What many know and others often find is Lubbock, Texas is nothing like you expect. As the 11th largest city in Texas and the “hub” for education, healthcare and agriculture in the region, this city offers fewer regulations, no corporate income tax, a low cost of living, an 18-minute commute time and an international airport. All the while, the quarter of a million people who call Lubbock home attribute its growth to the character of the community.
Rendering of the Lubbock Logistics Center, a 161,555-square-foot high-tech industrial distribution facility. (Source: Lubbock EDA)
With more than 10,000 college graduates every year, Lubbock’s businesses benefit from a new generation of workforce prepared to generate solutions and address real world issues with fresh ideas. This surge in the workforce each year makes Lubbock a dynamic place for businesses looking to expand. Situated on the northern edge of the largest oil patch in the world, some of those real-world issues include creating technology-based systems that increase production for oil companies. Regardless of the situation, Lubbock offers enough perspective to create solution-driven results.
Not only does Lubbock have access to a large pool of graduates, but the city also invests in technical education programs to develop skilled labor for in-demand jobs. Whether it’s the Lubbock Coding Academy or the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center, people of all ages have access to programs to train in the skills needed to fill positions within the business community.
Along with technical education, Lubbock also encourages entrepreneurship through its partnership with Texas Tech University’s Innovation Hub. This institution offers programs to assist entrepreneurs from ideation to production with assistance in funding and mentorship.
Here in West Texas, there are plenty of opportunities for the workforce to gain experience in industries such as agriculture, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, education and financial services. In fact, Corteva Agriscience is in the process of building a new 30,000-square-foot office and laboratory facility at Lubbock Rail Port, adding new full-time technology positions and part-time, seasonal jobs.
While most consider Lubbock’s bread and butter to be agriculture, the city continues to recruit and expand its technology-based companies. Recently, Lubbock welcomed an L.A.-based technology firm, Hoverstate, as a part of an expansion into the Texas market. Hoverstate opened its operations in downtown Lubbock and added 50 positions in computer programming to the market.
A 161,555-square-foot, hi-tech speculative distribution building is under construction in the Lubbock Business Park to address the city’s projected growth. The Lubbock Economic Development Alliance partnered with Bandera Ventures, a real estate developer from Dallas, to construct the building known as the Lubbock Logistics Center. The building will have a clear height of 32 feet, 56 trailer parking positions and be cross-dock configured. Due to the low industrial real estate vacancy and Lubbock’s role as a regional hub, Bandera Ventures chose to build the facility in the “Hub City”. The facility is on schedule to be completed by fall of 2019.
In addition to the Lubbock Logistics Center, LEDA owns 433 acres of land located in the Lubbock Business Park for companies to relocate or expand their operations. If a company needs rail access, LEDA also owns 633 acres of land at the Lubbock Rail Port which is serviced by BNSF Railway. Both the Business Park and the Rail Port are located off Interstate 27 and are in close proximity to the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.
With an expanding industry portfolio and a population expected to increase nearly 60 percent by 2050, investments are being made to keep Lubbock a great place for people to live and work. With an average of 11 more people living in Lubbock than the day before, and more than 60 percent of the net change in population being millennials, it is crucial that Lubbock take steps to remain an attractive city for this demographic.
Lubbock is doing just that with the addition of more dog parks and bike lanes and long-term projects benefiting the revitalization of downtown. One of the catalytic projects for downtown Lubbock is South Plains College’s new academic center, which will bring 2,500 students to the area every day upon opening. The Arts District is experiencing substantial growth with the addition of the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, a state-of-the-art performance center, as well as more artist studios and a brewery. These improvements in quality of life are just a few projects happening in Lubbock, but they are encouraging graduates to stay, people to move back and businesses to relocate.
As a city known for its resilience and ingenuity, Lubbock creates opportunities for its business community and workforce, collaborating with partners to produce a culture where businesses prosper and workforce thrives. With this mindset, Lubbock’s future is bright.
For more information on starting a business in Lubbock, visit lubbockeda.org.