Located in the middle of everywhere, Lubbock is home to nearly 300,000 people and is easily accessible by Interstate 27, which connects to Interstate 10 and Interstate 20, as well as by plane with the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.
But the city’s convenient location isn’t the only thing that has caught the attention of national businesses— it’s also their reputation as being a hub for fast-growing industries. Known for its roots in agriculture, education and healthcare, Lubbock’s economy is often perceived as a three-legged stool. These three legs provide the essential foundation for our economy. Yet, what once was three primary legs, is now closer to seven with the growth of Lubbock’s technology, manufacturing, finance and professional services, and tourism industries.
With more than 10,000 graduates every year, Lubbock’s businesses benefit from a new generation of a workforce prepared to generate solutions and address real-world issues with fresh ideas. This solution-driven mentality positions these graduates to be a true asset in the local technology sector, which encompasses programming, data services and more.
Among those companies, an L.A.-based technology firm, Hoverstate, has brought new operations to downtown Lubbock, adding 50 positions in computer programming to the market. Within the sector, other local companies offer solutions for practical issues; for example, Truno is a leader in retail technology solutions for grocery stores, and Tyler Technologies produces software for more than 15,000 state and local governments.
Another industry making significant strides is manufacturing. Lubbock is home to numerous pump manufacturers that build pumps for agricultural, oil and gas, and municipal needs. Whether it is food, fiber, or machinery, the manufacturing industry continues to expand production.
As the world’s largest analog/mixed-signal foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for mixed-signal integrated circuits, X-FAB Texas is home to the world’s first six-inch silicon carbide (SiC) foundry. The facility manufactures SiC power devices that are used in improving the efficiency of electrified vehicles, data centers, the generation of renewable energy and industrial applications.
Naturally, food manufacturing is a prominent aspect of the industry with wine grapes, corn, peanuts, sunflowers and more grown in the region. Companies such as Shearer’s Foods, Inc., produce and distribute snack food throughout the country, and Sun Gold Foods, Inc. roasts and salts sunflower seeds and other nuts. It’s often noted that food manufacturing thrives in Lubbock because the workforce knows the ins and outs of food production.
The finance industry continues to see high returns in Lubbock with a diverse portfolio in commercial and investment banking. With substantial economic growth, the industry added 17 percent more jobs in the last five years. Now, as the second-fastest growing industry, 8,200 people are employed in the financial sector.
As the epicenter for art, wine and music in West Texas, more than six million visitors travel to Lubbock and spend a combined $840 million annually. Not only does the “Hub City” see leisure travelers, but business travelers, conference attendees and athletes visit Lubbock for meetings and tournaments.
In addition to these established industries of Lubbock, the city is looking ahead and making provisions for new economic opportunities. To address the city’s projected growth, the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance partnered with Bandera Ventures, a real estate developer from Dallas, to build a hi-tech speculative distribution building with 161,555 square feet of space in the Lubbock Business Park.
The building known as the Lubbock Logistics Center will have a clear height of 32 feet, 56 trailer parking positions and be cross-dock configured.
Due to the low industrial real estate vacancy and Lubbock’s role as a regional hub, Bandera Ventures chose to build the facility in the “Hub City.” The facility is on schedule to be completed by early fall of 2019.
“My partners and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with LEDA on this exciting development project benefiting the citizens of Lubbock,” said Pryor Blackwell, partner at Bandera Ventures. “I fell in love with Lubbock 40 years ago as a freshman at Texas Tech, and I’ve loved the city, Texas Tech and the people of West Texas ever since.”
With its central location, diverse industries, highly skilled workforce and opportunities for expansion, Lubbock is poised to remain on a consistent upward trend for years to come.