Relocation Texas: Giddings, TX Attracts Big Companies With An Unmatched Workforce
When Jabez Deming Giddings and his brothers first put down roots in the 5.2 square miles of land now known as Giddings, Texas, they likely had no idea what that little patch would someday become. Initially endowed to Stephen F. Austin in 1821 to establish a colony for Spanish Texas, Giddings did not officially become a city until 1871, when the Houston and Central Texas Railroad came to town. The first major railroad to begin development in Texas following the Civil War, the line expanded opportunities for economic development in Giddings, and the town repaid the Giddings brothers—once staunch railroad proponents—by baptizing the town in their honor.
Today, the population of Giddings stands at just over 5,000, but the city itself is surrounded by a population of more than 100,000 with what Executive Director of the Giddings Economic Development Corporation Tonya Britton calls a “density of workforce,” thanks to Giddings’ proximity to highways 290 and 77 which connect the city to both Houston (less than two hours away) and Austin (under 90 minutes away).
Well known for its oil boom in the 1980s, Giddings experienced a bit of an economic slump when most of the oil and oil-adjacent businesses left. For that reason, Britton says Giddings is looking to diversify beyond oil and gas.
“There’s a lot of ebb and flow,” says Britton “When it’s on, it’s great. But when it goes down, it can be a struggle for the smaller businesses that depend on the oil and gas businesses.”
So, what kind of business is Giddings trying to attract? According to Britton, almost anything. The town has seen its share of big oil, but thanks to its warm climate and underground aquafers, it also has “roots” in agriculture and is home to Altman Plants, a supplier to the big box garden centers, as well furniture manufacturing with salon furniture leader Kaemark Salon Furnishings, and even animal-feed processing at Cargill Nutrena.
But Giddings is open to other industries, too. According to Britton, the city’s proximity to Texas A&M University and the nearby biotech corridor make the city an attractive option for biotechnology and technology companies. The city is also home to a metrology lab owned by the Texas Department of Agriculture, which is utilized for research and development by several state agencies.
As for what Giddings can offer incoming businesses, Britton says Giddings has a “pro-business climate” but can also leverage that with benefits from the state. The Giddings Economic Development Corp. owns 150 acres of land as well as the 290 Business Park, which offers city water, electric, fiber optic lines and direct highway access, including a deceleration lane.
“We’re ready for someone to come in,” says Britton. “We have cash incentives, land, rebates and workforce development training grants. We’re not by any means a dying town, but we have many spaces that have been vacated by oil and gas. We do have open spaces, but they don’t stay open for long. We have a lot of industrial turnover, but a lot of it is leased. We also have land that is for sale.”
Giddings has in-place infrastructure, too. In addition to the major highways which send 30,000 cars through Giddings each day, the city also has freight service by Capital Metro Rail, which will soon be running a passenger line, and the 84-acre Giddings-Lee County Airport.
The city has plenty to offer new families looking to resettle in Giddings. With affordable housing and a variety of cultural activities, Giddings has something for everyone in the family–including the famous Rodeo Giddings, and an up-and-coming downtown entertainment district.
Says Britton, “We’re seeing a demand for housing from people who want to get out of the city, but who still want access to the city. We’re sort of the next big thing. We’re part of the third-ring, where the suburbs are now cities.”
With a welcoming community, a diverse workforce and a pro-business environment, it’s easy to understand why the city’s motto is: “Giddings, Texas: Experience Hometown Hospitality.”
Perhaps Britton sums up the appeal of Giddings best. “We’re not looking to just recruit a company. We’re looking to make a company part of our community.”
Interested in learning more about Giddings, TX for your business expansion or relocation? Click here to learn more about Giddings Economic Development Corporation, or contact Executive Director, Tonya Britton, for more information.