Texas Tech Firms Plug into Strong Network of Resources
Some of the world’s best-known computer and information technology companies and some of the tech industry’s leading researchers have a Texas home address.
IT Companies in Texas
Dell, Texas Instruments and Rackspace are among the 25,937 high-tech companies that call Texas home, which accounts for the state ranking second nationwide in the number of high-tech workers, the size of the high-tech payroll and the number of businesses. More than 474,000 workers are employed in the state’s high-tech sector.
TechAmerica’s Cyberstates 2009 report also says the average tech industry job in Texas paid 84 percent higher than the average private-sector wage in 2007. The report goes on to say that Texas had the largest gains in tech-sector employment that year, surpassing California.
Clearly, the state and its citizens benefit a great deal from the presence of so many companies in the IT cluster. Those benefits go both ways, says Gray Mayes, Texas Instruments Inc.’s government relations director. TI launched its new, 1.1 million-square-foot computer chip manufacturing plant in Richardson in late 2009. The plant eventually will employ up to 1,000 people.
“In addition to the factors that make Texas an attractive place to invest – lower taxes; good energy, water and logistical infrastructure; a favorable tort climate – the commitment by the state and the University of Texas to invest heavily in basic research at the University of Texas at Dallas was a deal maker. This supports TI’s need for engineering talent in specific disciplines and noncompetitive basic research that is crafting the future of the semiconductor industry eight to 12 years out,” says Mayes.
Texas Helps Fund and Supports Research Efforts
Texas’ commitment to research brought renowned researcher Ravi Sandhu to the Institute for Cyber Security Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The institute’s mission is to pursue world-leading research with real-world impact, including development of technologies that can be commercialized. The university received a $3.5 million Texas Emerging Technology Fund award from the state to recruit Sandhu.
“Cyberspace is becoming ever more pervasive and entangled with physical space and our daily lives. We need new methodologies and endless innovation to keep cyberspace safe for our nation and its individual citizens. UTSA and its Institute for Cyber Security put Texas in a prominent position for this effort,” he says.
Rackspace, the international leader in hosting and cloud computing, moved into its new San Antonio headquarters with the assistance of an award from the Texas Enterprise Fund. The company announced it would invest $100 million in the project and create 3,000 jobs in San Antonio and another 1,000 statewide.
Dell has had its headquarters in Austin and neighboring Round Rock since native Texan Michael Dell founded the computer company there in 1984. But there are other compelling reasons why Dell has remained and grown substantially in Central Texas. Kip Thompson, vice president, Dell global facilities and strategic growth, cites the positive economic environment in the state.
“Even in this challenging economy, Texas is creating an economic development environment that enables continued growth in good jobs today and in the future,” Thompson says. “Texas is investing and encouraging innovation in the state, and providing the framework for developing a workforce for a 21st- century economy.”