North Texas Home to 22 Fortune 500 Companies in 2017

North Texas has made a name for itself as the place to be when it comes to relocation, both for families looking to find a new home, and companies hoping to find better prospects in a business-friendly environment.

The latter has helped North Texas grow into the economic powerhouse that it is today, playing host to 22 Fortune 500 firms worth more than $643.5 Billion in combined revenues.

Meet the 2017 North Texas Fortune 500 firms in the infograhic below!

North Texas Skies

While DFW International Airport and Love Field may hold the eyes of consumers when it comes to air travel, there are 13 airports throughout North Texas that keep our region’s reputation as a business-friendly, logistics and manufacturing hub soaring above other U.S. metro areas. It’s no surprise that the largest global airline, American Airlines, and the largest domestic airline, Southwest Airlines, both call North Texas home with their Fortune 500 headquarters here.

DFW_international-airport

As the region’s largest airport, DFW International Airport serves more than just the flight demands of corporate and leisure travelers. More than 647,000 tons of air cargo go through the airport each year on top of the more than 63 million passengers, making it one of the world’s busiest airports. With seven runways – the most in the world – and  five terminals, more than 165 and an average customs time under 12 minutes, DFW has become a global logistics force.

Ft-Worth-Alliance-Airport

Designed for cargo, corporate and military aviation, Fort Worth Alliance Airport sits on nearly 1,200 acres and has its own U.S. customs clearance and first-class services for any cargo handling needs. Named the nation’s fastest growing industrial complex, Alliance Airport’s success has brought a boom to retail and infrastructure in north Fort Worth with new companies, shops and housing going up daily.

mckinney-national-airport

McKinney National Airport started with a 7,002-foot runway in the middle of open ground and never looked back. With ample amounts of  acreage that allow for years of expansion, McKinney National Airport has 24 hour monitored access, their own FAA tower and nearby golfing, restaurants and wineries. Located in Collin County, one of the fastest-growing counties in the state, this airport sits just 30 miles north of downtown Dallas.

Addison-airport

Addison Airport lies in the middle of the “Platinum Corridor,” 35 million square feet of office space, gourmet restaurants and upscale shopping. It also boasts an FAA tower, a customs clearance and their own aircraft maintenance crew Home to the base flight operations of various government entities, flight schools and agricultural entities, Addison Airport helps support local business ventures and overall growth.

To read more on the expansion of these and other airports in North Texas, check out Volume 4 of NTX Magazine.

What is Digital Espionage?

From Fortune 500 companies to unsuspecting individuals, digital espionage has quickly become a problem on the forefront of the cyber newsfeed. While hacking is nothing new, the frequency and intensity at which information and identities are being stolen has increased, with billions lost each year in intellectual property, technological advances and financial accounts in the U.S. alone. With the most recent large-scale attack on the U.S. Government’s Office of Personnel Management leaving the personal information of an estimated 18 million people compromised, the world is scrambling for a solution to a danger that could lurk in the simplest email.

Digital Espionage 101

PHISHING LINKS: Most of these hacks start the same way: someone, either an employee in a large company or an individual surfing the internet, gets and email or comes across a site with a link. The link could be obvious spam, but more likely, it will be something incredibly detailed and relevant to the user or even an email sent from someone the receiver seems to know. Hackers dive deep into the corners of the internet to create these “phishing” links using personal information and known acquaintances to reach high-level targets online. Once the link is clicked, a piece of malware is unknowingly downloaded onto the user’s computer and waits until activated by the hackers. When this happens, the virus sends out a signal and begins transmitting data; all the while the receiver is likely unaware that any of this is going on, and could take months or years to detect.

PINEAPPLE METHOD: In other cases, a hacker accessing information can be simply sitting in the same coffee shop as you with a small device, known in the information security sector as a pineapple, that tricks phones and other wi-fi enabled devices into literally handing over usernames and passwords. The device fools phones and tablets into thinking that it’s your home wi-fi, and when your phone goes to refresh your email, Facebook and mobile banking app, it collects the usernames and passwords sent out to the servers. From there, hackers can share this information however they so choose. Your life is seemingly in their hands.

For corporations, preventing digital espionage can sometimes mean keeping employees from even taking their devices overseas to countries with high rates of infiltration, like China and Russia. The fear is that if the device is there, even if it’s turned off, it could be compromised. Government agencies have even started implementing a “clean” device only policy for employees, and do not allow anyone in high-risk countries to access government databases while overseas. Security company McAfee requires employees to travel “technology naked,” and if any device owned by someone that works at McAfee is inspected at the Chinese border, it will never be able to connect to McAfee servers again. Clearly, they mean business.

