County Expansions, relocations push county to #6 in U.S. rankings for job growth
Fort Bend County has a lot to boast about these days. Like the rest of the Houston area, Fort Bend County is booming, and racking up its share of accolades as one of the fastest growing counties in Texas.
In March of this year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Fort Bend County was ranked No. 6 in the nation for job growth, based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program for 2011-2012.
Fort Bend County is home to many large corporations, including Fluor Corp., and other companies like Texas Instruments and Schlumberger with large campuses that have been part of the landscape in Fort Bend County for many years.
Over the past 12 months, several of these companies and others have made plans for expansion in Fort Bend County, while other companies have decided to relocate there.
“Working with our partners in the cities, special districts, educational institutions and the county, existing companies like Fluor Corp. and Texas Instruments have made long-term commitments in the past year to Fort Bend County by purchasing land and entering agreements to develop new facilities,” said Jeff Wiley, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council. “Other companies like CNC Manufacturing relocated from Houston, while Niagara Bottling Co. established a new regional distribution center.
“These companies have made a commitment to Fort Bend County for a number of reasons, but certainly top among them are the county’s location and its positive impact on their ability to retain and hire talented employees.”
Fort Bend offers many advantages for companies looking to either relocate or expand into the Houston area.
The primary advantage, according to Wiley, has to do with its close proximity and connectivity to Houston.
“Companies and families can access all of the advantages of the greater Houston area within minutes, but operate and live in a community highlighted by new development, award-winning master-planned communities, low crime and a high quality of life,” he said.
Wiley says that the community also understands the need to seek out business investment and employment, and works hard to actively and aggressively recruit and retain companies.
“Fort Bend County offers amenity-rich master-planned communities with desirable deed restrictions that protect both commercial and residential investment,” says Wiley.
Another advantage has to do with Fort Bend’s highly skilled and educated workforce. “Fort Bend has the highest percentage of educated adults over the age of 25 in the Greater Houston region, with more than 40 percent having at least a bachelor’s degree,” Wiley said.
The leaders of Fort Bend County have an aggressive approach when it comes to focusing on business recruitment and its importance to the growth of the community.
“We know that businesses help offset the cost of services, provide gainful employment close to a worker’s place of residence and create the earnings power to support the local economy,” he said. “As a result, while we encourage growth of master-planned communities that act as a magnet for quality residential growth, we equally understand business growth is necessary and important and pursue it aggressively.”
The strong economic factors that are driving the population and employment growth throughout the greater Houston area, are also felt within Fort Bend County.
“Fort Bend is a leader in master-planned community development (MPCs),” Wiley said. “MPCs are deed-restricted, high-amenity environments with upscale-designs that attract families that typically have higher education, employment and income levels. As a result, MPCs are magnets for creating a skilled labor force in Fort Bend County and help position our community as a regional alternative for those looking to relocate or expand their business.”
Wiley also attributes the population growth to the many other factors that make Fort Bend County an attractive place to live, such as the highly rated school districts, low crime, low-density development, and its connectivity to the greater Houston region.
Fort Bend County also has been named the most diverse in the nation, according to a recent Rice Universitystudy.
“Fort Bend offers things that people of any ethnicity desire: a high-quality environment in which to live, work and raise a family,” he said.
Michelle Sandlin has been involved in the relocation industry since 2000. She serves as Vice President/President-Elect on the Houston Relocation Professionals Board of Directors, and is Vice President/Director of Communication & Marketing for Chicago Title. Send questions/comments to:[email protected]. Follow on Twitter: @MichelleSandlin; www.facebook.com/HoustonRelocation.
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