Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Encourages Optimism on the Texas Economy

Encourages Texas One Economic Development Group to Keep Talkin' Texas
*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009  •  Speech

Thank you, Scott [Johnson, TexasOne Board Member] and thank you for your leadership within the Texas One organization. I also want to thank you and the folks at the Frisco City Council who are committed partners in Texas One.

When people hear me talk, they expect me to brag about Texas, so it’s good to be with folks who are willing to join the chorus, and spread the good news about our state.

Despite the effects of the global economic crisis, we have a pretty good story to tell here in Texas, and we’re telling it at the right time as employers in other states and countries look for better economic conditions.

I’m not trying to minimize the impact of the world’s economic struggles, because there are people across this country and in our state, who are trying to figure out how to find a job. However, I believe we should spend less time wringing our hands, and more time creating new jobs.

That’s why I am optimistic about our state’s prospects, and willing to tell anyone who will listen, that the land of opportunity still exists. There is still a place where jobs are welcome, where taxes are low, regulations are predictable, and frivolous lawsuits a rare occurrence.

That place is Texas and we are all proud to sing her praises.

We’re proud to talk about a state where government leaders have embraced the principles of cutting spending, investing in job creation, and strengthening our school system, to groom the workforce of the future.

At the same time, we have been willing to invest resources where appropriate, creating jobs with the Texas Enterprise Fund, like those headed to the Texas Instruments/UT-Dallas project, and their Richardson facility.

We’ve also been leveraging our Emerging Technology Fund, to foster new, potentially profitable technologies, like Net-dot-Orange, a Dallas company that recently received a $1.9 million ETF investment, to develop their Clinical Pathways Management Solution software, in partnership with UT-Southwestern Medical Center.

This fund has been used to take great ideas, born of the sharp minds in our universities, and guide them into the marketplace, where they can improve lives, and, hopefully, turn a profit.

This climate of innovation here in Texas has been attracting employers who are being chased out of other states, and giving them a chance to excel with a lot less government interference.

When they get here, they’re finding that our doors and our arms are wide open to welcome them, and our high tech workforce is getting stronger by the day.
My goal is to keep making it stronger.

Just recently, I announced an initiative to double the size of our education programs, that teach high schoolers the STEM disciplines, those would be science, technology, engineering and math. We need our young people to be world-class in those subjects, so our workforce has the skills, that employers increasingly seek in the high tech economy.

Earlier this year, the Legislature passed House Bill 51, which laid out the road map, to increasing top-tier research universities in our state.  This plan gives the leaders of our emerging research universities a clearly-marked path to certification, and ties funding to key accountability measures like procurement of matching funding, and the attainment of key measures like degrees actually awarded, instead of students enrolled.

This will affect a number of universities in our state, including UT-Dallas, UT-Arlington, and the University of North Texas. Just yesterday, Texas voters threw their support behind this effort, and took the next step required, to move Texas toward the top of top-educating states, by approving Proposition 4.

This effort to increase the number of research universities meshes perfectly with what we’ve been doing, and will continue to do with our Emerging Technology Fund, and the other economic development tools at our disposal.

We also have essential job retention tools like the Texas Enterprise Zone Program, which has helped us retain or create more than 6,100 jobs in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area since 2008, at such companies as Owens Corning in Waxahachie and Frito-Lay in Irving.

As we go hither and yon, sharing our enthusiasm for Texas, with site selectors, investors and business owners, we can more than back up our claims, that Texas is tops. If they won’t take your word for it, they can pick up any one of several business publications that will affirm our optimism.

They can look at CEO Magazine, which has identified Texas as the best place to do business for the past four years. They can peruse Moody’s Economy, which just included seven Texas metro areas in their list of “first cities to emerge from recession.”

If they’re Forbes readers, they probably already know that their magazine just included all four major Texas metropolitan areas—Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio in the Top 10 of their list: “America's Recession-Proof Cities to Retire In.”

Bottom line, the word is out on Texas…and the word is good.

Granted, we have our share of challenges, because nobody is immune, to some of the toughest economic conditions we’ve seen. However, this year, we have also seen companies head to Texas, bringing with them jobs, investment, and hope for tomorrow.

I want to thank Texas One members and our friends across the state for the role you play in getting those jobs to our state. You are the ones who are out there beating the bushes, singing our state’s praises, and inviting companies to take a long look at Texas.

The work you do makes a difference, because every job you bring to Texas represents a family getting a paycheck.  That’s a very worthy cause.

Now, nobody in this room needs convincing that Texas is the best place on earth to live, work and raise a family. Thanks to you, everyone else is finding out too.

In the months to come, let’s continue to fight the good fight, and keep up our efforts to spread the good word, and keep bringing jobs to Texas.

God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the great state of Texas.

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