Recently, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that National Instruments (NI) plans to expand its operations in Austin by investing over $80 million and adding 1,000 technical and engineering jobs in the Austin area.
The company, with sales of $1.1billion in 2012 and employing over 6,800 people worldwide, will receive some help from the state of Texas in the form of $4.4 million in incentives from the state’s Texas Enterprise Fund and another $1.7 million in incentives from the city of Austin.
This demonstrates one way that successful companies can solidify their positions in cities and regions by working with local and regional governments to support and promote growth. Increasingly cities, regions and states are competing to retain companies by offering to work with them in order to keep jobs in their regions and create new jobs for the future.
As a model for cooperation between tech companies and governments, this might be a successful approach. The city of Austin benefits by retaining a leading test and measurement company that will continue to attract young educated workers to the region and will keep the company and the region at the forefront of innovation for years to come.
There’s also a benefit for education, especially the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) focus. By maintaining and expanding their presence in the Austin area, NI contributes to both the supply and demand for a highly skilled workforce by promoting STEM education in the region.
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