Who’s Behind the Hacks?

A number of the major cyber attacks have come from overseas, namely China, like in the case of the recent attack on the U.S. OPM, on government agencies attempting to corrupt major pieces of infrastructure, like sewage and electricity, or to steal the latest in medical or technological advancements to use or sell. In 2014 alone, there were two major acts of corporate digital espionage: one on casino/gambling company Las Vegas Sands Corp. and one on the major media corporation Sony Pictures.

The security hack on Las Vegas Sands Corp. was in direct response to comments made by majority stakeholder and CEO Sheldon Adelson during the Iranian nuclear conflict. His support for the U.S. resulted in Iranian “hacktivists” infiltrating the Sands system through a small casino in Pennsylvania and caused cataclysmic amounts of damage.  The damage was so wide-spread, it resulted in entire Sands properties being cut-off from the internet, running only on the Sands’ internal mainframe that left room keys, casino floors and elevators working for a short time in February 2014. While the attack was contained to only U.S. properties thanks to quick thinking on the part of Sands’ president, Michael Leven, the costs for repairs amounted to at more than $40 million.

In the case of Sony, employees of the multi-national company were locked out of computers by a hacker group known as the “Guardians of Peace.” During the days that followed, several yet-to-be-released Sony movies were leaked, including Annie and Fury, and the personal information of nearly 50,000 current and former Sony employees was released. The hackers threatened to attack anyone seeing the upcoming Sony comedy, The Interview, set to be released on Christmas 2014. This led to an investigation of North Korea because of the central role the country and it’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, play in the movie. Sony made the decision to pull the film from theaters, although it was released to stream via online services on Christmas Day. While North Korean officials ultimately claimed the hack was a “righteous deed,” they vehemently denied any involvement until US officials determined that they were responsible the attack.

While large, public companies are typically the targets of hackers who want to steal information to either sell or to hold ransom, the amount of individuals being singled out based has exponentially increased.

Recently, North Texas’s own Kellie Rasberry of the Kiss FM Kidd Kraddick Morning Show was hacked by a teenager who not only stole her email login, but contacted her email and phone service provider and convinced them that he worked for her using all the information he gleaned from her emails. They handed over the last four digits of her social security number and other personal information, which he then used to change the logins to many of her online accounts. To hear more about her experience, listen to the AudioBoom below.

How do I Amp Up My Cyber Security?

  1. Download antivirus software. Malware detector on this kind of software detects when your computer is prompted to download something suspicious. Run scans regularly to prevent anything from coming in on USB drives or CDs as well.
  2. Turn off your wi-fi devices automatic connection feature. When you’re not at home, having this feature turned off will not only save battery, but it will also keep your passwords safe.
  3. Be wary of suspicious emails. We’ve all seen the messages from the Nigerian businessman who needs to transfer money offshore, but what about your friend who “got a new email” and wants to share a link to a cool new car he’s restoring? The research hackers will do to get into your accounts is unlimited, and can include creating fake emails under the names of people you know! If it seems suspicious, contact the person another way to double check.
  4. Don’t make your passwords obvious. Everyone has that one password we’ve used since 2005. Change it. Add numbers, add characters, do something to make it harder for people to guess. If they’re already in your email, but they have to guess a current password to change it, make it difficult.

While preventing digital espionage can seem simple, there are a thousand ways a hacker can get your information. Being cautious in how you store and share your digital property is just one step in protecting yourself.

North Texas Real Estate Booms

North Texas is an ever-expanding metropolis, with new developments and businesses cropping up every day. New draws people in, according to the Realtor.com June Real Estate Market Report, which ranks Dallas/Fort Worth at #5 on the list of hottest markets in the US.

The Urban Land Institute also recently released their Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, which ranked Dallas/Fort Worth as #5 on their list of markets to watch. While the Realtor.com report was dominated by California-based cities in high rankings, the Urban Land Institute Report had Houston and Austin settled in at #1 and #2, respectively.

Texas’ pro-business legislature allows for the expansion and/or relocation of many large companies into North Texas, including Toyota, Amazon, Facebook and Liberty Mutual, bringing with them thousands of job opportunities that have people flocking to DFW.

The housing market in DFW is booming in every sense because of this. Over 10,000 pre-owned homes were sold in North Texas last month, a record-breaking number. Supply is falling far short of demand, and most sellers are receiving offers within a week of listing their properties. We have an average inventory level of 2.8 months, which means if no more houses were to go on the market after today, in 2.8 months, theoretically, every house would be sold.

