Each year, the Milken Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, ranks the economic performance of U.S. cities, and this year, the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metropolitan area was ranked America’s Best Performing Large City. The institute noted that “The Lone Star State, which has both technology and energy assets, claimed three of the Top 10 and seven of the Top 25 large cities.” In the institute’s own words:
This year’s Best-Performing City, Austin, is a case study in concocting the proper recipe for economic vitality. A rising technology center, it is creating high-quality jobs that improve the region’s overall wage structure. Economic development officials rightly tout its business-friendly, low-tax, low-regulation climate when recruiting outside the state, particularly when soliciting California firms. They also herald the business startups of local entrepreneurs, the spinouts from the University of Texas, Austin, and the number and quality of UT graduates.
Austin’s technology base is fairly diversified: hardware, chips and communication gear, computer system design, Internet-related services, and biomedical research. The metro has its share of homegrown tech companies — Dell, Freescale Semiconductor, Flextronics International, and National Instruments among them — and has been successful at attracting technology icons from elsewhere as well. The financial services sector is also adding jobs.
I’m proud of the huge economic driver UT Austin continues to be both for our state and for our area. With the addition of UT’s Dell Medical School, our power to drive innovation and the economy will only increase.
What starts here changes the world.
Photo by UT philosophy junior Amyn Kassam