hard at work

This Houston-area county clocks in as top U.S. spot for workforce talent

Attracting top talent is important for long-term success. 10'000 Hours/Getty Images

Despite a tough year for the nation, Fort Bend County keeps winning. In July, the Houston-area county was named the most charitable in Texas. Later, Sugar Land, the anchor city of Fort Bend County, was named one of America's best small cities.

Sugar Land was also named one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. Shoppers in Sugar Land are even ranked as some of the biggest holiday spenders in the nation.

Now comes news that bustling Fort Bend is among the country's top large counties for the ability to recruit and develop workforce talent in a new ranking by mapping software company, Esri. The county could attract even more employers and residents once they pore over this year's Talent Attraction Scorecard from mapping software company Esri. The scorecard, released December 8, ranks Fort Bend No. 11 overall.

Esri relied on six data points to come up with its rankings:

  • Net migration
  • Overall job growth
  • Growth of skilled jobs
  • Level of education
  • Regional competitiveness
  • Annual job openings per capita

Fort Bend ranks high in education attainment and job migration in the new study.

Another Texas county scored third in the Esri ranking. Dallas-area Collin County is home to heavyweight employers like FedEx Office, Frito-Lay, J.C. Penney, and Toyota, and it continues to draw thousands of new workers each year.

Elsewhere in Texas:

  • Williamson County (Austin area) ranks fourth among large counties.
  • Montgomery County (Houston area) ranks ninth among large counties.
  • Travis County (Austin area) ranks 17th among large counties.
  • Kendall County (San Antonio area) ranks ninth among small counties.

Overall, four Texas counties are in the top 10 among large counties. "While they rank well across the index, the common theme with all of them is they are suburbs of major metros, and are seeing a migration from those metros," the report says.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

The SBA announced plans to open 20 new centers to serve female entrepreneurs — and one is coming to the Houston area. Photo via Getty Images

The Houston area is benefitting from national funding that will be dedicated to creating female-focused resource centers across the country.

The United States Small Business Administration announced grant funding to launch 20 new Women's Business Centers (WBC) across the country. The centers, which are slated to go into rural and underserved markets, will also be partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

With the funds from the grant and through a partnership with the Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce, the new center will rise in Northeast Houston to serve the Montgomery, East Harris and Chambers' Counties.

"We are incredibly excited that an organization as prominent as the Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce is joining the SBA team," says Tim Jeffcoat, director if the SBA in Houston. "We are looking forward to working with them to empower women-owned businesses in Houston to reach new heights of success."

These new efforts represent the largest expansion of the WBC program in its 30-year existence.

"We are thrilled to partner with the SBA in opening another Women's Business Center, providing resources and tools for our region's women-led organizations to launch and expand," says Suzan Deison, CEO, president and founder of the Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce. "We are honored the SBA chose to partner with us to expand needed services in Montgomery, East Harris & Chambers' counties, especially during these challenging times."

The SBA has 136 centers open across the country, and each offers business counseling, training, networking, workshops, and more to area female entrepreneurs.

"Opening the doors to the new Women's Business Centers is crucial to the vitality of women-owned small business owners. This network expansion will provide female entrepreneurs with the resources they need to start, grow, and expand their businesses," says Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development Allen Gutierrez. "We look forward to the continued success of the WBC program as it contributes to the overall health of our economy and creates jobs in their local communities."

According to the release, the timing of these new centers is especially important as entrepreneurs continue to be challenged amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Over the past several months, we have seen Women's Business Centers provide aid to our nation's innovative and determined entrepreneurs, allowing countless small business owners to pivot with confidence to stay afloat during the pandemic," says SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. "Expanding the WBC program is part of this Administration's longstanding commitment to the success of female entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses. Adding these new Women's Business Centers to the already existing network of centers across America will boost timely resources to our nation's female economic drivers, providing them with local training and counseling."

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