Public- and Private-Sector Leaders to Discuss Workforce and Economic Development at Mars Petcare Global Innovation Center

In an increasingly complex global economy, few issues are more critical to states and the private sector than workforce development. To facilitate discussion on workforce needs and strategies, CSG has planned a special policy round table event as part of the 2015 CSG National Conference in Nashville, Tenn. The session, "State Pathways to Prosperity—Workforce and Economic Development Round Table," will convene at the Mars Petcare Global Innovation Center in Thompson's Station on the morning of Friday, Dec. 11.

Leaders from the public and private sectors will participate in the round table, including Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd and Mars Petcare North America President Mark Johnson. 

CSG immediate past chair, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who led the CSG State Pathways to Prosperity Initiative on workforce development and education in 2014, also will serve as a panelist.

“Tennessee is experiencing unprecedented growth. It was named the No. 1 state of the year in 2013 and 2014 for economic development by Business Facilities Magazine, an unparalleled accomplishment and a testament to the state’s internationally competitive workforce,” said Norris. “In 2015, Area Development named Tennessee among the top 10 states in the nation for availability of skilled labor, leading workforce development, educational resources, costs of doing business and a favorable regulatory environment.”

Following the discussion, attendees will take part in a tour of the Mars Petcare Global Innovation Center, which applies a state-of-the-art approach to its production of cat and dog food. The tour will include stops in the research and development department, the product development center, the pet feeding center and the learning center, which will be tailored to public visitors.

Emphasizing Mars Incorporated’s satisfaction with the Volunteer State’s business environment, Mars Petcare U.S. President Mark Johnson said the company has had a great working relationship with the state of Tennessee for the past 35 years. “We're a private, family-owned business employing more than 2,400 associates in six sites across the state in our chocolate, Petcare and Wrigley businesses,” said Johnson. “Tennessee fits our culture well and we are proud to call it our home.”