Workers key to a strong economy

Workers key to a strong economy
May 6, 2015
Water and transportation are top concerns whenever the Texas Legislature meets, but workforce development should have legislators’ equal attention. Training and bringing forward the next generation of workers is the lifeblood of the businesses that make the Texas economy one of the strongest in the nation.

May 6, 2015
By Tom Harris-Special to the Star-Telegram
Star-Telegram.com

Water and transportation are top concerns whenever the Texas Legislature meets, but workforce development should have legislators’ equal attention. Training and bringing forward the next generation of workers is the lifeblood of the businesses that make the Texas economy one of the strongest in the nation. As just one example, North Texas is the country’s No. 2 hub of aviation-aerospace companies. This rapidly growing industry depends on an educated, skilled workforce to maintain its competitive edge in the global economy.

A North Central Texas Council of Governments study showed that Texas has more than four times the national average of aerospace-aviation jobs, and wages for aviation employment are 17 percent higher than average U.S. wages. In Dallas-Fort Worth, the study found that more than 250 aerospace and aviation employers pack a $40 billion annual economic punch while providing a yearly payroll of about $11 billion.

Most of us know the names of the large aerospace and industrial aviation companies that call Dallas-Fort Worth home, like American Airlines, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, and Southwest Airlines. Hundreds more support our regional infrastructure, providing supplies and services to these larger companies. Many other industries also are already in North Texas, moving here, or thinking about doing so.

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