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Kennedale leaders attend local Economic Summit

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By Paul Gnadt Alvarado Star News

It’s all about relationships.

?Business is good in Texas and it’s good business to build good relationships,? Justin Reynolds said to more than 60 Johnson County area economic leaders April 30 at the third annual Johnson County Area Chamber Summit at the fitness center amphitheater at Texas Health Huguley. {{more}}

Reynolds, location specialist for the Economic Development & Tourism Department of the Office of Gov. Rick Perry, encouraged Johnson County cities to work together to bring new businesses to the county.

?What’s good for one city is good for every city in the county,? Reynolds said. ?All new businesses bring new jobs, housing starts, shoppers, students for your schools and users of goods and services.?

The meeting was attended by economic development and chamber leaders from Alvarado, Burleson, Cleburne, Crowley, Forest Hill, Fort Worth, Godley, Grandview, Joshua, Keene, Kennedale, Mansfield and Venus. [Representing Kennedale was Bob Hart, City Manager, Jack Johnson and Jeremiah Wunneberger, Executive Director Kennedale Chamber of Commerce.]

State Rep. Bill Zedler, Dist. 96, Johnson County Judge Roger Harmon and Johnson County Economic Development Commissioner Executive Director Dianna Miller were in attendance, as were representatives from numerous congressional offices.

The meeting was cohosted by the Burleson Chamber of Commerce.

Reynolds encouraged economic development leaders to know and build relationships with ?locators,? the newest key player in the game of economic development.

?Businesses are now using professional locators to find the right location for their business,? Reynolds said. ?Just like head hunters find the right CEO, locators find the location that has the infrastructure, qualified work force, good schools, the right mix of culture and recreation and all the qualities that are important.?

Texas has recently become that location for multiple companies, Reynolds said. ?Texas was the top state for job growth in 2013 with 252,400 new jobs,? Reynolds said, quoting the latest statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 
The initiative spearheaded by Perry’s office is called Texas Wide Open for Business, and is more than a motto, Reynolds said. ?It’s a commitment to create and sustain an environment that fosters business and entrepreneurship, trains the workforce of the future , and helps turn a dream into a reality,? he said.

Among the highlights of doing business in the Lone Star State, Reynold said, Texas:

  • Is home to 52 Fortune 500 companies
  • Has more than 500,000 more jobs today than it did before the recession of January 2008 vs. June 2013
  • Employment over the last year has grown the fastest of the 10 most populous states
  • Is the top exporting state and has been for the last 11 years
  • Has more than 313,210 miles of public roads, more than any other state, including 11 interstate highways
  • Has more than 380 airports, including two of the world’s busiest in Dallas/Fort Worth International and George Bush Intercontinental in Houston
  • Has 46 freight railroads traveling on 10,425 miles of track, the most in the U.S.
  • Leads the nation in the production of crude oil with 5.1 million barrels a day from its 27 refineries.

In his remarks welcoming the audience, Huguley CEO Ken Finch Ken Finch said the hospital will have a major announcement at 10 a.m. May 15 about breaking ground on a new project.

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