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The Metal Fabrication Industry Right at Home in Southeast Texas

Entergy Economic Development: John S. Tarver

By John S. Tarver, CEcD, Senior Manager, Business Development, Entergy Texas

Posted February 22, 2018 in Economic Development, Site Selection


In Entergy’s four-state service area, job growth in the metal fabrication industry cluster is projected to outpace the U.S. by 3.5 percent. For Texas alone, that projection is even higher at 4.3 percent.

What makes Texas such a sought-after location for the metal fabrication industry? For starters, a large pool of trained and talented metal workers, as well as proximity to a wealth of customers.

While there are many factors involved in metal fabrication site selection, and certainly these factors will vary somewhat by industry, it has been my experience that they can be distilled into four essential categories. These four key areas are Labor, Logistics, Utilities and Taxes. If an area can meet, or even exceed, your company’s needs in the big four, you’ve found your business a prime new location.

Labor

The metal fabrication industry will find an affordable, available workforce in the Entergy’s Texas region. More than 64,000 workers are employed in the industry and the occupation is expected to grow seven percent by the close of 2019. Community workforce training programs play a key role in ensuring the longevity of a work pool, so the Texas Workforce Commission oversees a program called the Skills Development Fund Incentive. Essentially, the program is a collaboration between companies and community colleges, which helps businesses fill their talent pool and helps the community by creating new jobs.

Logistics

Texas is a strong exporter of metal fabricated products, and Southeast Texas metal fabrication businesses benefit from easy access to three deep-water ports as well as rail, air and interstate transportation. They also enjoy proximity to their customer base. The concentration of the petrochemical industry in the area creates big demand for metal fabrication, in addition, almost 10,000 construction establishments and more than 6,000 manufacturing facilities are located here.

Utilities

Metal Fabricators require reliable, affordable electricity to keep costs low and productivity high. Entergy’s Texas service area offers electricity at rates that are typically 20 percent below the national average. Whatever your energy needs, we offer extensive support for business relocation and expansion.

Taxes

With no corporate tax and no personal tax, Texas has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country. The state of Texas’ move from a franchise fee tax to marginal tax base, and local sales tax options for economic development have allowed communities to help create a pro-business culture. Over the years I’ve witnessed Texas working hard to develop and sustain one of the most business-friendly operating environments in the country. Here you will find state and local governments that provide tax incentives, financing and an array of services to help companies establish or expand.

Advantage of Working with Entergy

When you partner with Entergy for relocation or expansion, you’re working with an expert in the region and a single source ready to provide extensive support, customized to your needs. While it’s clear there are many logistic and finical benefits for the metal fabrication industry in our service area, sometimes it’s another advantage that ultimately convinces a company to call Texas home.

I was taking an executive out on site and through the community on a tour. We were driving through a lovely residential neighborhood on the way to an available site when he suddenly yelled, “Pull over!” To my surprise, he jumped out of the car and grabbed a flyer from a house for sale. After examining it for some time, he looked at me and excitedly asked, “Are these prices for real?” I’m happy to say that metal fabrication company relocated a short time later.

With affordable housing, a cost of living that’s below the national average, good schools and a growing economy, companies can feel confident knowing their families and employees can thrive here. Being a native Texan, I sometimes take for granted our biggest draw: the quality of life.

Find out more about what Texas can offer your company, and the advantages of working with Entergy here.

Key Industries

Metal Fabrication

Entergy Economic Development: John S. Tarver

John Tarver has promoted Entergy Texas, Inc.’s economic development activities for more than 25 years. His efforts have led to the location and expansion of numerous businesses, bringing new jobs and investment to communities throughout Southeast Texas. John frequently teaches courses for the Texas Economic Development Council and the Community Development Institute and is a sought-after speaker at economic development events in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.