Job growth continues to explode in North Texas as new businesses pour in
Hundreds of new jobs are on the horizon as North Texas continues to be a hotspot for franchise and business growth. Read about new businesses to look forward to in the region, how the expansion at DFW Airport is expected to affect the economy, and why Texas is positioning itself to be a global leader in the aerospace industry.
New franchises bringing more jobs to DFW
A high-tech fitness company, Ohm Fitness, is planning to bring 25 locations of its franchised fitness studios to Dallas-Fort Worth over the next few years. Plamedie Ifasso with Dallas Business Journal reported that the company has partnered with its newest franchisee, Shivam Khanna, who has 20 years’ experience as a franchisee and aims to eventually bring 70 locations to the state. The company specializes in a high-tech fitness concept where small groups use wearable technology during a low impact, 25-minute session that delivers electrical muscle stimulation and provides the same benefits as an intense two-hour workout.
Khanna said, “Ohm Fitness is revolutionizing the fitness industry for the digital age by utilizing a tech-forward proprietary suit to essentially hack working out. This gives people a safe, convenient, and effective strategy for upholding their health regardless of their fitness ability or experience.”
Another activity-focused franchise is coming to the Dallas area as Pickleball Kingdom has secured a five-unit franchise deal with its newest partner, Dan Jenkins. Alexa Reed with Dallas Business Journal shared that Jenkins, franchisee and Dallas businessman, will establish the new locations though a date was not disclosed for their opening. The company opened its first location in Chandler, AZ in 2022 and currently houses 15 pickleball courts.
How DFW airport is impacting the state
According to Holden Wilen with Dallas Business Journal, DFW airport has finalized a new 10-year use and lease agreement with American Airlines which will include the addition of a sixth terminal as well as 24 new gates. Plans for expansion include $5 billion in capital projects over the next 10 years, such as the addition of Terminal F, which is estimated to cost around $1.6 billion and may open as soon as 2026.
American Airlines is taking advantage of its home base in Fort Worth as DFW airport has become the second-busiest airport in the world, serving a record 78 million passengers this year. DFW Airport CEO Sean Donohue expects the airport to pass 100 million passengers annually by the end of the decade.
J.D Miles with CBS News wrote that the airport expansion is projected to pump up the Texas economy overall as big venues and attractions bring in more visitors and money to the region. Along with thousands of new jobs, the expansion will also allow more businesses and events to come to North Texas as passenger capacity increases.
In addition to the new jobs that will be created by the DFW Airport expansion, United Airlines will be hiring 2,100 people in Houston as part of a push to hire 15,000 new workers this year. Some of the new-hires will replace retiring pilots, as United plans to hire 2,300 pilots and expects about 500 to retire.
The latest figures from the Transportation Department show that since November 2020, airline-industry jobs have jumped 32%, increasing from 117,000 to over 480,000. By 2026, United Airlines projects increasing its workforce by another 50,000 in addition to the 93,000 workers it currently employs.
Employment prospects on the rise in Texas
Mike Christen with Dallas Business Journal reported that Texas lawmakers are pushing to enact a new tax cut in the aviation industry that could help keep thousands of jobs in Texas. The bill, House Bill 3003, is aimed to reduce and eventually eliminate state sales tax on maintenance services for aviation pilots and aircraft owners, preventing those in need of services from seeking them out of state.
“Texas should fix this issue once and for all,” said President of the Texas Association of Manufacturers Tony Bennett. “Sales tax matters greatly as to where aircraft operators maintain and base their aircraft. General aviation companies are building larger and other related manufacturing facilities in other states despite their preferences to put those investments here in Texas.”
A study from the economic analysis and public policy strategy firm TXP Inc. estimated that a reduction in taxes could add 9,700 more jobs to the state and provide $1.4 billion in direct spending as well as $57.2 million in added tax revenue.
Another 75 jobs will soon be coming to North Texas as MCI Diagnostic Center is planning to expand its headquarters in Richardson. David Moreno with Dallas Business Journal reported that the company is adding 75,000 square feet to its National Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory and will hire in the biochemistry, medical technician, and laboratory processor departments.
