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Texas named a best state for remote work

A new list Texas at No. 6 among the best states for people seeking remote jobs. Photo vie Getty Images

Economic development boosters regularly tout Texas as a business-friendly state. Now, they can add another positive attribute: Texas ranks as one of the top remote-work-friendly states in the U.S.

A new list from the CareerCloud career platform puts Texas at No. 6 among the best states for people seeking remote jobs. Utah leads the ranking, followed by Colorado, the District of Columbia, Washington, and Virginia.

Helping lift Texas toward the top of the ranking is its No. 3 spot among the states projected to see the most growth (26 percent) in remote-friendly jobs from 2018 to 2028. Utah ranks first (41.7 percent) and Colorado ranks second (30.8 percent).

CareerCloud judged states on two other factors: broadband internet access, with Texas holding the No. 23 spot, and employment per 1,000 remote-friendly jobs, with Texas at No. 24.

These are the 14 jobs that CareerCloud deemed remote-friendly:

  • Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Computer network architect
  • Computer systems manager
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Information security analyst
  • Management analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • Marketing manager
  • Mathematician
  • Software developer
  • Statistician
  • Web developer

A list published last year by TheStreet, an investment website, backs up Texas' position in the CareerCloud ranking. The Street names nine places in Texas among the 30 best U.S. cities for remote work during the pandemic: El Paso, Plano, Garland, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas. Houston didn't make the cut.

By contrast, not a single city in Texas appears on a list published by Money Crashers, a personal finance website, of the 20 best places in the U.S. to live and work remotely in 2021. Likewise, Livability.com leaves Texas cities off its list of the country's top 10 remote-ready cities for 2021.

A March 21 post authored by Tory Gattis, editor of the Houston Strategies blog and founding senior fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, makes the case for and against Houston as a remote-work hub.

Gattis lays out these factors in favor of Houston as a remote-friendly place:

  • Most affordable global city in the U.S., offering big-city amenities at a reasonable cost
  • Lots of Houston ex-pats who might come home to be closer to family and friends
  • Strong community culture for such a large, diverse city
  • Healthy immigrant ecosystem

According to Gattis, these are some of the unfavorable factors for Houston as a remote-friendly spot:

  • Not a classic "lifestyle" destination like Austin, Denver, or Miami
  • Big-city problems like traffic and crime
  • Climate susceptible to hurricanes, flooding, heat, and humidity

"Overall," Gattis writes, "I'd say we're likely to come out fairly well — not as good as the popular lifestyle cities, but much better than the unaffordable superstar cities like SF and NYC."

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Building Houston

 
 

This Houston-based SPAC has announced the tech company it plans to merge with. Photo courtesy of Gow Media

A Houston SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, has announced the company it plans to merge with in the new year.

Beaumont-based Infrared Cameras Holdings Inc., a provider of thermal imaging platforms, and Houston-based SportsMap Tech Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: SMAP), a publicly-traded SPAC with $117 million held in trust, announced their agreement for ICI to IPO via SPAC.

Originally announced in the fall of last year, the blank-check company is led by David Gow, CEO and chairman. Gow is also chairman and CEO of Gow Media, which owns digital media outlets SportsMap, CultureMap, and InnovationMap, as well as the SportsMap Radio Network, ESPN 97.5 and 92.5.

The deal will close in the first half of 2023, according to a news release, and the combined company will be renamed Infrared Cameras Holdings Inc. and will be listed on NASDAQ under a new ticker symbol.

“ICI is extremely excited to partner with David Gow and SportsMap as we continue to deliver our innovative software and hardware solutions," says Gary Strahan, founder and CEO of ICI, in the release. "We believe our software and sensor technology can change the way companies across industries perform predictive maintenance to ensure reliability, environmental integrity, and safety through AI and machine learning.”

Strahan will continue to serve as CEO of the combined company, and Gow will become chairman of the board. The transaction values the combined company at a pre-money equity valuation of $100 million, according to the release, and existing ICI shareholders will roll 100 percent of their equity into the combined company as part of the transaction.

“We believe ICI is poised for strong growth," Gow says in the release. "The company has a strong value proposition, detecting the overheating of equipment in industrial settings. ICI also has assembled a strong management team to execute on the opportunity. We are delighted to combine our SPAC with ICI.”

Founded in 1995, ICI provides infrared and imaging technology — as well as service, training, and equipment repairs — to various businesses and individuals across industries.

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