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, and are dedicated to supporting business development, relocation, and expansion in Fort Bend County, Texas. Our services, 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, 2018.
An Educated Workforce
Fort Bend understands a talented, well-educated and highly trained workforce is a significant factor when selecting where to located your business. With a talented, educated workforce, high quality of life, impressive economic growth, and healthy housing market, Fort Bend County leads the region in every major significant category and is the place to start or relocate your business.
- The region’s talent pool is educated, skilled, multidisciplinary and growing.
- Out of 787,858 residents, 89.7 percent are high school graduates or higher, 45.7 percent are college educated, and 82 percent are families.
- The workforce itself numbers 388,642 people on average in 2019, with a total of 3.4 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
The Texas State Technical College campus in Fort Bend County, open in the fall of 2016, offers technical degree programs chosen specifically to meet the industry needs of the region. There are 10 programs now being offered including Diesel Equipment Technology, Precision Machining Technology, Cyber Security, Welding Technology, Robotics Technology and Electrical Lineworker Technology. Two state-of-the-art buildings with a combined square footage of almost 200,000, the Industrial Technology Center and Brazos Center, are now situated on the 80-acre campus. Expansion plans for the next decade will allow TSTC to grow with the community and ultimately serve more than five thousand students.
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, robotics, mechatronics, a maker spacefilled with 3D printers 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 degree programs to meet the needs of working students. The University of Houston Sugar Land is a tier one university campus, and is completing the new building for the University of Houston College of Technology in Sugar Land. The University of Houston Victoria in Katy has recently expanded into 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 as well as offer certification programs to transfer directly into the Fort Bend workforce. 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 College of Nursing boasts a 100% first time national certification pass rate for Family Nurse Practitioner graduates (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). www.uh.edu/nursing
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 waterborne tonnage, 1st in US imports, 1st in US export tonnage, 2nd in the US in total tonnage. 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 who need land to build as well as those who seek access to business parks and other developed properties.
Fort Bend County has two potential Intermodal sites within the county. Working closely with the Port 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 comprehensive municipal utility and levy improvement districts systems 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 services are available. Additionally, LIDs provide flood protection and storm water management services, protecting communities through responsible drainage systems enacted by the district. This flexible and utilitarian approach speeds up development and encourages greater access to available land for developers and industries seeking larger parcels of property.
To learn more about MUDs, please visit the Quality Community Alliance of Texas
Fort Bend County has a comprehensive highway system intersecting throughout the county, improving mobility within the county and to the rest of the Greater Houston region as a whole. Major highways include:
- The Grand Parkway is 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 and could potentially connect with Interstate 10. Expansions and extensions are planned.
- The 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.
- FM 1093 is currently being expanded to mobility on the West side of the county.
- Fort Bend Toll Road, in south Fort Bend County, provides improved access to Houston’s 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 31.8 miles of Fort Bend County, a five mile stretch currently expanding to six (or eight) lanes (depending upon location).
Fort Bend County is home to two regional airports and easily accessible to Houston’s two major airports.
- Sugar Land Municipal Airport is the fourth largest airport in the 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
Technology Companies Thrive In Fort Bend
Technology companies find a home in Fort Bend County, tagged, “The best kept secret in the tech world,” by Tom Webb, VP of Strategic Initiatives & Customer Relations with HCSS, a construction software company in Fort Bend.
With the infrastructure necessary to move goods, people, and services around, a quality of life that is second to none, a diverse and educated population (most diverse and highest educated in the Houston MSA), and a government that will work with you to find common sense solutions to new and emerging technologies and the concerns that come with innovation, Fort Bend County is the perfect landing spot for technology-based companies.
See Our Videos! Hear the stories from leaders in the the industry on why Fort Bend is #TechReady
Building An Innovation Ecosystem For Entrepreneurs
Fort Bend County understands the value of supporting and nurturing aspiring technologies, innovation, and entrepreneurs. Building coalitions, partnerships, and a collaborative nexus between industry, government, education, and entrepreneurs, Fort Bend is committed to developing an intentional, impactful, and strategic approach to stimulate entrepreneurial infrastructure.
StatsAmerica, a data tool of The U.S. Economic Development Organization, shared data showing Fort Bend County has an Innovation Index (an algorithm that quantifies a region’s potential and capacity for innovation), of 123.8, a score that ranked 21st out of over 3,100 counties across the country.
Fort Bend EDC Engages The Cannon For Feasibility Study On Innovation Hubs
The Fort Bend Economic Development Council board of directors approved funds to commission a study by The Cannon on the feasibility of creating a series of innovation hubs in Fort Bend County. The Cannon found Fort Bend is “ripe” for three networked and fully integrated innovation hubs spread throughout the county that will be the building blocks of an innovation ecosystem.
“Fort Bend County is poised for exciting economic growth but will need to take an
intentional approach to facilitate new business and innovation activity in the region. It has a wealthy, educated, skilled, and diverse community replete with great academic institutions, a large and varied business environment, and a good foundational culture of entrepreneurialism. Our team at The Cannon believes that the establishment and ongoing management of three distinct but interconnected innovation centers will have a profound impact on The County’s business landscape.”
Five Key Areas of Focus- Study Findings
- Alignment, awareness, and accessibility of entrepreneurial efforts.
- Develop educational programs focused on new entrepreneurs and early stage business development.
- Provide programs and partners that help locally-focused companies and
their intrapreneurs to innovate and scale.
- Create integrations with local education programs to augment their
activities and create synergy between business and academia.
- Develop curriculum and programs for potential investors and for businesses seeking capital.
View the county’s Strategic Report for Developing a Network of Innovation Hubs In Fort Bend County conducted by The Cannon.
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: 0.444700
Fort Bend Drainage: 0.015300
To view Houston MSA county property 2019 tax rates (coming soon)
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.