On The Road Again

Mike Rosa, Senior Vice President, Economic Development

The DRC economic development team just can’t wait to get on the road again.

Beginning in September and coinciding with the Dallas Regional Chamber’s full return to the office, our team has scheduled eight outbound corporate recruitment trips before the year’s end.

Highlights of our fall schedule include a mission with the State of Texas to Chicago, two DRC staff corporate meeting missions to the west coast, joining Site Selectors Guild members at their fall conference, and leading DFW regional cities on two trips to meet consultants and companies.

Charles Schwab, Salesforce, Copart, McKesson, Kubota, Core-Mark, Active Network and Louis Vuitton are among many companies now here that we met first and early on road trips.  Successes like these make the long but always direct flights, suitcase living, and hours stuck in worse traffic than ours well worth it; not just for our team and the DRC, but for Dallas and our region.

To prepare for this fall’s missions and more in 2022, we’ve spent time researching a fresh roster of companies to call on.  It’s a mix of Fortune-level companies, fast-growing tech companies, manufacturers, and others that profile as good prospects to move or expand here.

This year, we’ve also invested in our website, marketing presentations and ten new “Why Dallas” digital pitches tailored to the types of companies we will meet.  The first is themed “The Texas Two-Step: How Business Growth Begins with One Move to Dallas-Fort Worth”.

Subsequent pitches will focus on high tech, manufacturing, financial technology, mobility, biotechnology, and four more sectors to which our region has a story to tell.  Our team will use these pitches exhaustively when marketing and meeting. You’ll notice Ebby Halliday is sponsoring the first “Two-Step” pitch, built for corporate headquarters prospects.  Other sponsors are welcome on these pitches; a great opportunity for our members to gain early and frequent exposure to the next companies in our region’s win column.

Hitting the road will add fuel to a fire of recent announcements and current corporate location projects.  In the past few months, companies like CBRE, Caterpillar, Vanguard, Fortress Investment Group, WileyX, and Canyon Partners have announced moves to DFW.

As of July 16, the DRC is tracking 115 active projects.  For us, an active project is a substantive headquarters, office, industrial or other inbound interest that we are supporting and that has kicked off a selection process.  Projects range from those nearing a decision to those in early days of analysis.

Of the 115 projects, 85 originated during the COVID-19 pandemic.  A dozen active projects have made visits this spring and summer to see sites and buildings, and to better understand our assets.  The diversity of active projects reflects the diversity of our existing corporate base; our region is well-suited for all kinds of companies and functions.

Our pipeline includes corporate and regional headquarters and expansions, financial service companies, food and beverage makers, life sciences, electric vehicles, research and development, software, and logistics.  DFW’s corporate scale, talent base (including tech talent), business friendliness, affordability, transportation superiority, and a host of other comparative advantages keep companies and people coming here.  Our prospects are bright if we keep these advantages, invest to make this a great place for all people to live and work, and continue to work together as a region.

At a meeting this summer, a prominent corporate location consultant described Dallas as “the next Chicago”.  Not that I agree, but these kinds of projections are tossed around when economic developers and corporate location experts meet.  “Nashville is the next Austin”, for example.  But I’ve also heard our region is the “next Los Angeles”.  And I’ve heard we’re the “next New York”.  I think Dallas is the next Dallas – an even better version of a city and region that has been at the top of the charts for welcoming companies and people.

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