When our company recently expanded the number of its restaurants in Texas, I was startled to receive a call from Gov. Rick Perry thanking me for our decision.
In the 10 years I've been CEO of CKE Restaurants, no governor had ever made such a gesture. Perry went further during our conversation and asked what it would take to move our headquarters from California to Texas.
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It wasn't your usual legislative hearing. A group of largely Republican California lawmakers and Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom traveled here last week to hear from businesses that have left their state to set up shop in Texas.
"We came to learn why they would pick up their roots and move in order to grow their businesses," says GOP Assemblyman Dan Logue, who organized the trip. "Why does Chief Executive magazine rate California the worst state for job and business growth and Texas the best state?"
The contrast is undeniable. Texas has added 165,000 jobs during the last three years while California has lost 1.2 million. California's jobless rate is 12% compared to 8% in Texas.
A delegation of California lawmakers came to Austin on Thursday looking for answers on how to stem their state's massive job outflow.
The bipartisan group included a dozen state officials, among them Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who have traveled to Texas looking for new ways to bolster the troubled economy in their own state.
Saying they're stung by losing jobs to Texas, a group of California legislators will begin its self-proclaimed "fact-finding" mission to Austin on Thursday.
The trip was organized by state Assemblyman Dan Logue, a Republican from Linda, Calif., who hosted a similar trip to Nevada two years ago.
Gov. Rick Perry today announced the state is investing $2.8 million through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) in eBay Inc. for the expansion of its Austin facility. This investment will create 1,050 high-paying jobs and generate an estimated $5.1 million in capital investment.
Recently, Governor Perry announced that idX Corp. would build a manufacturing facility in Cuero and create 125 jobs because of an investment by the Texas Enterprise Fund.
"To have an international company of the stature of idX locate here is a testament to Cuero's pro-business climate and commitment to manufacturing," Cuero Development Corporation Executive Director Randall Malik said. "Our ideal location for manufacturing and the Texas Enterprise Fund played a significant role in idX's decision to locate in Cuero."
At a ceremony in Richardson, Governor Perry announced a new corporate headquarter in Texas that will create more than 400 jobs.
"I have the great privilege today to announce Richardson will be home to the new corporate headquarters for Virtual Computing Environment, with a $2.45 million Texas Enterprise Fund investment helping close the deal that will bring hundreds of new jobs to town."
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas economists said Thursday that Texas could add 261,000 to 374,000 jobs this year, growing between 2.5 and 3.5 percent, based on movements in leading indicators. At that pace -- Texas jobs are already growing about 2.5 percent annually -- the state's unemployment rate could drop to 7 percent by year's end, economists Keith Phillips and Emily Kerr said in the bank's latest edition of Southwest Economy.
Separately, the Texas Workforce Commission said the state added 44,100 jobs in January from a month earlier, moving to just under 10.5 million. The growth was led by trade, transportation and utilities.
Texas claimed 424 business expansion projects in 2010, enough to win the Site Selection Governor's Cup for the year, Site Selection magazine said Tuesday.
Texas' 2010 count for new and expanded corporate facilities was 50 percent larger than the number it recorded in 2009 and beat Ohio, the second-place finisher in 2010, by 48 projects.
Texas factory activity picked up in February after a sluggish showing the previous month, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said Monday.
The production index of the Dallas Fed’s monthly manufacturing survey rose to nearly 10, suggesting expansion.