Business Relocation & Expansion
How Fort Bend EDC & Our Economic Development Partners Can Help
The Fort Bend Economic Development Council and our economic development partners work collaboratively, as a team, and are dedicated to supporting business development, relocation, and expansion in Fort Bend. Our services, complimentary and brought to you by our membership, include, but are not limited to:
- Information on available real estate and business facilities within county.
- Assistance with workforce training and recruitment.
- Assistance with application for available incentive packages.
- Liaison with the cities and county government officials throughout the process.
- Expertise on Fort Bend County’s business community and key industries within the county.
- Introduction to key strategic partners and community and government leaders.
Fort Bend County ranks No. 4 for incoming investment in the United States, No. 2 in Texas, and No. 1 in Greater Houston. SmartAsset, 2017.
An Educated Workforce
With an educated workforce, high quality of life, impressive economic growth, and healthy housing market, the region is hard to beat. And with low taxes and high growth rates, businesses are thriving in Fort Bend County.
- The region’s talent pool is educated, skilled, multidisciplinary and growing.
- Out of 764,828 residents, 88.5 percent are high school graduates or higher, 41.4 percent are college educated, and 83 percent are families.
- The workforce itself numbers nearly 306,000 people, with a total of 3.1 million in the Greater Houston region.
- This dynamic workforce has attracted numerous new industries to the area such as software developers, engineers, and other high-tech businesses, keeping opportunity fresh and growth strong.
The business community of Fort Bend has access to a highly trained, educated workforce, with training and advancement programs available right here in the county.
High School Programs
Working with specific companies within the Fort Bend community to determine work force needs and gaps, the school districts and the technical training institutions in Fort Bend, working collaboratively, offer high school students the opportunity to take prerequisite training in skill specific certification programs while still in high school.
Specialized Training Programs
Texas State Technical College, open in the fall of 2016, offers specialty degree programs determined by the specific needs of the Fort Bend workforce. Programs include HVAC, diesel equipment, industrial maintenance, and precision machining technology, as well as programs in cyber security, telecommunications convergence and welding technology. Future offerings anticipated in the fall of 2017 will include biomedical equipment technology, instrumentation and process operations, robotics and industrial automation, and occupational safety and environmental compliance.
HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence in opened in October 2016. focuses on training qualified professionals in high-demand occupations within the manufacturing sector. The Center includes programs in Manufacturing Engineering Technology and Machining Technology and will offer state-of-the-art industrial technology laboratories, CNC machines, a maker spacefilled with 3D printers, robotics, mechatronics and machining tools. In addition, short-term certificate programs and incumbent upskill worker training will be offered in the areas of: electrical, plumbing, welding, Pipefitting, and Industrial Maintenance.
The University of Houston has two campuses in Fort Bend County, offering more than 20 degreed programs to meet the needs of working students. The University of Houston Sugar Land is a tier one university campus. The University of Houston System- Cinco Ranch has recently been approved to build a new, larger campus off Interstate 10 and the Grand Parkway.
Wharton County Junior College and Houston Community College work with the University of Houston to offer a smooth transfer process. The community colleges also work in tandem with the business community, offering continuing education and work skills training to meet the specific needs of the business.
Workforce Solutions (Texas Workforce Commission)
The University of Houston School of Nursing boasts a 100% NCLEX-RN pass rate on the exam, placing the University of Houston School of Nursing in the top 5% of the nation for pass rates for four years in a row, ( 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).
Fort Bend County is served by the Ports of Houston and Freeport.
- Ranked 26th in the US in foreign tonnage and 40 miles from the heart of Fort Bend County, the Port of Freeport, with its deep water access and connection to rail services and Highway 36 which runs through Fort Bend County, is a major entryway for large vessels moving goods in and out of the United States. Learn More
- The Port of Houston, 25 miles from the heart of Fort Bend County, is Texas’ largest port, ranked first in the US in foreign tonnage, 2nd in the US in total foreign cargo value, and is the 6 ranked container port in the US. Learn More
Fort Bend County is fortunate to have three rail lines, Kansas City Southern (KSC), Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), and Union Pacific (UP) run throughout the county. The rail lines currently run parallel to both developed and undeveloped land, offering opportunities for rail services to businesses that need land to build as well as those that seek access to business parks and other developed properties.
