Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry's Remarks Regarding Countrywide Financing

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004  •  Speech

Thank you.  Mayor Slagel, local elected officialsm, business and community leaders, thank you for joining us today and for your hard work in making this announcement possible.  It’s good to be here with Congressmen Sam Johnson and Pete Sessions, two outstanding leaders for North Texas. 

The fact that the new facility we are announcing today is represented by not one but two congressmen gives you an idea of its enormity.  In the 2003 legislative session, Texas made an unprecedented commitment to bring jobs and opportunity to Texas by establishing the $295 million Texas Enterprise Fund.  In just 18 months, we have allocated more than $200 million of those funds to bring more than 22,000 new jobs to Texas and pump more than $6 billion into our economy.

Because of the Enterprise Fund we landed the largest capital investment in the nation last year, a $3 billion expansion by Texas Instruments, with a $50 million grant to the University of Texas at Dallas.  The Enterprise Fund helped us secure the largest job expansion in the nation in the first quarter of this year by persuading Vought Aircraft to consolidate operations and bring 3,000 additional jobs to North Texas.  Austin will gain 500 Home Depot corporate jobs, Citgo is bringing 700 jobs to its new headquarters in Houston, and even smaller towns like Ennis, Brownwood and Nacogdoches will experience job growth thanks to the Texas Enterprise Fund.  By any measure, the Enterprise Fund has been an unparalleled success, so successful in fact that Site Selection Magazine called it the state’s “not-so-secret-weapon” in the battle to create jobs when the publication named Texas the number one state in America to do business last month.

Today we are not only building upon the Enterprise Fund’s tremendous record of creating jobs, we are unveiling its crowning jewel.  I am proud to announce that the state of Texas is investing $20 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund to help Countrywide Financial bring 7,500 additional jobs to Texas over the next 6 years.  This is the largest job creation announcement in the United States since 2000 according to Site Selection Magazine, and proof that the Enterprise Fund is a key reason Texas is leading the nation to economic recovery.  You can consider the Countrywide expansion to be “Exhibit A” as to why we need to continue to invest state dollars in the Texas Enterprise Fund.

Angelo Mozilo, thank you for your commitment to creating jobs and greater opportunity for the people of Texas.  I also want to thank the city and county officials, as well as numerous economic development and business leaders who worked as a team to bring this project to fruition.

In January, Countrywide will begin phase one of an expansion that will bring 2,500 new employees to their 500,000 square foot Richardson office over the next two years.  By 2011, Countrywide will bring another 5,000 new jobs to Texas.  This expansion will more than double Countrywide’s presence in Texas, and ensure that this outstanding employer remains a driving force in the state’s economy.  In total, Countrywide will make a $200 million capital investment in the Texas economy, an amazing ten-fold return on the state’s $20 million investment.  That investment means more money circulating in our economy, and more revenue generated for critical priorities like healthcare and education.

The competition for this project was tough, and Countrywide received attractive offers from several other states.  But because of our cooperative efforts, Richardson and the entire state of Texas will reap tremendous benefits for decades to come.  And what great news that is the Telecom Corridor, here good news has been a little sparse during the tech downturn.

Yesterday I announced that I will ask the legislature to authorize $300 million to replenish the Enterprise Fund so we can continue to let the world know that Texas is wide open for opportunity.  Continued investments in the Enterprise Fund will help us build a better Texas, one job at a time.  And a strong Enterprise Fund will help us attract other good employers like Countrywide to expand or relocate here in Texas.

I have also asked the legislature to dedicate an additional $300 million to an Emerging Technology Fund that will focus specifically on fostering innovation in emerging high-tech industries and accelerate the commercialization of new products from the lab to the marketplace.  Together, these strategic investments will give Texas the competitive edge we need to ensure greater opportunity, prosperity and a brighter future for all of our people.

Let me close by saying how grateful Texas is for the Countrywide commitment.  We appreciate the investment they have made in our people and our future, and we look forward to growing our partnership for many years to come.  Thank you.

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