The company, owned by women veterans, provides clinical laboratory services and testing to governments and private entities which includes chemistry, immunology and pharmacogenetic. MCI has also partnered with the city of Dallas and Dallas Love Field Airport.
Another major expansion that will bring 200 new jobs to North Texas is a new 1 million-SF warehouse and distribution center recently leased by Dollar General Corp. The shipping warehouse is intended to grow the company’s distribution network and will be one of the largest new distribution buildings in the North Fort Worth area, according to Steve Brown with Dallas News. Dollar General was founded in 1939 and currently has over 19,000 stores in the U.S. and Mexico.
Lastly, Meow Wolf Grapevine is hiring 80 hourly workers at its immersive art space. Elizabeth Myong with Dallas News shared that the company pays above the state’s minimum wage in an effort to provide livable wages in the arts which has historically struggled with pay equity. Kelly Schwartz, general manager for Meow Wolf Grapevine, said that some of the factors that went into establishing the pay rate were local market pay, job responsibilities and the cost of living in North Texas.
“By compensating employees fairly, Meow Wolf can promote a culture of respect and dignity for all workers. Overall, Meow Wolf’s dedication to paying a livable wage supports the well-being and success of its employees while contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive arts community,” said Schwartz.
Texas aiming to come out on top in aerospace industry
New legislation is planned to place Texas as a global leader in space travel, research, and technology as two new entities will be created: the Texas Space Commission and the Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium. Mike Christen with Dallas Business Journal reported that the entities are part of a $350 million program to elevate Texas’ position in the space industry.
The Commission is intended to provide funding and oversee intergovernmental collaboration while the Consortium will identify opportunities for research that promote development and commercial space activity.
On March 29, Republican Rep. Greg Bonnen told members of the House Committee on State Affairs: “This is an extremely important policy area. Texas has been a leader in space exploration and development since its inception. There is intense competition both from a civilian and a military perspective.”
For two straight years, Texas has been ranked by the PwC as the most inviting state in the nation for aerospace and defense markets with over 138,000 people working in those fields. One of the most prominent space companies that Texas hosts is Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has a testing facility near Waco, a warehouse east of Austin, and a major launch facility near Mexico.
How an emerging industry is creating new jobs for North Texans
The virtual entertainment industry is revolutionizing the world of food and entertainment and bringing hundreds to thousands of new jobs with it. Ben Swanger with D Magazine wrote about how the entertainment economy has created new kinds of businesses that focus on providing guests with an entertainment venue while engaging them in a sports-based experience.
Topgolf, the popular high-tech driving range with food and beverage service, reported $1.5 billion in revenue in 2022. Based in Dallas, the company currently has 78 venues with plans to open 11 venues each year for the foreseeable future. Each venue supports around 300,000 unique visitors each year. Not only does the company drive business to its venues, but it attracts more new players to on-course golf as well, with an estimated 10% of the 25.6 million traditional golfers in 2022 getting their start at Topgolf.
Topgolf CEO Artie Starrs said, “The economic impact we drive for local communities allows the golf courses to be viable and thriving.”
As more and more businesses follow in the footsteps of Topgolf, more money and jobs have been brought to Texas. Another golf-based company, Drive Shack Inc., moved its headquarters to Dallas from New York in 2022 and opened its flagship 21-and-up mini golf concept, Puttery, in The Colony. In 2020, the company raked in about $325 million in revenue.
Dallas is shaping up to become a prime launching pad for these kinds of sports-based concepts as it has the technological and growth capacity to support emerging businesses. Toca Social, “the Topgolf of soccer”, raised $100 million with plans to open its first venue in the Dallas Design District in 2023 and hire 175 people. BatBox, a baseball-simulator entertainment concept based in Mexico, is also opening its first U.S. location in North Texas by 2024.
Larry Leon, an experiential retail expert and partner with RetailUnion, said, “If concepts want to grow into markets like Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso, Dallas is the no-brainer starting point,” he says. “The computer power behind these concepts is only going to grow—and it will lead to very novel, interesting, fresh concepts.”
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