrna plant employs thousands of locals. 

At Asurion, Dimler said the workforce has more than quadrupled since its start in the early 2000s. 

If you break your phone and need it replaced and use Asurion’s services, it all begins at the Smyrna center. 

Helping to make that happen are about 1,000 employees who not only work but also live in Rutherford County. 

“Where I live in the sticks, it’s not too far out to get here – about 20 minutes from here,” said Asurion Supervisor Judy Mata. 

For nine years and counting, that’s been the commute for Mata. 

Her home is in nearby Murfreesboro. 

“Not having to commute an hour to and from work is great and just being able to work in the same county you live – that’s always awesome to help out the county you live in,” said Mata. 

For businesses, that also means investing in the area beyond its products – Nissan, through its Nashville Proud Initiative, and Asurion, through its partnerships with Kipp Charter Schools, Habitat for Humanity, Middle Tennessee State and Tennessee State Universities. 

News 2 has special reports on “Murfreesboro: The Good, The Bad, The Future” on Thursday. We’re digging deeper into the impact of the area’s growth and how it is shaping future businesses, traffic, schools, and crime. See our special reports in every newscast and watch our live town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Click here for more.

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