Yesterday I spoke to the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce about jobs and why Fort Worth is fortunate in comparison to so many other areas of the country. While it is difficult to find a lot of good economic news right now, Fort Worth continues to have success in a bad economy. While I know many of our friends and neighbors continue to struggle to find jobs, it is important to remember that our business climate remains one of the best – and this has allowed our community to grow and prosper, in good times and bad.
One of the success stories I had a chance to highlight yesterday was news from GE that they will add another 130 new jobs in Fort Worth. This is in addition to the announcement they made in May that the company would begin building locomotives here starting in 2012, creating 500 high-tech manufacturing jobs with the possibility of 275 more jobs down the road.
The announcement this week includes the addition of a 236,000-square-foot facility as a part of a $95 million overall investment. GE has already found Fort Worth an easy place to do business – the city worked closely with the company to make sure the expansion would be as seamless as possible.
The other bit of good jobs news I had the chance to share yesterday is that two of the bridges planned for the Trinity Uptown area have now been fully funded and will be completed on schedule as part of the Trinity River Vision project. The North Central Texas Council of Governments was able to add $15 million to the $23 million in federal funding I have secured for the bridge construction.
When the Trinity River Vision project is complete, it will create 16,000 permanent jobs and will add $1.6 billion to the Fort Worth economy. This project continues to move forward because of the partnership between community, local, state, and the federal leaders.
These are the kinds of opportunities that allow North Texas to grow in spite of a down national economy. We have the workforce, the infrastructure, and the business climate to compete with anyone.