Tag: TX

Cover Story: 2014 Business Facilities – Metro And Global Rankings

In this year’s Metro Rankings Report, we’ve taken note of the crucial role exports are playing in the Recovery for many locations by charting their success in two of our rankings categories, Exports Growth Leaders and Exports Recovery Leaders. We've also included our Global Rankings within this story.

Texas: Star of the Sun Belt

Rebounding strong from the national downturn, Texas stands out as a place of economic opportunity with many of its cities emerging as growth leaders in the Sun Belt.

Alternative Energy Powers the New Economy

Locations across the country have made renewable energy central to their economic recovery strategies. The race is on to claim a leadership position in solar, wind, geothermal and biofuel generation and manufacturing.

Lubbock, Texas

Metro Spotlight

Texas Corporate Moves

Toyota Moving Tacoma Truck Production to San Antonio

Toyota Motor Corp. has announced that it will relocate production of the Tacoma pickup from a plant in California to its manufacturing facility in San Antonio by next summer. San Antonio and Bexar County officials estimate 100,000 Tacomas will be produced annually following a $100 million retooling at Toyota’s San Antonio campus. The Tacoma line will diversify the plant with a second vehicle and as many as 1,100 new jobs to the facility. It will also create new jobs at 21 on-site suppliers. The Japanese automaker has ended its relationship with a joint venture plant in the San Francisco Bay area as part of an effort to reduce excess production capacity. Toyota will stop making vehicles at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant—its first manufacturing facility in the United States, which started in 1984 as a 50-50 business deal with General Motors—in March 2010. The relocation will return work at the San Antonio plant, which has the capacity to build about 200,000 Tundras annually, back to two shifts for the first time since it shuttered for three months last summer to sell off excess inventory. “This is what we wanted, a dual line to alternate with the Tundras,” a San Antonio Chamber of Commerce official said, according to wire service reports. “We had thought several years ago it might be the Highlander hybrid, but this plant and its workers have the flexibility to keep jobs strong there.” Temporary plant workers who had been laid off in San Antonio or those who applied for Tundra work and didn't get the job could be first in line for the new positions, Bexar County officials said. Toyota’s decision to end its 25-year relationship with the NUMMI plant, which also produces the Corolla, came nearly two months after GM said it was pulling out of the joint venture. It marks the first time the Japanese automaker has closed a plant, either at home or abroad. In the midst of the current recession Toyota announced the first quarterly losses in its 70-year history earlier this year. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said the announcement demonstrates the Texas city’s attractiveness to business looking for a skilled, low-cost workforce. “San Antonio is emerging as an economic powerhouse. This demonstrates the talent of the work force and the low cost of doing business in San Antonio, as well as a high level of public and private cooperation,” he said. The chief executive of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce also credited workers at the Tundra plant for paving the way for the announcement. San Antonio and Texas leaders began preparing an incentives package for Toyota several weeks before the relocation of truck production was announced. City and county officials said it includes a 10-year abatements on property taxes as well as state sales tax rebates on capital investments and new machinery to retool the plant. Additionally, Toyota could receive a $2,500 credit for every new hire from a “designated disadvantaged zone.”

San Antonio, Texas

Metro Spotlight

Mission, Texas

Metro Spotlight

The Lone Star State Shines Bright in a Dark Economy

State-by-state comparisons still put Texas at the top of the list in employment and growth indicators.

The Lone Star State is Flexing its Muscles

Texas is bucking the economic trends and maintaining strong growth in income and employment.

Foreign-Trade Zones—Global Expansion at Reduced Cost

Economic developers can leverage the benefits of FTZs to attract jobs and investment, while facilitating maintenance and expansion of their industrial base.

Information Technology: No Signs of a Slowdown

When it comes to innovation and a talented workforce, these are the locations that merit a close look.

Editors’ Location Picks 2008

These gems didn't just catch our eye with a quick flash. Their consistent economic development sparkle earned them front-and-center display in our annual showcase.

Everything’s Big in Texas

With an economy growing three times faster than the national average, Texas may be the state for your next big move.

Austin, Texas – Metro Spotlight

The Green Heart of Central Texas

Nestled in the center of Texas, the Greater Austin metropolitan area, comprised of 11 cities in five counties, is home to nearly 1.5 million people. During the last few years, this progressive capital city, already recognized as a center of technology innovation in a sophisticated cosmopolitan community, has been busy carving out a niché for itself in the clean technologies arena. With access to research institutions, talent, and incentives—and incubators and parks dedicated to clean technologies—Austin is positioned to become a global green leader.

A First for Texas: Clean Energy Park

Earlier this year, the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities (TFIC) announced that Austin will be the location of the first Texas Clean Energy Park (TCEP). The first phase of the 140-acre development is a research park funded by a $600,000 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission. The second phase will be a business park for clean technology companies, such as the solar power company HelioVolt, which has the option to locate any of its research and development facilities and additional operations inside the park.
The National Biodiesel Board ranked Austin as having the highest concentration of retail biodiesel in the nation in 2006.
"The addition of the first Texas Clean Energy Park will provide excellent job growth opportunities for Austin as well as Central Texas," says Jose Beceiro, director of Clean Energy, Austin Chamber of Commerce. "Developing efficient new clean energy technologies side by side with innovative applications will be significant in fostering development of the clean energy industry." The TFIC will partner with research institutions across the country, corporations throughout the industry and other experts within the field in an effort to develop Texas' human resource and knowledge base. The addition of the TCEP raises the prospect of state and federal funding for talent and research development and brings in another positive asset for attracting clean energy companies from across the nation. "As anchor tenant in the TCEP's new facility, HelioVolt expects to be joined by academic and industrial partners in developing the future of smart, sustainable solar-powered architecture," says B.J. Stanbery, founder and CEO of HelioVolt.

