Texas, DFW lead the nation in 2023 corporate projects

By Dana Jennings, Senior Vice President, Communications, Marketing & Events

DRC staff and Board members with Gov. Greg Abbott at the 2023 State of the State event.

Texas has earned an unprecedented 12th-consecutive Site Selection Magazine Governor’s Cup, meaning the state is No. 1 for attracting the most new and expanded business facility projects in 2023.

The Lone Star State recorded 1,254 total projects in 2023—more than twice that of the second-ranked state. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (DFW) metro is home to 452 of these projects, making it the No. 1 region in the No. 1 state.

“For the past 12 years, Texas is the best state in America for economic development, and the Dallas Region plays a critical role in the state’s status as an economic powerhouse,” said Dale Petroskey, President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC). “The Dallas Regional Chamber is proud to be a part of our region’s community of economic development teams who, time and again, attract and retain corporate projects that create jobs and opportunities for Texans and their families and drive the activity that keeps our economy strong.”

DFW’s claim to 36% of Texas’ 2023 corporate projects is another instance of the region punching above its weight. DFW has a 26.3% share of Texas’ population but a 29.1% share of its economy. If DFW were a country, its economic output would rank No. 25 globally, just 16 spots behind Texas’ would-be ninth place.

Texas economic development leaders at the Governor’s Cup presentation.

The DRC was invited to the Governor’s Mansion in Austin on Friday, March 1, to celebrate the Governor’s Cup with Gov. Greg Abbott. Kevin Shatley, Vice President of Economic Development, represented the DRC.

To qualify for Site Selection’s rankings, corporate projects must invest at least $1 million, create a minimum of 20 jobs, and add 20,000 new square feet of space. Of note, the DRC proudly supported two such projects in Canadian Solar and Trina Solar’s locations in Southern Dallas County.

DFW is No. 2 among top metros nationwide, trailing Chicago by 33 projects, but leads the country in projects per capita. Chicago falls to No. 4 in the per capita ranking.

“To have nearly the most total projects and still lead in per capita ranking is a remarkable feat,” said Mike Rosa, DRC Senior Vice President of Economic Development. “It shows the vastness and population size of Texas and DFW are no inhibitor to our ability to move quickly and effectively.”

Rosa pointed to the diversity of sectors and companies in DFW as a contributor to the region’s strong performance. The last 11 Fortune 500 headquarters to move here represented nine business sectors.

The DRC’s Vice President of Economic Development Kevin Shatley with the Governor’s Cup.

In its rankings, Site Selection referenced the DRC’s latest effort to continue building industry diversity in the region: a concerted life sciences and biotech economic development campaign.

“Known as home to 24 Fortune 500 HQs and 42 in the Fortune 1000, Dallas is making a name in biosciences,” the publication read. “In September, seven months after the Dallas Regional Chamber unveiled a new campaign to attract more biotech and life sciences companies, its efforts received a vote of confidence from the federal government in the form of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), which announced in September that the city’s Pegasus Park will serve as the physical site for one of ARPA-H’s three headquarters.”

The bid for Dallas’ ARPA-H hub—which will focus on customer experience, access, and diversifying clinical trials—was a statewide effort intrinsically supported by the DRC.

Like Petroskey, Rosa attributes DFW’s economic vitality and consistent performance in rankings and opportunities to regional economic development leaders.

“We’re enjoying the fruits of years of cooperation between a tapestry of economic development teams across our vast and great region,” Rosa said. “To consistently shine in metrics and achievement is a testament to our region’s ability to respond and execute all shapes and sizes of projects while matching them to the community that best suits their needs.”

To learn about the DRC’s economic development work, visit our website. To learn more about DFW’s economic status, explore our Economy in Brief and DFW Region Facts.