In North Texas, 17 percent of our economic output is real estate, and there are now over 92,000 real estate related jobs thanks to a recovering economy and business-friendly region.

To read more about real estate and other career areas in North Texas, check out the North Texas Profile here.

Power with ERCOT

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and back in World War II, we were so big we needed our own power grid. That’s the origin of the Texas Interconnected System, now called ERCOT, which powers most of the state of Texas and makes us, to this day, the only state with our own power grid.

The origins of the Texas Interconnected System date back to the 1940’s, when Texas was pumping out supplies for World War II. President Roosevelt passed the Federal Power Act, which regulated interstate power. As long as the Texas grid didn’t connect with other states, it wasn’t under the jurisdiction of the new law. Texas didn’t mind – they were worried if they connected to the then-unreliable power grids across the US, the production of war-time products would halt.

ERCOT was formed after the 1965 blackouts in the Northeast called for regulation of grid reliability to national standards, but most of Texasstill remains untouched by federal hands when it comes to power. Those areas not a part of the ERCOT grid are part of the two other major U.S. grids – the Western and Eastern Interconnects.

So why hasn’t there been a call for the ERCOT grid to join with the rest of the U.S.? Because Texas, with three large metropolitan areas, two of which are in the Top 5 most populated in the U.S., is so large that we use more electricity than any other state.

To read more fun facts about North Texas, check out the North Texas Profile HERE.

Family Friendly North Texas | 5 Cities Rank in the Top 20 Nationwide

North Texas strikes again with five cities ranking in the top 20 of  WalletHub’s “2015 Best & Worst Cities for Families.” It’s no surprise that one person is added to the North Texas population every 5 minutes. With continued job growth, a diverse and thriving business climate, a central location with a four hour flight to either coast and high quality of life, many families are excited to call North Texas home.

Taking the 150 most populated cities in the United States, WalletHub compared 30 key metrics that take into account the family dynamic such as median income, quality of local schools, number of attractions, the healthcare system and much more. When all the calculations were wrapped up, the outcome was a big win for North Texas. The city of Plano came in at number two with the large Kansas City suburb Overland Park, Kansas taking the top spot. Grand Prairie round out the top ten holding the tenth spot, and Arlington (13), Fort Worth (16) and Irving (20) also made the list.

To put this in the Texas perspective, Texas holds 7 of the top 20 spots giving it the most family friendly cities of any other state. And, North Texas stands out with 25 percent of the cities coming from the same metropolitan statistical area.

The 2015 Top 20 Best Cities for Families

1. Overland Park, KS 11. Irvine, CA
2. Plano, TX 12. Amarillo, TX
3. Virginia Beach, VA 13. Arlington, TX
4. Lincoln, NE 14. Gilbert, AZ
5. Sioux Falls, SD 15. Omaha, NE
6. Madison, WI 16. Fort Worth, TX
7. Fremont, CA 17. Boise, ID
8. Chesapeake, VA 18. Rancho Cucamonga, CA
9. Colorado Springs, CO 19. Corpus Christi, TX
10. Grand Prairie, TX 20. Irving, TX

For the full methodology behind the rankings click HERE.

Spring is in the Air

The mild North Texas winter went out with a bang, but its officially gone as today marks the first day of Spring. As the bluebonnets start to sprout and the dogwoods bloom, this is the perfect time of year to get out and enjoy some of the region’s hiking and mountain bike trails. And, according to the latest North Texas Profile, there is no shortage of outside activity opportunities here. For example, did you know …

  • There are 23 state parks within 100 miles of  North Texas
  • More than 1,700 miles of off-street trails for cyclists and pedestrians
  • North Texas has 60 lakes and reservoirs covering 550,500 acres
  • There are 200 public and private golf courses
  • We are home to 400 public parks covering 23,000 acres
  • And, if your idea of an outside activity is sipping wine in the sun, there are 52 wineries in the region

 

North-Shore-Trail-Lake-Grapevine

SOURCE: Lake-Grapevine.com

If you’re looking for some challenging mountain bike trails, check out Lake Grapevine’s North Shore Trail. This 10-mile long trail weaves along the lake, through a bamboo forest and along some brooks for a great workout whether you lace up your hiking boots and bring a four-legged companion, or strap on a helmet for some two-wheeled adventures.

