Texas has been on the leading edge of aerospace and defense from the beginning of manned flight. Its aerospace and defense industries comprise about 1,700 companies and 200,000 employees who earn an average salary of $50,000 per year. American Eurocopter, BAE Systems, Bell Helicopter, Textron, Boeing Company, Gulfstream, Aerospace Corporation, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and NASA's Johnson Space Center are major employers.
Both TEF and TETF have supported new aerospace research and development. In El Paso, the University of Texas recently received $3 million from TETF to establish the Structural and Printed Emerging Technologies Center (SPEC). This research and development facility for aerospace and defense integrated 3D systems technologies will partner with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to build on existing world-class, rapid-prototyping or additive manufacturing equipment and research.
TapcoEnpro - a subsidiary of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation and a designer and manufacturer of highly engineered, advanced mission-critical technologies for the defense, energy, commercial aerospace, and general industrial markets - will construct a $26 million manufacturing facility in Baytown. This new facility will build large vessels for the refining and petrochemical industries, as well as support the production of large-valve products. This expansion, which will create 100 new jobs, is partly financed by a $675,000 TEF award.
"The state's investment through the Texas Enterprise Fund has helped bring us to the start of construction for Curtiss-Wright's new manufacturing facility at Cedar Crossing," says flow control Vice President and General Manager Cliff Jacobs. "We have set a target to improve our competitive position significantly. When completed, our new heavy fabrication facility will provide the flexibility to grow into new markets, offer new products, increase our ability to bid competitively on large-scale refinery projects, and increase our global market share."
In October 2010, The Wall Street Journal described Texas as a "mecca for high tech, venture capital, aeronautics, health care, and even industrial manufacturing like the building of cars and trucks." The article highlighted Texas' job-creating success and acknowledged its low corporate tax rates and streamlined regulatory climate as key factors to its economic success.
"Texas' ranking as the nation's top exporter for nine years running is a testament to our strong economy and the importance of upholding low taxes, reasonable regulations, a fair legal system, and an equipped work force," Governor Perry says. "Although Texas has not been immune to the global recession, our commitment to these priorities has helped make us the best place to live, work, and raise a family, and businesses looking to escape over-taxation and over-regulation know they can come to Texas for a better chance at success."