Rising Tide: Tech Surge in North Texas

North Texas continues to flex its strengths as companies big and small flock to the region for tech talent and growth opportunities.

New research shows Dallas-Fort Worth leads the nation in the growth of high-tech jobs. 

Dallas-Fort Worth is known for the ingredients that tech firms and other companies look for when seeking to relocate or expand: Well-trained tech talent, a sense of optimism, a world-class airport, leading research universities, and affordable real estate. 

Sure, DFW, a region of over 7.7 million people, isn’t immune from the fickle nature of the economy, but the region’s resilience helps it stand tall as a place to do business. Some companies may be trimming expenses, but investments in North Texas by major companies validate North Texas’ attraction to outsiders seeking better opportunities for themselves and their employees: Caterpillar moved from Illinois to Irving. Goldman Sachs is designing an office tower near Victory Park that will house roughly 5,000 employees as part of its expansion beyond New York City. Samsung has leased over 670,000 square feet of space in Fort Worth for a new shipping hub. And JCPenney is returning 2,000 employees to its Plano campus.

January kicked off with a string of announcements, including global online protection provider McAfee announcing that it will have a new regional headquarters located at The Star in Frisco starting in starting mid-2023. And in Mesquite, RJW Logistics Group Inc., a leading provider of retail logistics solutions for consumer-packaged goods, is leasing 600,000 square feet at Mesquite’s new Alcott Logistics Station and expects to bring over 200 jobs to the region.

Allegro MicroSystems, a global player in power and sensing semiconductor tech, also said it’s planning to open a new office in the Richardson Innovation Quarter.

More recent announcements

Other recent announcements show multiple expansions and headquarters relocations to the region. For example, ExteNet Systems, a provider of LTE and 5G wireless and fiber-neutral host communications infrastructure solutions, will move its headquarters from Illinois to Frisco, the same city that attracted wireless networks provider Boingo’s headquarters move from California.

In September, Estonian startup Clevon announced its plans to establish a U.S. headquarters at AllianceTexas in Fort Worth. The company, which also revealed its latest innovation, the autonomous delivery vehicle Clevon 1, said the move helps position them as a leader in the rapidly growing autonomous delivery space. [Photo: Dallas Innovates]

In Fort Worth, Estonian autonomous delivery vehicle manufacturer Clevon opened a U.S. HQ, and in Addison, rocket engine maker Firehawk Aerospace also relocated from California. 

In Carrollton, Paranet, a cybersecurity company, opened its new 11,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility where it will house roughly 100 analysts and provide better support for existing and future clients.

Since 2010, North Texas has seen more than 222 new corporate headquarters moving to the area, according to the Dallas Regional Chamber. The region is now home to 24 Fortune 500 companies, according to the DRC’s 2023 annual report. 

New research shows Dallas-Fort Worth leads the nation in the growth of high-tech jobs. 

Dale Petroskey says that 10 of the last Fortune 500 headquarters moves are from eight different business sectors. The president and CEO of the DRC noted that more than one million new jobs have been created here since 2010, and we’re now No. 1 in the nation in three-year job gains.

New research also shows that Dallas-Fort Worth leads the nation in the growth of high-tech jobs, according to the DRC. The number of jobs increased by 9,784 positions from 2021 to 2022. 

Texas’ headquarters of headquarters

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has released a long list of relocations and expansions in Texas that illustrate the state’s—and DFW’s—strength. “The inquiries from large companies and small businesses alike are not slowing down,” his office noted. 

The office of the governor has a new report on corporate relocations to Texas since 2015, hot off the press.  The report shares data tracked by the EDT Research Team. “Texas is truly the headquarters of headquarters, offering a business environment where corporate operations can thrive,” according to an email from Adriana Cruz, executive director of Texas Economic Development & Tourism.

Adrian Cruz [Courtesy photo]

In January, Cruz noted that the “Lone Star State saw an unprecedented spike in headquarter relocations during and immediately following the pandemic.”

The team monitoring this phenomenon logged 42 such relocations in 2020, followed by a historic high of 80 in 2021. Last year, the state still managed to attract a higher number of headquarters relocations in 2022, totaling 35, Cruz said in a Q&A. Texas became the leading state in the nation for Fortune 500 headquarters, with a total of 54, including the recent announcement of Caterpillar’s move to Irving.

“We ended last year with the largest pipeline of active projects we’ve seen in decades,” she said, noting several industries Texas’ is watching for growth.  “We’ve seen strong interest in semiconductor manufacturing, general manufacturing, and energy.”

Texas growth sectors in 2023

With recent federal legislation and a focus on “nearshoring,” Cruz also expects to see strong investment in Texas’ other targeted growth sectors that include petroleum refining and chemical, IT, biotech and life sciences, corporate services, and aerospace, aviation, and defense. In addition, she pointed to a “strong interest” in automotive manufacturing, food and beverage manufacturing and distribution, supply chain, and logistics.

“Other emerging industries to watch in Texas include EV and battery manufacturing, cybersecurity, and commercial space tourism,” Cruz said. “It’s clear that the diversity of the Texas economy will continue to be an asset for our state into the future.”

A version of this story was originally published in Dallas Innovates 2023.

Read Dallas Innovates 2023 online

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