February 15, 2024

2023 State Of The Year: Opportunity Awaits In Texas

Excerpt from Original Article from Business Facilities 

By Anne Cosgrove
From the January / February 2024 Issue

Texas has been named Business Facilities’ 2023 State of the Year, the magazine’s annual recognition of a robust business-friendly environment, including legislation and incentives, workforce development programs, and the breadth of companies selecting the state for corporate relocation and expansion projects. The Lone Star State has a history of a strong pro-business environment, and actions at the state, regional, and community levels have the results to prove it. In 2023, Texas attracted corporate relocation and expansion investments from an array of industry sectors, from the burgeoning electric vehicles and semiconductor industries to corporate headquarters and data centers.

Texas 2023 State of the YearThis is not the first State of the Year recognition for the Lone Star State, having been selected four times since Business Facilities introduced this award in 2007. Consistent positive performance of the Texas business climate is reflected with State of the Year designations in 2007, 2012, 2016, and 2019. More recently, in July 2023 the state was recognized in Business Facilities’ Annual State Rankings Report for #1 Best Business Climate.

Speaking to Business Facilities about Texas being chosen as 2023 State of the Year, Governor Greg Abbott shared, “Texas is now the eighth-largest economy in the world thanks to our best-in-class business climate and impressive economic development track record. With a GDP of $2.4 trillion, the Texas economy is larger than that of Russia, Canada, Italy, and others, proving to business leaders and workers alike that opportunity in Texas is endless.”

He added, “Texas serves as a beacon of opportunity and economic prosperity for the nation and the world, proving that when given the freedom to aspire and the foundation to succeed, businesses and people flourish in Texas.”

In December 2023, Gov. Abbott marked this momentum with the Texas economy expanding faster than the nation as a whole for the fourth consecutive quarter. Second quarter 2023 real GDP grew in Texas at an annual rate of 4.9% — ahead of the United States real GDP which grew at 2.1%.

Texas 2023 State of the Year
Bridgestone Americas has operated its Bandag manufacturing plant in Abilene, TX since 1971. In 2023, the company announced a $60 million expansion to accommodate rapid growth of its retread business. (Photo: Bridgestone Americas)


According to November 2022 data from the Texas Demographics Center, the “Texas Triangle” — composed of the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin metro areas — was home to nearly 70% of the state’s 30.3 million residents. December 2023 data from the U.S. Census Bureau reported that between July 2022 and July 2023, Texas population rose by close to a half million. The growth rate for that period was 1.6%, the third highest in the nation.

The state’s workforce reflects this migration. Gov. Abbott remarked, “We [have] reached a new record for the largest labor force ever in Texas history—now at more than 15.1 million strong. Our young, growing, highly skilled, and diverse workforce provides a steady stream of talent for businesses in all areas of the state to grow and thrive.”

In September 2022, Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) announced it would invest $60 million to expand its Bridgestone Bandag, LLC manufacturing plant in Abilene. The 50,000-square-foot expansion will meet the growing demand for tread rubber products, driven by the growth of the company’s retread business.

Said Barry Owens, Senior Vice President, Bridgestone Americas Manufacturing Group, at the time, “Today we celebrate the growth and commitment of this plant and this community, with new investment and a physical expansion driven by growing demand for our products and, just as fundamentally, by this team’s commitment to delivering innovation and superior quality for our customers here and around the world.”

“Our existing businesses remain the backbone of our community, and we are honored to partner with Bridgestone Bandag, which has continued to invest in Abilene for over 50 years,” said Misty Mayo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA). “Bridgestone Bandag’s expansion project is representative of the type of work the DCOA prioritizes – building long-term partnerships with local existing companies.”

Read the Full Article at Business Facilities.com >

Development Corporation of Abilene is a proud recipient of the following recognition: