Whether job hunting, networking or just celebrating the many businesses in the area, Williamson County residents at the Williamson, Inc. Business Expo and Career Fair on Thursday got to experience a taste of over 60 companies in Middle Tennessee.
From restaurants like Scout’s Pub and Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q to the Marriott hotel and High Hopes Development Center, organizations of all types turned Liberty Hall in the Factory at Franklin into a small representation of the county’s business community.
While booths from some groups like Costco and the Tennessee Titans were set up to spark conversation and build relationships, other companies like Pella Windows and Mitsubishi Motors were scouting out potential employees.
Mitsubishi recently announced the relocation of its headquarters to Williamson County, bringing with it about 150 new open positions. Lauren Barbieri, a human resources representative with the company, said they are hiring new workers left and right but still have plenty of positions available.
“We’re really excited to hit the ground running now,” she said. “Honestly, when they made the announcement that we were going to move, it was kind of scary, but the welcome that we’ve received from coming out here — I couldn’t have asked for a better place to move to.”
Barbieri moved to Williamson County officially two weeks ago, and she said her phone has been blowing up with calls as she helps develop the company’s new local workforce.
Some businesses, such as Costco and Wilson Bank & Trust, came to the event looking for new customers. The Tennessee-based bank opened its 28th location late last year in Cool Springs.
Local eatery booths were some of the more popular stops of the night, as Papa C Pies, located in Cool Springs, handed out samples of fudge and chess and pecan pies — Southern classics — and H. Clark Distillery from Thompson’s Station handed out mini shots of its signature liquors.
Appropriately for the season, the Oktoberfest-themed Bavarian Bierhaus had a large tent set up, serving beer and advertising its 15,000-square-foot beer hall with a free event space in Opry Mills Mall. Bierhaus employees, with President and CEO of Williamson, Inc. Matt Largen and other community members, kicked off the event with a ceremonial beer tapping, traditionally signifying the start of Oktoberfest.
The beer hall serves 12 different kinds of German brews and a diverse menu of German dishes and hosts live music five days a week, welcoming all ages to the table.
“We’re extremely kid-friendly,” said Group Sales Manager Shalimar Wiech. “A lot of families like to come in. We do a lot of contests with the kids. They get on stage with the bands and blow the big horns, and it’s really fun.”
To set the tone at the expo, an accordion player glided throughout the room. Nashville singer-songwriter Rob Harris claimed the other end, playing crowd-pleasers such as “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty and “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.
Deb Macfarlan Enright, president and CEO of management consulting firm The Macfarlan Group, seized the opportunity of having so many important people in a room to produce a live episode of her podcast, “3 a.m.,” pulling in the big names like Largen and Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson.
To learn more about future Williamson, Inc. events, visit williamsonchamber.com.