Richardson, TX – In the midst of gloomy economic forecasts, some positive news in Richardson: Aerospace company, Rockwell Collins, will begin hiring 334 new employees immediately. It's part of an expansion made possible by a $1.7 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Texas House decide who should get the money as KERA's Shelley Kofler reports.
The grant will allow Rockwell Collins to lease new space in Richardson, where it will increase it's design, testing and production of communications equipment used in commercial and military aircraft. Standing next to Governor Rick Perry, Company CEO Clay Jones says the Enterprise Fund grant was a factor in chosing to expand in Texas instead of another state.
CEO Clay Jones-- "Yeah we looked around before we decided to locate this center of excellence down here and when we looked around we liked what we saw down here and that's why we came here. And this enterprise fund was very influential let me say that in the totality of the decision making process."
Texas was in competition with Rockwell Collins plants in Iowa and Melbourne Florida. The company's agreement with the state is to add at least 334 new employees-mostly engineers- to its workforce of 900 by the end of 2009. If the company fails to maintain that staffing level for 5 years, it will have to return the money to the state.