Location, Incentives Attract Top Manufacturers to Southwest Dallas
Texas ranks first in the nation as an exporter of manufactured goods, and the Best Southwest Dallas region is home to an impressive cross-section of leading manufacturers.
Convenient access to markets, significant cost advantages and a skilled labor pool top the list of reasons companies are investing in Best Southwest communities.
Aquatic (formerly Lasco Bathware) is the nation’s largest manufacturer of bathing fixtures; its Lancaster plant is one of the company’s six national manufacturing and distribution facilities.
The plant produces gelcoat fixtures, including showers, tub-showers, shower bases, bathtubs and accessible bathware – all of which move quickly and easily from Southwest Dallas to national and international markets.
“We like Lancaster for several key reasons,” says Rick Reysen, vice president of operations at Aquatic. “The location is excellent. It’s in the geographic center of the United States, with easy access to major north-south and east-west interstates, which is key for shipping and efficient delivery of our products to customers. This area also has a good pool of production workers, thanks to the affordable cost of living compared with other parts of the country.”
Several major manufacturers specializing in products for the home, from plumbing supplies to cabinets and doors, are located in Best Southwest communities, including Brasscraft Western Co., Bentwood Companies, Masco Corporation, Quality Cabinets and Western Cabinets Inc. Other goods produced in the region include fabricated sheet-metal products, corrugated storage and filing boxes, commercial bakery products, frozen foods and plastic illuminated signs.
From Here to Anywhere
Convenient access to four highways – Interstates 20, 35 and 45, and U.S. Highway 67 – allows manufacturers to distribute goods quickly by truck to major population centers.
Nearby airports include Dallas Love Field Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Lancaster Regional Airport and Dallas Executive Airport. Rail transport is available through Union Pacific Railroad’s Southern Dallas Intermodal Facility; BNSF Railroad serves industrial properties. A new, 200-acre BNSF intermodal facility is planned within the new Dallas Logistics Hub, a 6,000-acre logistics park that will serve as an “inland port” with access to highways, dual rail and intermodal facilities.
While this sophisticated transportation network allows manufacturers to distribute goods, it also helps them receive supplies efficiently. "For supply-chain logistics, we're in an ideal location," says Allison Thompson, Cedar Hill’s director of economic development.
And in many cases, supplies are readily available in the Southwest Dallas region.
Financial incentives and a pro-business climate give manufacturers another key reason to choose Best Southwest communities.
“The local economy has a positive business climate – very pro-business,” says Randal Levingston, director of marketing for the DeSoto Economic Development Corp. “We want to see businesses grow and develop here, and we’re always looking for companies seeking to expand their existing base of operations or relocate to our community.”
Economic incentives for qualifying businesses can include tax abatements, financial assistance to install utilities or upgrade infrastructure, cash grants, fee waivers, fast-track permitting, land-cost assistance and sales tax rebates.
Local colleges and universities offer workforce training and a range of degree programs, which contributes to a well-trained workforce, says Ed Brady, director of economic development for the City of Lancaster.
“If a skill level is not available in the area, workforce training through higher education can bring those skills to the employment base,” he says. Local options include the University of North Texas at Dallas, Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Mountain View College in Dallas, and Cedar Valley College in Lancaster.