Texas has lots of economic development bragging rights, not the least of which is its 8th consecutive Site Selection Governor’s Cup for total capital investment projects — it was awarded to Governor Greg Abbott in March. Now it’s claimed another: the 2020 Prosperity Cup, which recognizes the successful business recruitment and retention efforts of state-level economic development efforts. The prize is based on a 10-point index of competitiveness criteria, most of which are based on project data resident in Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database (see Prosperity Points sidebar on facing page).
In addition to Site Selection’s recognitions, Texas has been named the Best State for Business for the past 15 consecutive years by Chief Executive. Moving company Allied has named Texas the top corporate move destination for the past six years, and WalletHub named Texas the Best State to Start a Business for 2019. Texas is a tough state to beat when it comes to job creation — and the prosperity that comes with it. Consider the following:
The Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), administered within the Economic Development and Tourism division in the Governor’s Office, is a central component in Texas’ job creation success. In 2018 and 2019, TEF helped attract $6.3 billion in capital investment and helped create more than 13,000 new direct jobs and many thousands of new indirect jobs.
“The $85.8 million invested in job creation also helped to close the deal on the headquarters relocations of The PGA of America and CORE West, Inc., a major expansion by Apple Inc. and other job-creating business investments,” noted Gov. Greg Abbott in his 2020 Report to the People of Texas, released in March. “With TEF fully funded for 2020-2021, we will continue helping local communities to diversify our booming economy and attract even more well-paying jobs all across Texas.”
TEF recipients in that timeframe include more than $1.6 million of capital investment by Waterlogic USA in Grapevine, $11 million of capital investment and 1,300 new direct jobs from Allstate Insurance Company in Irving, and more than $3.1 billion of capital investment and 488 new direct jobs from Texas Instruments in Richardson.
Economic Development Team Has a New Coach
In October 2019, Gov. Abbott announced his appointment of Adriana Cruz as the Executive Director of the Economic Development and Tourism (EDT) division within the Office of the Governor. Cruz joins EDT with a robust background in economic development and business, having most recently served as the President of the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP).
She leads the teams within EDT charged with promoting Texas as the best state for businesses large and small, as well as the premier destination for national and international tourism and trade. She also works closely with local and regional economic development teams to continue to expand job creation and economic growth in rural, suburban, and metro communities across Texas.
“Texas leads the nation as the best state for business and job growth, with the most corporate relocation and expansion projects, and our economy has been growing faster than the nation as a whole,” said Governor Abbott. “I am confident that Adriana’s experience and perspective will help the state continue that economic momentum, further expanding the path to prosperity for more Texas families across every region of this great state.”