DRC aims to take a home-grown approach to economic development

By Mike Rosa, Senior Vice President of Economic Development

The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) officially launched its 2024-2026 strategic plan, “Building Tomorrow Together,” in January. Our senior leaders penned blogs about each of the four focus areas of the new plan, the track record of success they are building on, and what they will focus on in 2024.

Mike Rosa, Senior Vice President of Economic Development

Over the past three years, the DRC and the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Region have built great momentum in economic development and secured several major wins—which sets us up nicely as we formalize our focus on Prosperity & Economic Development under the DRC’s 2024-2026 strategic plan.

Our region continues to lead the nation in job growth, with 602,000 net new jobs over the last five years. That’s 59,000 more jobs than second-place Atlanta and third-place Houston combined.

In 2023 alone, the DFW Region saw 55 companies locate or expand here—a pace we’ve kept for the last several years. We are particularly proud 22 regional cities landed at least one of these wins in 2023, meaning that the whole region has a share of the prosperity we are seeing. Cities in our region are winning by doing a great job of contributing to our collective success.

Nine of these projects landed in Southern Dallas County, including the new Canadian Solar and Trina Solar plants—each of which is projected to contribute 1,500 jobs to the nearly 300,000 tech jobs now in DFW.

Our region’s brand on the life sciences and biotech stage was elevated in 2023 when we earned two major federal designations in as many months. The DRC proudly provided key economic development, research, and policy support for Texas’ successful bid to bring the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, known as ARPA-H, Customer Experience Hub to Dallas’ Pegasus Park. The win validates, amplifies, and accelerates the DRC’s focus on growing the life sciences and biotech sectors as we move into 2024.

Shortly after the ARPA-H news, the White House and the U.S. Department of Commerce designated Dallas as a tech hub, the only winning bid in Texas. The DRC’s Research & Innovation team, led by Senior Vice President Duane Dankesreiter, was instrumental in showcasing our region’s potential for growing our nation’s semiconductor production.

Our work over the past several years has positioned the DFW Region as a destination for business and innovation—and our strategic work in Prosperity & Economic Development for 2024-2026 will help us make certain the ecosystem that makes that possible is sustained and thriving.

We’ll work to ensure local companies and talent enjoy an ecosystem that promotes innovation while helping them grow and prosper. We want to hear from our members and partners throughout the region about what they need from an economic development perspective to continue to grow.

We’ll also work to ensure we’re meeting with local companies to assess their needs and growth potential. To do that, we’re going to add two new marketing trips in our own backyard to meet with companies already here, in addition to our trips to California and New York.

Of course, we’ll continue to work on the corporate recruitment that’s important to our region. We recognize the importance of working with our Education, Talent & Workforce team to ensure that both local and incoming talent are prioritized. Without a healthy workforce, economic prosperity wouldn’t be possible. We also already have our eye on developing economic policy for the 2025 legislative session.

Finally, a hallmark of a strong economy is the ability to grow innovation from your own dirt. To support this, the DRC will continue to foster innovation opportunities and increasingly look to bring startups and universities into the fold. Building on the successes of 2023, life science and biotech present important opportunities to cultivate the future economy in the Dallas Region.

We are hitting the ground running in 2024 and look forward to working with our DRC members and community economic development leaders every step of the way. Whether you’re new to the region or a seasoned member of our community, we’d love to work with you to advance Prosperity & Economic Development in the Dallas Region.