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Texas Enterprise Fund boosts state’s job growth

Over the past year, Texas communities, including the San Antonio area, have added thousands of jobs, despite a national recession pushing unemployment to unacceptably high levels in many parts of the country.

We also felt the economic downturn, but Texas and San Antonio have outperformed most areas, especially in job creation. One important reason for our strong performance is our business-friendly environment attracting major employers in the face of fierce competition from other states.

The “deal-closing” Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) helps tip the balance in our favor when financial incentives are a factor in a company’s decision-making process. Administered by the governor’s office, the fund only allocates monies for projects meeting strict criteria and holds them accountable.

Texas communities that have benefited from the TEF can thank San Antonio for its creation because it was a direct result of the city’s successful courting of Toyota’s truck manufacturing plant. When the community struggled to pull together a competitive financial package, the lack of a dedicated state fund served as a wake-up call in Austin.

The TEF was an important part of state and local incentive packages for a number of developments announced the past couple of years in the San Antonio area, including:

-Medtronic, Inc. expanding its diabetes management division to San Antonio, bringing nearly 1,400 new jobs.

-Rackspace Hosting deciding to stay in San Antonio. Its local expansion plans call for adding 3,000 jobs.

-Caterpillar, a Fortune 50 company that chose Seguin for one of its primary global assembly, test and paint facilities, creating more than 1,400 jobs.

-Kohl’s customer operations center, creating more than 1,000 local jobs.

-Nationwide Insurance, which will expand and add 750 jobs in San Antonio.

-Allstate Insurance, which will employ nearly 600 people at the new San Antonio customer service center that celebrated its grand opening on June 9.

The combination of a state and local package enhances our competitive position, because many states and communities also can offer incentives to help companies defray costs of moving, expanding and establishing new facilities.

Texas’ TEF is the nation’s largest deal-closing fund. Since the Texas Legislature created it in 2003, the fund has allocated nearly $400 million statewide. In return, Texans received nearly 52,000 jobs and more than $14 billion in capital investment, according to the governor’s office. And thanks to legislative reappropriation in 2005, 2007 and 2009, more than $200 million has been available in the TEF during the 2010-2011 biennium.

The TEF demonstrates that Texas really wants these companies here.

Randy Cain is an executive committee member and immediate past chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation

Texas Enterprise Fund boosts state’s job growth

Published: San Antonio Express-News
By: Randy Cain – Special to the Express-News
Date: July 16, 2010

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1 comment to Texas Enterprise Fund boosts state’s job growth

  • As a long time resident of Seguin, I am looking forward to the extra boost in the economy that CAT is bringing. Welcome to Texas CAT!

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