In an interview broadcast today on News Radio 1080 KRLD in Dallas-Fort Worth, Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers characterized the magazine’s designation of Texas as its 2019 State of the Year as a fitting coda for a decade of dominance in economic development by the Lone Star State.
“Business Facilities doesn’t have a State of the Decade Award, but if we did, Texas would be the hands-down winner,” Rogers told KRLD News Anchor Chris Sommers, in an interview heard throughout the state on the Texas State Networks.
Rogers said that Texas, the first four-time winner of Business Facilities’ top honor, has established the most dynamic state economy in the nation by diversifying its growth sectors and developing a rapidly expanding skilled workforce.
To listen to the entire KRLD interview, click on the arrow below.
Rogers said that the business-friendly climate in Texas and aggressive targeted incentives have enabled the state to establish leadership positions in high-tech industries in all parts of the state, including cybersecurity in San Antonio, semiconductor fabrication in Austin and one of the largest data center hubs in North America in Dallas-Fort Worth.
The Business Facilities editor also noted that the Lone Star State has made massive investments to ensure that its position as an energy superpower will remain unchallenged in the 21st century, including a $7-billion wind energy transmission grid in West Texas and multi-billion-dollar export facilities for liquefied natural gas in Brownsville and Port Arthur that are expected to come on line later this year.
Texas won Business Facilities’ inaugural State of the Year designation in 2007; Texas also was the magazine’s State of the Year winner in 2012 and 2016.
After Business Facilities announced the Lone Star State’s record-setting fourth State of the Year on January 3, Gov. Greg Abbott released the following statement:
“Thanks to our unrivaled workforce and our commitment to economic freedom, Texas continues to shine as America’s center for job creation, innovation, and economic development,” Gov. Abbott said. “I thank Business Facilities for this incredible honor, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Texans throughout the state, including our local economic development teams. The Texas success story is just beginning. Together, we will continue to cultivate an environment of economic growth and opportunity that creates a brighter future for every Texan.”
Business Facilities’ State of the Year award is based on a review of the state’s top projects for 2019 (in terms of capital investment and job-creation), as well as an across-the-board evaluation of the successful execution of its economic development growth strategy. Diversification of growth sectors, business climate, incentives and the availability of a skilled workforce also are key factors considered in the State of the Year evaluation.
The top five Texas projects in terms of capital investment last year brought a tidal wave of more than $30 billion in capex to TX, while the top five job-creating projects netted nearly 15,000 direct new jobs.
The biggest job-creating projects in TX included Uber’s new Administrative Hub in Dallas and a $1-billion investment by Apple in metro Austin. Uber’s facility at a new office tower is expected to create 3,000 new jobs. Apple is planning to hire 5,000 new employees for its new campus in northwest Austin, the second campus the tech giant has established in the TX capital.
Two mammoth LNG projects topped the list of major investments in Texas. Construction is scheduled to begin this year at the $15-billion Rio Grande liquefied natural gas export terminal in Brownsville, which will feature six LNG production units capable of producing more than 16 metric tons of LNG annually (the LNG production units are being designed to withstand hurricane-force winds of up to 150 miles per hour). A second major LNG export facility, Port Arthur LNG, has received the green light from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin construction at the Jefferson County site.
“These LNG export facilities will ensure that Texas maintains its grip on the top spot among exporting states in the 2020s, as it did throughout the first decade of the 21st century,” Rogers said. Texas has been the top state for exports for 15 consecutive years.
“Even if you take the oil and gas projects off the board, Texas brought in billions in capital investment for other growth sectors,” Rogers added. The top projects in TX included Texas Instruments’ commitment to build a $3.1-billion semiconductor chip fab in Richardson and Steel Dynamics’ new $1.9-billion steel mill in Sinton.
The Lone Star State’s dominance of the economic development landscape was again reflected in Business Facilities’ annual State and Metro Rankings Reports in 2019. Texas notched top-10 results in 15 categories in BF’s 2019 State Rankings Report; TX was Business Facilities’ top-ranked state in Installed Wind Power Capacity, FTZ Activity (imports and Exports) and Cybersecurity Growth Potential.
Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.