By: Kyle Whitecotton
Fort Worth barreled into 2018 with substantial first-quarter wins on the economic development front that stand to create more than 300 jobs.
Leveraged with Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce resources, projects gained momentum with a range of incentives from partners that included the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Tarrant County Hospital District, the City of Haslet and the Texas Enterprise Fund.
NT Window Inc.
NT Window Inc. headlined January with an announcement of expansion plans that will move the company from an unincorporated site in south Tarrant County to an underserved area within Fort Worth city limits, where it will generate new tax revenue, jobs and capital investment.
The manufacturer of vinyl replacement windows will invest at least $5.6 million in renovating the former S&H Green Stamp building and its campus on West Seminary Drive for a new manufacturing facility. The structure, built in 1958, has been vacant for six years.
Founded in Fort Worth in 1990, NT Window Inc. plans to add 30 central city jobs to its 130-employee workforce that earns an average of $18.33 per hour. NT Window’s expansion has the potential to create up to 175 jobs.
A six-year, $660,000 incentives package from the City of Fort Worth will help the company resurrect the site with improvements needed to meet requirements such as current energy code and fire lane/storm water standards.
In February, Airborne Tactical Advantage Co. announced plans to soon open a massive hangar facility at Alliance Airport where it leases about 185,000 square feet of warehouse space for maintenance, repair and overhaul of supersonic and subsonic aircraft in which it trains military aviators.
For 20 years, ATAC, based in Newport News, Virginia, has trained U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army aviators, air and ship crews and combat controllers in air-to-ship, air-to-air, and air-to-ground operations. ATAC is the only civilian organization approved to train aviators at the Navy's elite Fighter Weapons School known as TOPGUN and the USAF's F-22 Raptor fighter pilots.
The Adversary Center of Excellence at Alliance Airport stands to add 200 personnel to its 100-employee base by 2020. The company is part of the Textron family, which includes Bell Helicopter.
Smith & Nephew
In March, London-based medical technology giant Smith & Nephew, a global leader in advanced wound management, announced a $29 million expansion at its Vickery Boulevard facility that by 2022 will add 100 high-quality jobs for local scientists, engineers and technicians, according to Matt Stober, president of global operations. Average salaries will exceed $46,000.
The development exemplifies how continued growth in Fort Worth’s resilient health care employment has avoided cyclical patterns.
Smith & Nephew’s local workforce already stands at 200 employees. The company pledged to hire central city residents for at least 30 percent of the new jobs.
The expansion will involve an investment of at least $4.7 million in construction costs, $21 million in new business personal property. (This is Smith & Nephew’s second expansion in Fort Worth. In 2015, the company selected a site in Clearfork’s Cassco development for U.S. headquarters of its Advanced Wound Management division.)
With a five-year City of Fort Worth tax-abatement incentive and $730,000 from the Texas Enterprise Fund, Smith & Nephew’s expansion will allow the company to increase manufacturing capabilities and assume full control of the filling and finishing processes for some of its medical products.
This was an important victory for Fort Worth against competitors in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Hull, England, and it’s an exact fit with Fort Worth’s commitment to helping grow the medical and life sciences sector – a top priority identified in the City of Fort Worth’s Economic Development Strategic Plan.
The plan identified our health care sector as one of Fort Worth’s strongest assets.
As the plan urges: “Opportunities created by Fort Worth’s large concentration of health care employment, life sciences firms, and the newly established TCU UNTHSC School of Medicine should be aggressively pursued.” That’s happening, given 2018’s first-quarter results. And there’s more to come.
Brandom Gengelbach is executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. He writes this column for each issue of FW Inc.
By: Kyle Whitecotton