out-of-this-world win

Iconic Houston-area landmark rockets to No. 1 in new list of best employers in Texas

Johnson Space Center astronauts and team enjoy the best workplace in Texas. Johnson Space Center/Facebook

NASA must be over the moon about a new ranking of the best employers in Texas.

A new list from Forbes and Statista puts NASA at No. 1 among the state’s major employers, both those based in Texas and those with a significant presence here.

NASA’s $1.5 billion Johnson Space Center complex occupies more than 1,600 acres in Clear Lake. The site, home to the space agency’s mission control and astronaut training operations, employs roughly 3,000 NASA workers, along with thousands of NASA contractors. NASA’s headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

It’s estimated that Johnson Space Center contributed more than $4.7 billion to the Texas economy in 2018.

On its career website, NASA cites several reasons to work at the federal agency. For instance, NASA says it offers “a range of challenging projects that will make a difference to society. You need only find the intersection between talent, passion, and opportunity.”

“To tackle the most complex problems, we employ the best of the best. Our world-class, accessible experts will become your trusted colleagues and mentors,” NASA goes on to say.

To come up with their ranking, Forbes and Statista surveyed about 70,000 Americans working at employers in the U.S. with at least 500 employees each. The final list features 1,382 highly recommended employers in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Here are the 30 best large employers in Texas, as determined by Forbes and Statista.

Houston area

  • No. 1 NASA (based in Washington, D.C.; Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake)
  • No. 2 University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  • No. 3 Oceaneering International, based in Houston
  • No. 4 MD Anderson Cancer Center, based in Houston
  • No. 11 Bechtel (based in Reston, Virginia; major corporate hub in Houston)
  • No. 13 Clear Creek ISD, based in League City
  • No. 20 Air Liquide, based in Houston
  • No. 23 Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, based in Pearland
  • No. 25 Houston Methodist, based in Houston

Dallas-Fort Worth

  • No. 7 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas
  • No. 8 Capital One (based in Richmond, Virginia; major corporate hub in Plano)
  • No. 16 University of Texas at Dallas
  • No. 17 Southwest Airlines, based in Dallas
  • No. 18 Lewisville ISD, based in Lewisville
  • No. 19 GM Financial, based in Fort Worth
  • No. 21 City of Plano
  • No. 22 Fidelity Investments (based in Boston; major corporate hub in Westlake)
  • No. 28 Jordan Health Services, based in Addison

San Antonio

  • No. 5 University of Texas at San Antonio
  • No. 9 H-E-B (based in San Antonio; more than 300 stores in Texas)
  • No. 12 University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Austin area

  • No. 14 Google (based in Mountain View, California; major corporate hub in Austin)
  • No. 29 Dell Technologies, based in Round Rock
  • No. 30 NXP Semiconductors (based in the Netherlands; major corporate hub in Austin)

Throughout Texas

  • No. 6 IKEA (based in Sweden; five stores in Texas)
  • No. 10 Costco (based in Issaquah, Washington; 35 stores in Texas)
  • No. 15 Hyatt (based in Chicago; hotels throughout Texas)
  • No. 24 Microsoft (based in Redmond, Washington; offices in Austin, Dallas, Friendswood, Frisco, Houston, San Antonio, and The Woodlands)
  • No. 26 Sherwin-Williams (based in Cleveland; more than 300 stores in Texas)
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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

With Clutch, connecting brands with creators has never been easier and more inclusive. Photo courtesy of Clutch

An app that originally launched on Houston college campuses has announced it's now live nationwide.

Clutch founders Madison Long and Simone May set out to make it easier for the younger generation to earn money with their skill sets. After launching a beta at local universities last fall, Clutch's digital marketplace is now live for others to join in.

The platform connects brands to its network of creators for reliable and authentic work — everything from social media management, video creation, video editing, content creation, graphic design projects, and more. With weekly payments to creators and an inclusive platform for users on both sides of the equation, Clutch aims to make digital collaboration easier and more reliable for everyone.

“We’re thrilled to bring our product to market to make sustainable, authentic lifestyles available to everyone through the creator economy," says May, CTO and co-founder of Clutch. "We’re honored to be part of the thriving innovation community here in Houston and get to bring more on-your-own-terms work opportunities to all creators and businesses through our platform.”

In its beta, Clutch facilitated collaborations for over 200 student creators and 50 brands — such as DIGITS and nama. The company is founded with a mission of "democratizing access to information and technology and elevating the next generation for all people," according to a news release from Clutch. In the beta, 75 percent of the creators were people of color and around half of the businesses were owned by women and people of color.

“As a Clutch Creator, I set my own pricing, schedule and services when collaborating on projects for brands,” says Cathy Syfert, a creator through Clutch. “Clutch Creators embrace the benefits of being a brand ambassador as we create content about the products we love, but do it on behalf of the brands to help the brands grow authentically."

The newly launched product has the following features:

  • Creator profile, where users can share their services, pricing, and skills and review inquiries from brands.
  • Curated matching from the Clutch admin team.
  • Collab initiation, where users can accept or reject incoming collab requests with brands.
  • Collab management — communication, timing, review cycles — all within the platform.
  • In-app payments with a weekly amount selected by the creators themselves.
  • Seamless cancellation for both brands and creators.
Clutch raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Precursor Ventures, Capital Factory, HearstLab, and more. Clutch was originally founded as Campus Concierge in 2021 and has gone through the DivInc Houston program at the Ion.

Madison Long, left, and Simone May co-founded Clutch. Photo courtesy of Clutch

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