GREEN POWER!

Advanced Micro Devices' new Lone Star Campus in southwest Austin is striving for a Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council through features including one of the largest roof-based rainwater collection and recycling systems in the world, as well as by using 100% renewable energy from Austin Energy's GreenChoice program and recycling 75% of waste from construction.
Austin Energy's GreenChoice is the nation's largest and most successful retail renewable energy program delivering more than 665 million kilowatts of electricity annually to nearly 500 businesses, Austin Independent School District and Austin City Hall. The municipally-owned utility has ranked first in the nation for its Green Power Program by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory based on total renewable energy sales. Austin Energy has plans to build the renewables' share of Austin's energy portfolio to 30% by 2020 and to build solar power's share to 100 megawatts by 2020.

Austin's Clean Energy Cluster

Here are some of the clean energy technology companies that already call Austin home: • Active Power's flywheel storage systems store kinetic energy for   short-term backup power. • Austin Biofuels has joined with Triple S Petroleum to expand the supply of vegetable-oil based fuel. • AccuWater optimizes landscape irrigation using modeling and weather conditions. • CleanFUEL USA is a global manufacturer of alternative fuel equipment for both propane and E-85. • HelioVolt is a developer of solar-enabled power-generating building materials (BIPV). • Xtreme Power provides energy-conserving power systems. • TECO-Westinghouse Motor Co. produces next-generation technology for wind turbines at a facility in Round Rock.

Texas Receives First Business Facilities State of the Year Award

The first annual Business Facilities State of the Year award has been presented to Texas.

Automotive Opportunities in a Green Economy

The automotive sector continues to be one of the most successful industries in North America. But, global competition, emerging eco-trends, and innovations are changing the playing field.

Texas Corporate Moves

 

Orgill Opens Number Six in Kilgore

In the first quarter of 2008, Orgill, Inc. plans to open its 530,000-square-foot distribution center in Kilgore, TX, 120 miles east of Dallas. Construction on the project began in April at a 65-acre plot of land in Kilgore’s Synergy Industrial Park. The new facility, Orgill’s sixth, will be modeled after the company’s state-of-the-art distribution center in Hurricane, UT. A distributor of hardware and home improvement products, Orgill expects to initially employ at least 100 workers at its Kilgore center, expanding to 300 over the next five years. Once operational, the facility will serve Orgill customers throughout Texas, as well as in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. Customers in these areas of the country are currently being serviced by Orgill’s distribution facilities in Memphis, TN and Tifton, GA. "This new facility will allow us to improve our effectiveness across the board," says Randy Williams, Orgill’s senior vice president of operations and logistics. "This will be a strategic location for us that will allow us to reduce our lead time and improve our service to customers within the four-state region, as well as create operating efficiencies for us in Tifton and Memphis." Staffing requirements were one of the primary reasons Orgill selected Kilgore, according to the company’s CFO, Byrne Whitehead. "Geographically, Kilgore fit our needs very well, but the real deciding factor was the quality and quantity of the labor force available in the area," he says. "We quickly recognized that the Kilgore area had the labor market we needed to start the facility and grow it into the future."

San Antonio Makes Space for Rackspace

In August, Rackspace Managed Hosting, a Web hosting service provider, announced plans to open a new expansion facility at Windsor Park Mall in Windcrest, TX. Rackspace, headquartered in Texas, selected the San Antonio suburb over five other out-of-state locations thanks in part to a Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant valued at $22 million. This award is projected to generate more than $100 million in capital investment and create approximately 4,000 new jobs during the next five years, the largest job creation announcement in Texas since 2005. "The Texas Enterprise Fund grant was the key factor in Rackspace’s decision to keep its company headquarters in San Antonio and build out a new campus within Windsor Park Mall," says Graham Weston, executive chairman of Rackspace Managed Hosting. "We are committed to delivering thousands of high-paying jobs to Texas." Rackspace’s choice was secured by the collaborative efforts of Bexar County, the cities of San Antonio and Windcrest, and the state of Texas. The expansion falls in line with Texas Governor Rick Perry’s targeted support of the technology sector.

Albany Engineered Composites: Boerne, Again

In January, Albany Engineered Composites (AEC) decided its current operating location, Boerne, TX, was the best place to expand its facilities. A $1 million Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) award will support the expansion, which is expected to bring 337 new jobs over seven years and $41.6 million in investment to Kendall County, TX. The new jobs will vary from engineers and executives to production workers, with an average salary of about $35,000. The project is the largest job creation and capital investment by a single company in the county’s history. Groundbreaking of the AEC project is expected to begin in the spring of 2008 and be completed within two years. The Boerne plant currently produces advanced composite structures for the aerospace industry. Steve Mack, CEO of Kendall County Economic Development Corporation, says his office’s primary goal is the retention and expansion of existing businesses in Kendall County. Boerne beat out cities in Alabama, New York, South Carolina, and Texas. "Those are stiff competitors who would love to have 300 jobs in their backyard," adds Texas Secretary of State Phil Wilson. Brian Coffenberry, Vice President of AEC says, "The area is a perfect fit for our growth plans, and we look forward to what we hope will be a long and prosperous future in Texas."

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