NashvilleMade initiative supports local manufacturing, jobs

Mayor Briley announces the NashvilleMade initiative at Jackalope Brewing Company.

A new public-private initiative focused on supporting and growing Nashville’s manufacturing sector has been launched.

NashvilleMade will connect the city’s wide-ranging manufacturing community, offer programs tailored to strengthen local manufacturers and makers, train Nashvillians for good jobs and promote locally made products globally.

The initiative is led by the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Commuity Development, in partnership with an advisory board of manufacturing industry leaders, which has committed to raising $200,000 in funding over the next few months from private sources.

Mayor David Briley made the announcement at Jackalope Brewing Company where he thanked Frost Brown Todd, LBMC and Pinnacle Financial Partners, partners who have already committed funding to support NashvilleMade.

“NashvilleMade will celebrate local businesses while strengthening our manufacturing sector and connecting residents to the high-quality jobs these businesses create,” said Briley. “From automotive components to apparel, chocolate to devices, our local products represent the creativity, quality and innovation of Nashville. I am committed to promoting our goods wherever I go, and NashvilleMade will further enhance my ability to do so.”

Manufacturing is a substantial driver of the city’s economy with more than 20,000 jobs at larger manufacturers and more than 2,000 artisans and makers in the city. Yet, barriers to Nashville’s manufacturing sector threaten its growth including rising real estate costs, labor market shortages and a manufacturing/maker community that is sometimes unaware of resources and opportunities available to them.

Until now, there has not been one entity in the city focused on bringing together manufacturers and partners to address these challenges in a strategic way. NashvilleMade will work with workforce agencies, technical colleges and nonprofit partners to reduce the barriers many job seekers face entering the manufacturing industry and connect talent to available jobs through training, apprenticeships and job matching services.

“Nashville is home to a vibrant and innovative manufacturing sector. However, we are at risk of losing this critical industry due to a number of challenges,” said Patrick Hayes of 1767 Designs. “I’m grateful Mayor Briley cares about local manufacturing companies and the jobs they create. He is taking real steps to support us. NashvilleMade will bring our industry together and be the foundation for how we tackle these issues together.”

The new NashvilleMade network will be comprised of manufacturers, local businesses and makers, and partners dedicated to connecting and strengthening the Nashville manufacturing ecosystem. Mayor Briley’s goal is to attract 500 members over the next five years. Manufacturers, makers, and employer partners can find details on this network and sponsor-
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“To make something is powerful. To build a team of people committed to making things locally and with craftsmanship is transformational,” said advisory board Member James Soto, CEO of Industrial Strength Marketing. “I am proud to serve on the Mayor’s NashvilleMade advisory board and bring the incredible job opportunities of my industry to all Nashvillians, particularly those at risk of being left behind in this economy.”