I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Mike Rosa, Senior Vice President, Economic Development

The Dallas Regional Chamber recently completed its 2016-20 strategic plan, focused on economic development, talent attraction, education and workforce, and public policy. Our primary economic development goals were to add more jobs and recruit more companies than other U.S. regions. We also aimed to raise the profile of our region internationally, and as a place for talent, technology, and innovation to thrive.

The DRC led and partnered with community and state economic development leaders, public officials, business leaders, and many others to create real “A-Teams” to achieve these goals.

Our region, even through COVID-19, continues to lead all other U.S. regions for net job growth since 2016 with almost 250,000 net new jobs.

In September 2017, our region came together as one to bid for Amazon’s HQ2 – making the list of 20 finalists in January 2018, hosting Amazon a month later, and then again on a secret second visit in August 2018 after the company narrowed it down to a few final locations.

Dallas-Fort Worth did not land half of Amazon’s HQ2 but did win the headquarters of a company larger than Amazon at that time when McKesson moved its headquarters to Irving from San Francisco.

Today, three of the 10 largest U.S. companies are based in our region: McKesson, AT&T, and Exxon Mobil. No other region has more than one. New York and Chicago have none, yet Irving has two.

Joining McKesson with Fortune 250 headquarters moves here are Charles Schwab and Core-Mark in Westlake, and Jacobs and CBRE in Dallas. Five in five years.

The DRC’s economic development team was involved in a total of 62 moves and expansions, including those five and others such as Uber, Louis Vuitton, McLaren, Smoothie King, Vistaprint, Salesforce, Peloton, and Pacific Dental. We saw a nice balance of industrial, office, and headquarters locations over the five years, including 2020. Even Amazon came back to announce a significant job increase at its Dallas corporate office.

As we look ahead, we are optimistic. While other states struggle with fiscal conditions and look to new taxes as a way out, the Texas and Dallas business climates will shine brighter than ever.

We have new and flexible real estate here compared to other cities, and are better able to adapt to the office space or industrial space setups that companies now prefer.

We are not dependent on public transit and not as dense as other major cities.

Our region has the largest affordable corporate and talent base in the U.S. We have great scale, diversity, and economic strength to offer the next new companies here.

Our reputation as a higher education powerhouse, and an innovation and technology location has continued to rise, complementing our brand as a great headquarters location. Over the next few years, the DRC will push even stronger to brand our region as the “Intellectual Capital of Texas,” because it is true – and we can prove it!

You can have a great business and personal life here and that matters more than ever to companies and people.

We have the A-Team, unrivaled partners in our many communities, and our state to continue our success in economic development.