DRC will purse more HQs
From the Dallas Business Journal:DRC will pursue more HQsPremium content from Dallas Business Journal - by Bill Hethcock, Staff Writer
Date: Friday, February 11, 2011, 5:00am CST
Adding jobs, boosting output and convincing some of the world’s biggest corporate headquarters to call North Texas home have always ranked high on the Dallas Regional Chamber
’s to-do list.
The chamber’s “Blueprint for Economic Prosperity” quantifies the targets:
- Add more total jobs than any other U.S. region from 2010 to 2015.
- Become a top five U.S. market for gross domestic product by 2015.
- Become a top 10 region for Fortune Global 500 headquarters and a top three region for major public and private U.S. headquarters by 2015.
Each of the goals is achievable, said Mike Rosa
, the chamber’s vice president for economic development.
“We’re within shouting distance on all of those,” he said.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area ranked second in job creation, behind Washington D.C., according to the most recent data the chamber uses, Rosa said. Washington had a 1.4 percent increase in jobs, Dallas-Fort Worth had a 1.1 percent increase in the year ending in July 2010, he said.
To meet its job creation goals, the chamber plans to keep an eye out for “the next big thing,” and lure those job-creating companies to the
region, Rosa said.
He said the chamber will figure out the next big thing by studying trends for venture capital and private equity investment, watching M&A activity and forming strategies to effectively attract the most innovative sectors and companies.
“Five or 10 years from now, when we’re all using tools and toys and communications devices and products and services that we might not even imagine right now, we want to see those things having a presence in this region,” Rosa said. “We want those companies and those facilities to ever-increasingly think about D-FW as a home or a place to invest or grow.”
In terms of GDP — the value of goods and services produced within an area — the Dallas area ranks sixth in the country, behind New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Washington, D.C., Rosa said. New York’s GDP was $1.26 trillion, compared to Dallas’ GDP of $379.86 billion in 2008, according to data the chamber is using from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Rosa said.
To boost GDP, the chamber will identify companies in emerging or fast-growing sectors such as renewable energy, technology and health care, and create industry clusters by improving workforce capabilities, addressing gaps in employees’ skills and helping companies with opportunities for international growth, Rosa said.
“We’re looking for things that are going to be sprouting and creating lots of jobs and facilities, and over time, that all comes back into the GDP equation,” Rosa said.
New York also leads the country on a combined list of global and U.S headquarters, with 96. Dallas-Fort Worth has 35, Rosa said.
That ranks the Dallas-Fort Worth area 11th on the global list and third on the U.S. list behind New York and Chicago and ahead of Houston, with 33, Rosa said.
To improve North Texas’ headquarters rankings nationally and globally, the chamber will rely more heavily on leaders of major businesses already in the area to talk to prospects about the advantages of relocating, Rosa said. The chamber will develop more highly tailored messages about how moving a headquarters can benefit individual corporations — whether that means lower taxes, geographic advantages or other benefits, he said.
“That way when we do get the opportunity to get in front of these companies, we’ve got one heck of a message,” he said.
The Dallas area generally compares favorably to its national and international competition when it comes to attracting higher-skill, higherpaying jobs and companies, said King White
, president of Site Selection Group LLC, an economic development and site consultancy in Dallas.
“D-FW fares pretty well for the higher-end corporations,” White said. “As you go up the food chain for corporations, it typically scores better the higher you go.”
Individualized approaches are effective, King said.
“A lot of times a headquarter relocation is driven by accessibility, workforce availability or potential tax benefits,” he said. “You have to look at each individual company because they’re going to have different drivers.”
Part of the chamber’s strategy for improving GDP and the region’s headquarters count is to target the biggest companies now as well as those that are headed for the top of the rankings, Rosa said.
“It’s kind of like when the quarterback drops back in the pocket, he doesn’t throw it to where the receiver is, but to where the receiver is going to be,” he said.