 

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SOURCE: DallasNews.com

Cedar Hill’s Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center is a family-friendly adventure in hiking that is home to many native flora and animals. And, the  Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center at Cedar Hill (DCAC) has been awarded LEED Gold established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Proving that you can be green in a lush greenspace.

 

Klyde Warren Park

SOURCE: North Texas Commission

If you’re looking for an outside adventure with an urban twist, there’s much to see and do in Dallas and Fort Worth. Klyde Warren Park in Dallas is a bustling park literally bridging Uptown and Downtown Dallas. With a reading room, food trucks and yoga, there’s no limit to enjoying a warm North Texas spring day.

 

SundancePlaza_Nov2014_cSundanceSquare

SOURCE: SundanceSquare.com

Fort Worth’s recently redesigned Sundance Square in the heart of downtown is walking distance to restaurants, nightclubs and the historic Bass Hall. But spend some time watching kids run through the new water features and you’ll have the urge to kick off your shoes and splash around. And, entertain your friends with a historical fun fact – Sundance Square is named after the Sundance Kid who – along with his partner, Butch Cassidy – was a frequent visitor to the area.

So, wave goodbye to old man winter and welcome that big Texas sky and sun by experiencing some of the best outdoor adventures North Texas has to offer.

The 2015 North Texas Profile

 

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The newest version of the North Texas Profile

The 2015 North Texas Profile is chock-full of the latest statistics about our region. With an overview of the North Texas region, the industries that make up the economy and the perks that make the North Texas quality life rank so highly nationwide, the 2015 Profile is the go-to information source for quick data.

Just a few facts from the Profile

If North Texas were a country, is would be 27th in GDP between Belgium and Venezuela.

North Texas ranks among the top 3 U.S. metro areas for business expansion, relocations and employment growth.

The region’s labor force is 3.5 million strong, the fourth largest in the nation.

The North Texas population is expected to be just shy of 17 million by 2050.

8,041 North Texas companies export products and services.

Want to view all publications produced by the North Texas Commission? Visit our Publications tab under News & Resources or CLICK HERE.

Fun Fact Friday: North Texas Boasts 52 Wineries!

In North Texas we always can find a reason to pop open a bottle of wine, and it’s easier than ever to keep the party local with a vintage from one of the 52 North Texas wineries. When thinking of North Texas wine, Grapevine is top of mind, but wineries have popped up around the region with a strong presence in McKinney, and even some urban locations such as La Fuqua winery in Dallas. No matter where you are in the region you aren’t far from a quality Texas wine shop, even in DFW airport where La Bodega boasts a shop.

These local winemakers herald from all over, such as Frenchman Benjamin Calais at La Calais who features a more modern approach to his varietals, and Lee Fuqua of previously mentioned La Fuqua who was educated at Texas A&M in wine studies and is making European style wines. At Grapevine’s Homestead Winery they not carry a wide range of wines for many different palates, but they also produce one of the few Sherry-style wines outside of Spain.

Many of these wineries also have space and accommodations for parties or meetings. If you’re looking for a cool local spot for your next event take a look at one our incredible local wineries. CLICK HERE for a great list of local wineries.

For more fun facts on the North Texas region, be sure to read our 2015 North Texas Profile. CLICK HERE  to view and download.

Affordable Arlington Provides Money Saving Opportunites

North Texas continues to be know for its diversity of industry and business-friendly environment which has lead to dozens of major corporate moves over the past quarter of a century. However, companies move here for more than lower taxes; they look at the quality of life North Texas has to offer their employees. On top of the typically delightful weather, vast open spaces and a booming tourism and entertainment industry, North Texas boasts a low cost of living as one of its many perks. No state income tax, low energy costs and cheaper gas prices all factor in.

Our region’s third largest city, Arlington, is now being recognized as one of the top 10 best cities to live in for your financial future according to GOBankingRates. The organization conducted a survey of the best and worst cities for financial savings examining factors such as sales tax, median home/condo value, median monthly rent, median income, gas prices and unemployment. For the full article, click here.

 

About Arlington, Texas

Located strategically between Dallas and Fort Worth, Arlington is home to more than 379,000 people, the Texas Rangers and AT&T Stadium who hosted Super Bowl XLV, the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four and the inaugural year of the College Football Playoff National Championship. Arlington made the list with a sales tax rate of 8 percent, a median house/condo value of $129,000 and an unemployment rate of 5 percent. Arlington was also named as one of the best places to buy a home in 2014 by Forbes, as as the fourth-best city to find a job in by WalletHub.

 

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