Fort Bend County missed out on 16,000 jobs and nearly $10 billion, data shows

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Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Fort Bend County missed out on 16,000 jobs and nearly $10B, data shows
Fort Bend County recently missed out on 16,000 jobs and nearly $10 billion in investment after data showed companies aren't migrating to the area.

RICHMOND, Texas (KTRK) -- More than 15,000 jobs and nearly $10 billion in investment is what Fort Bend County leaders say the area has lost out on recently.

A look of frustration flushed Commissioner Andy Meyers' face when a proposal to try and attract new companies stalled. During Tuesday's Fort Bend County Commissioners Court meeting, leaders learned companies aren't choosing the area.

It's an issue that Judge KP George discovered when ABC13 shared the data.

"If that happened, I want to know," George said. "Absolutely, I want to know. We will make sure that won't happen again."

The proposal stalled because commissioners wanted to decide who was best to serve on a committee. It's a proposal they all agree needs to happen because there's space to attract businesses.

However, leaders say it's not enough. They said companies are looking for shovel-ready locations to develop property.

"It is a problem," Meyers explained. "If we can't attract these businesses here, we're never going to be able to create a community where you work as well as you live here."

Recently, county data shows 16,000 jobs were lost, and $9 billion in capital investments weren't made by companies not choosing the area. Leaders want to change this by creating industrial areas.

This way, when a company wants to build, there's a space ready.

"It would also broaden the tax base so that we could lessen the burden on our residential property owners," Meyers said.

The measure could be at the following commissioners' meeting. But this is a debate they don't want to continue for much longer because it could take months to develop land before more jobs are lost.

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