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Austin, TX is Business Facilities’ top-ranked metro for Economic Growth Potential. Baton Rouge, LA and Mobile, AL finished second and third, respectively, in this flagship metro category in BF‘s 10th Annual Rankings Report.
“Austin has firmly established itself as one of the leading high-tech hubs in the U.S.,” BF Editor in Chief Jack Rogers said. “The Texas capital is a thriving, cosmopolitan growth center with unlimited potential.”
The burgeoning high-tech industry in Austin has made Texas the second-largest semiconductor job market after California. Austin has more than 120,000 people employed by more than 4,400 technology firms.
Semiconductor companies in Austin include Intel, IBM, Advanced Micro Devices and Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s second-largest chip maker, which is nearing completion of a $4-billion plant expansion at its Austin Semiconductor facility. Samsung’s overall investment in Austin is one of the largest single investments by a foreign company in the nation; the Austin facility is the largest fab in the U.S.
Austin wouldn’t be a semiconductor hub without the presence of the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, which has one of the largest university semiconductor research programs in the world, the Microelectronics Research Center (MRC).
The MRC has developed programs which have been utilized by major integrated circuit manufacturers throughout the U.S.
Apple’s selection of Austin as the site for its new $304-million Operations Center was the Bronze Award winner in Business Facilities’ 2012 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition. The new facility, which will increase Apple’s workforce in Austin to more than 6,700, will serve as the primary operations nexus for the company in the Americas outside of Apple’s global headquarters in Cupertino, CA, centralizing accounting, human resources, sales, marketing and finance.
State, county and local agencies came together to put together a package for Apple that sealed the deal in an intense site-selection battle for the operations center. The state of Texas awarded one of the largest grants from the Texas Enterprise Fund in the history of the program—$21 million—which together with a property tax abatement from the City of Austin and Travis County provided for a total incentive package of $35 million for the operations center.
The new 1-million-square-foot campus in Austin will directly create 3,635 jobs generating about $273 million in new wages over the next 10 years. The Apple facility in Texas will become one of four global operations centers for the tech giant outside of its California HQ.
Baton Rouge, LA, ranked no. 2 in BF‘s metro Economic Growth Potential category, has had great success in executing its strategy of bringing together business and higher education in innovative public-private partnerships that spur initiatives in new high-growth sectors.
Traditionally known as the “Creative Capital of the South,” Baton Rouge has established itself as a thriving high-tech hub for IT/software development and digital media while continuing to be an attractive location for corporate headquarters and traditional manufacturing.
With a dynamic new riverfront development, a cutting-edge IBM tech center and some of the hippest digital media studios in the nation, Baton Rouge has positioned itself to be a growth leader for years to come.
Here are the top 10 metros in Economic Growth Potential:
ECONOMIC GROWTH POTENTIAL
- AUSTIN, TX
- BATON ROUGE, LA
- MOBILE, AL
- SALT LAKE CITY, UT
- NEW ORLEANS, LA
- CHARLOTTE, NC
- ORLANDO, FL
- OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
- ODESSA, TX
- DETROIT, MI
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