#442. Wow! Texas is on fire!

Posted on | The Agurban

Wow!  Texas is on fire!  Not literally, but in the way it is creating jobs.

I was in Irving, TX for a Team Texas Showcase event last weekend, along with a number of other site selectors from around the country.  Team Texas is an organization composed of 70 local economic development groups from around the state begun in the 1980s to promote Texas as a location for new, expanding and relocating plants.  They are the kind of “can do” group that we love to work with.

Texas has had incredible success in creating jobs as they have aggressively lured in a number of businesses in the past decade.  Did you know that 4 out of every 10 jobs created in the entire country since 2000 have happened in Texas?  In the past five years firms like Google, State Farm, GM, Apple, Caterpillar, Medtronic, and many others have chosen the state for new operations.  They’ve found a willing work force and a state that understands the need to create jobs for local citizens.

Steve Gilbert, head of the Paris EDC, was my host at the event.  Paris is a town of 25,000 about 100 miles NE of Dallas, just south of the border with Oklahoma.  It’s known for its Eifel Tower, but not the one you are thinking of, but rather the one with the red cowboy hat on top.  I first visited Paris in the mid-2000s and will be back there in October to do another tour and doing a talk on Millennial Entrepreneurs.

Paris is an example of what is occurring all over the state.  In the last two years they’ve had almost $400 million of new investment announced, most of which were industrial expansions.  Companies like Campbell Soup, Kimberly Clark, J. Skinner Baking and several local manufacturers are all expanding.  This industrial growth trickles down to new subdivisions, a major expansion by the Paris Regional Medical Center, new highways and other improvements to the community.

I liked what I saw.  We’re planning to open our fifth office next year, in East Texas, with hopefully more to follow over time.  Texas is a state on the move.  Exactly where we want to invest!