By Anne Cosgrove
From the January/February 2023 issue
When choosing where to relocate and expand their businesses, many industry leaders find themselves at home in the Lone Star State. Texas offers companies of all sizes and varied industries a vast and diverse location to relocate and grow. With a transparent tax and regulatory structure, the state has no corporate or personal income tax, so companies there benefit from one of the lowest overall tax burdens in the nation.
Home to more than 50 Fortune 500 companies, thousands of publicly traded companies, and 3.1 million small businesses, along with a workforce of more than 14.5 million, the Texas economy is the ninth largest when compared to the nations of the world.
Israel-based electric vehicle tech firm REE Automotive opened its first North American headquarters in Pflugerville, TX. (Photo: Pflugerville Community Development Corp.)
Texas offers a robust incentive program portfolio, including the highly competitive Texas Enterprise Fund, which awards “deal-closing” grants to companies considering a new project for which one Texas site is competing with other out-of-state sites. The fund serves as a performance-based financial incentive for those companies whose projects would contribute significant capital investment and new employment opportunities to the economy.
Across the diverse geography of Texas, the state supports an array of advanced industries, where specific infrastructure and industry knowledge has developed and continues to evolve. Targeted industries include: advanced manufacturing; aerospace, aviation, and defense; biotech and life sciences; energy; information technology; petroleum refining and chemical products; corporate services; and creative industries.
And Texas offers logistic advantages with its central location and access to global markets and trade and supply chain routes. International companies have access to approximately 31 ports of entry and 34 Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs). With 19 seaports, including 11 deepwater ports, that state is home to the largest Gulf Coast container port, the Port of Houston. There is also the Port of Laredo along the U.S.-Mexico border.
There are more than 380 airports in Texas, including six heliports, 26 commercial airports, and two intermodal facilities.
Texas has more than 314,600 miles of public roads and 10,500 miles of freight rail. The state continues to invest in infrastructure, including a 10-year, $83 billion commitment to new state roadway projects.
Across the state, startups are growing alongside the world’s biggest brands, including Fortune 500 corporate headquarters. Throughout 2022, business investments were brought to urban centers as well as smaller communities. Local, regional, and statewide economic development teams partner to develop existing local business, attract new business, and retain the talent that fuels continuing success.
Pflugerville, TX Continues Its Rapid Ascent
Located in Central Texas just 15 minutes from downtown Austin, Pflugerville is one of the most sought-after locations in the country for expansion and relocation. The Austin metropolitan area is repeatedly ranked among the best places in the nation for nearly every category related to business, workforce, residency, and more.
So, how did it happen? Being north and east of Austin and with no direct access to a major highway, this farm town had to wait for it. And, in 2006-2009 when State Highway 130 arrived as a by-pass of Interstate 35 in Austin, Pflugerville awoke to find itself with over 3,000 undeveloped acres that were contiguous to the fastest road in the U.S.
In 2022, the city of Pflugerville welcomed seven new and expanding companies which included its second North American headquarters. Based out of Tel Aviv, Israel, REE Automotive, an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, is leading the industry in fully modular electric vehicle platforms. In addition to REE’s innovative technology in EVs, Pflugerville also has the largest additive manufacturing sector in the state that is supported by a robotics company that is well-equipped to handle any company’s needs for high-tech, automated robotic maintenance and operations.
When you add in the growth in jobs outperforming Austin and the state, this once sleepy town is now booming with development and showing no signs of slowing down.
As we turn the page to 2023, REE has begun operations on the modular platform EVs with plans to employ 135 full-time employees. Amazon, a 3.8 million square foot fulfillment center that opened in December 2021, has now grown to over 1,500 employees. Following the REE announcement in March, the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. (PCDC) announced MoboTrex would relocate its regional headquarters to Pflugerville. MoboTrex, a manufacturer of traffic control systems, relocated from its Austin 36,000-square-foot location to a 130,000 square foot facility in the 130 Business Park and will employ 110 full-time employees. With the addition of REE Automotive and MoboTrex, the PCDC has recruited a total of seven new projects to the city adding 741,000 square feet and 440 jobs to the city.
In order for Pflugerville to assist local residents and expand its footprint as a booming ecosystem, the PCDC sought out opportunities with partners to find innovative ways to upskill employees and prepare residents for the new job opportunities.
In the past year, the PCDC partnered with Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WFSCA) to fund the required matching grant of $150,000 to receive a High Demand Job Training Grant (HDJT Grant) dollar for dollar match from WFSCA to expand the Pflugerville ISD Emergency Medical Technician training programs for high school seniors. With the combined $300,000 in grants, the PCDC and WFSCA purchased equipment for the program that allowed students to be eligible for certification as Emergency Medical Technicians after completing the program.
Along with the HDJT Grant, the PCDC has partnered with the Pflugerville Library to offer free professional development training and upskilling resources from LinkedIn Learning. The electronic resource features over 16,000 professionally-produced courses, with over 60 being added weekly. This resource is available for free to residents and individuals who are employed in Pflugerville.
In order to continue recruiting new and innovative high-tech manufacturers and companies to our community, the PCDC remains focused on its workforce mission to provide needed talent and training for our current and future employers.
For more information, visit www.pfdevelopment.com.