In the past 15 years, what has happened – at least from my standpoint – are jobs that are better and higher paying. It’s not just about more; it’s about better. When we go out to meet with companies, we target companies that allow residents to have a higher quality of life. We see increases in median home price income, and people have an opportunity to save for college for their kids, to take that extra vacation a year. It’s important that’s the kind of jobs we bring here and what that means to the families in Williamson County.
It's not just for people who are coming here; it’s for residents, too. There are multi-generational families who have lived here for years, and there was a time where if the kids wanted to have a career, they’d have to go to Atlanta, Charlotte, or Chicago. They don’t have to do that anymore. They can have a career here because of the jobs available now in Williamson Co. and middle TN. For the new people coming in, what they’ve experienced is a high quality of life, low crime, good healthcare, amenities, low taxes, great weather (for the most part) – this really is a great place to raise a family. There was a lot of in migration prior to Covid; Covid has only exacerbated that. People view Williamson County as the land of opportunity.
Without question, we value the quality of the school system. I know my kids are getting an excellent education that is going to help them with whatever their post-secondary trajectory is. You can go anywhere from here because of the strength of the schools and teachers. There’s a reason why we have the best district in the state and one of the best in the southeast. The great thing about this community is you can start here and go anywhere you want to in the world. There’s nothing limiting about Williamson County. That’s important in raising a family and raising kids - you want them to know the sky’s the limit.
To those who complain about all the people moving here, we start with, “Who do we want to be as a community?” Do we really want to be authentically welcoming to our neighbors? That’s how we are supposed to be. We are supposed to be the group of people where Southern hospitality should mean something. We should welcome people who want to come here and have a better quality of life and help us continue to grow this economy in this community in the long-term. I think being rooted in the community is so important, so to the people who are new here, understanding how we got where we are is important. Playing a role in that, joining civic clubs, groups like The Heritage Foundation or Chamber of Commerce, is important to get a sense of history of the community then figure out where they play in continuing to create and build an even better Williamson County.
Not a lot of communities have a Heritage Foundation, and no communities have a Heritage Foundation as impactful as the one we have – that’s involved in and engaged in the community. And really because of the work of the last several generations in laying this foundation, it allows both preservation and economic development to happen at the same time. We are a national model because of the work of The Heritage Foundation, and we should make sure we save the places that matter so the people new here can really enjoy those for their kids and grandkids in the future. The work that the Heritage Foundation has done is a big economic driver in making this is a great place for families and businesses."
- Matt Largen, President and CEO of Williamson, Inc.