Fort Bend County has two potential Intermodal sites without the county. Working closely with the Port of Freeport, the rail companies, and our partner cities, a comprehensive intermodal program will bolster international trade and access to markets, moving goods around the globe, through Fort Bend County, and into the US and North America as a whole.
Municipal Utility and Levee Districts
A large county with a vast geography, Fort Bend County has a comprehensive municipal utility and levy improvement districts system to aid in development and quality of life. With the implementation of MUDs, corporate and residential developments may take advantage of the available land in the unincorporated areas of the county, assuring water and sewer service is available, rather than waiting for the city to annex the land and develop the infrastructure to support the services. Additionally, LIDs provide flood protection and storm water management services, protecting communities through responsible draining systems enacted by the district. This flexibile and utilitarian approach speeds up development and encourages greater access to available land for developers and industries seeking larger parcels of property.
Fort Bend County has a comprehensive highway system intersecting throughout the county, improving mobility within the county and the rest of Greater Houston region as a whole. Major highways include:
- The Grand Parkway, a proposed 180-mile circumferential highway encircling the Greater Houston region.
- Highway 36A, initiating in Freeport with access to the Port of Freeport, is a major transportation corridor from the Port which runs through Fort Bend County.
- West Park Tollway, creates an east-west corridor to Houston’s major commerce centers with access to Greater Houston’s financial districts, SH 6, the Sam Houston Tollway/Beltway 8, US 59, and the Galleria.
- 1093 Expansion, approved by TxDOT, this expansion improves mobility on the West side of the county.
- Fort Bend Toll Road, in south Fort Bend County, provides improved access to Houston business and medical centers, with major interchanges at Highway 6, Lake Olympia Parkway, FM 2234 / McHard Road, Beltway 8 and US-90A.
- Interstate 69, a 1,660 mile highway connects a 31.8 miles of Fort Bend County, a five mile stretch currently expanding to six (or eight lanes) lanes.
Fort Bend County is home to two regional airports and easily accessibility to Houston’s two major airports.
- Sugar Land Municipal Airport is the fourth largest airport in greater Houston area, providing on-site US Custom services, to accommodate both regional and international corporate executives. 100 Fortune 500 companies utilize this airport, conveniently located in Fort Bend County. Learn More
- Houston Southwest Airport is located in Southeast Fort Bend County provides airline rentals, charters, parking hangers, maintenance, and aviation fuel. Learn More
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport is approximately 25 miles from the center of Fort Bend county, currently ranked 5th among US airports. Learn More
- William P. Hobby Airport, located 20 miles from Sugar Land, serves millions of passengers each year, now offering both domestic and international flights. Learn More
Cities of Fort Bend County
The cities of Fort Bend County are aggressively engaged in the development process, offering a range of services, programs, and incentives to meet the needs of businesses looking to expand or relocate to Fort Bend. With a can do attitude and a spirit of cooperation, the cities of Fort Bend County are the business owner, broker, or site selector’s best resource for information on the respective communities.
Fort Bend County Marketing Program Municipal Partners
Other Cities In Fort Bend County
Fort Bend County maintains a responsible tax rate that encourages development and creates jobs. Combined with no state income tax and a lower than average cost of living, Fort Bend County is a desirable location for business development.
Fort Bend County General: 0.45300
Fort Bend Drainage: 0.016000
Businesses may take advantage of potential incentives such as:
- Fort Bend County Designated Opportunity Zones
- Value Added Tax Abatement
- Freeport Tax Exemption
- Tax Increment Financing
- Industrial Revenue Bonds
Small Business Guide
Fort Bend County is home to many small businesses because the county’s business climate supports entrepreneurial initiative and small business development. To assist small business owners with the process of doing business in Fort Bend, the economic development team of professionals within the county and the Fort Bend EDC worked with the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce to develop the Fort Bend Chamber’s Small Business Guide. The Guide provides contact information to city and county departments as well helpful information on how to start a new venture.
There’s a lot to know about Fort Bend County. From top-ranked cities to an amazing education systems to a hardworking population, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some handy tools to help you explore all of the things that make Fort Bend County great.