From the January/February 2022 Issue
Everything just seems to be a lot bigger in Texas.
And, that includes the state of the economy in The Lone Star State. With a favorable business climate, low taxes and a climate that is drawing more and more people from across the country, Texas has remained a magnet for both individuals and businesses over the last year.
Interestingly, competition between different areas of Texas is heating up, as various regions in the second largest state by population and geography promote their many attributes. The competition is also increasing not only among the big four metropolitans areas of the state, but also from mid-sized communities scattered around Texas.
Many feel that competition will only heat up as Texas economic development groups and local governments do all they can to enhance their own regions, including transportation, higher education, medical care and amenities that can include shopping and culture.
Lubbock, TX – Texas’ Hub City
Located in America’s Heartland, Lubbock, TX is a burgeoning metro deemed the “Hub City” for its state-of-the-art healthcare, education, agriculture, and manufacturing. The diversification of the manufacturing sector is a key point of interest. From the production of mozzarella cheese to the manufacturing of eyeglasses, and the creation of semiconductors, Lubbock’s manufacturing sector is proving this region to be well equipped with the resources needed to be successful on a global stage.
In October 2021, the largest single private capital investment in Lubbock’s history was announced with an estimated economic impact of $10 billion over the next 10 years. Leprino Foods, a world leader in mozzarella cheese production, will begin construction on a state-of-the-art, 850,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in 2022. Once the facility becomes fully operational, this investment will result in $2.4 billion in total annual economic output and 600 jobs.
Also, within Lubbock’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors, SIMFLO and Simmons Pump & Supply work together to manufacture and distribute 75 different types of pumps along with replacement parts and accessories. This local company utilizes cutting-edge pump turbine technology to move water to farms, communities, and commercial buildings.
One local company is bringing manufacturing back from China. Arbor Eyewear recently announced its new production facility and brand, Forall Frameworks. Nearly 85% of the world’s eyeglass frames are produced in China with only a handful of manufacturers located with the United States. With a goal to produce world-class eyewear and bring its manufacturing back to the U.S., Rick Taylor spent the past several years working to make this goal a reality.
As one of the world’s leading specialty foundry groups for analog and mixed-signal semiconductor technologies, X-FAB manufactures products for automotive, industrial and medical applications. With over 30 years of manufacturing and strong design support services, X-FAB designs integrated circuits (ICs) and other semiconductor devices for use in the products of each client or of their customers.
With a first-class engineering and IT workforce, Lubbock’s manufacturing capabilities span into the technology sector. At Tyco, security is top of mind. A leader in security manufacturing, Tyco offers its customers premium access control, cloud solutions and video surveillance. With a diverse security portfolio, Tyco is equipped to seamlessly integrate solutions through a network of global partners.
Another manufacturer in Lubbock is TrueNorth Steel, a top steel fabricator in the United States. This company produced pieces for many impressive structures across the country including the helical staircase comprised of 110 tons of steel in The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences in Lubbock (pictured on page 104).
Despite the ongoing challenges presented in 2020, Lubbock’s manufacturing industry produced nearly $1 billion in GRP, making it a top five industry in the city. Home to a Tier One research institution, Texas Tech University, Lubbock boasts resources in research and development which provide businesses the assets needed to be innovative and efficient in day-to-day operations.
In addition to the universities, Lubbock’s public schools provide highly esteemed career and technical education programs. Through the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center, this region boasts the first high school in the nation to offer a manufacturing certification program, the Manufacturing Skills Standards Certification (MSSC). The MSSC verifies that students have the technical and academic skills needed for the manufacturing sector and graduates excellent workforce candidates.
Learn how your business can grow in Lubbock, TX at lubbockeda.org.
Pflugerville, TX – A Growing Part of the Austin Metro
A lot has happened over the last 15 years in Pflugerville, TX. Back then, the city, just northeast of Austin was a sleepy community, with few amenities and few reasons to visit.
But the construction of State Route 130 and a sudden influx of restaurants, shopping malls and cultural sites has made the city in Travis County now one of the hottest locations in one of the hottest states in the country. Today, Pflugerville is home to about 75,000 people and an impressive list of corporations, including Facebook and Amazon, who like the idea of calling the city, about 10 miles north of downtown Austin, home.
The Pflugerville Community Development Corp. (PCDC) reported that nine projects were announced in 2021, including deals with Brandt, The Boring Company, Facebook, MDC Precision and Walker Engineering. All told, those deals accounted for a commitment to 602,000 square feet of space, 1,561 new jobs and a capital investment of about $26 million. In 2020, eight projects were announced, including deals with Home Depot, Amazon, Armbrust, Essentium and Curative. Those deals will account for 4.2 million square feet of space, 1,478 new jobs and a capital investment of $317 million.
City officials say that there is much more to come. They note that Pflugerville’s location, combined with its growing amenities, transportation network and support, makes the city an ideal place for people to live and work.
Recently, the city council approved grants for a deal between the PCDC and Cumberland Additive Inc., an additive manufacturing company headquartered in Pflugerville. The agreement, approved by the PCDC board on December 15, approved up to $300,000 in grants based on Cumberland investing $9.6 millon, expanding into a 36,000-square-foot facility in the One Thirty Business Park, and employing a total of 46 full-time primary jobs over the five-year term.
“Cumberland is a highly recognized international leader in additive manufacturing research and development. Since 2009, this company and its affiliates have consistently created and produced parts for aerospace and other types of manufacturing companies in Pflugerville. This investment by the PCDC helps Cumberland expand into new target markets in the defense and medical industries and provide new employment opportunities for our community,” said Amy Madison, PCDC executive director.
Cumberland is relocating all corporate operations from a 27,000-square-foot facility at 1007 S. Heatherwilde Boulevard in Pflugerville to the new location at 3813 Helios Way in Pflugerville.
Besides accommodating the corporate headquarters, the project will expand Cumberland’s current operations which offer series production of parts and engineering design services in both metals and polymer materials using Powder Bed Fusion technology.
“We see our city as a great alternative in the Austin metropolitan area,” Madison added. “We are a great city to live in and a great city to do business in. And, we provide companies an opportunity to be near Austin but not in the crowded business. We are very proud at our response rate to needs and questions.”