October 27, 2023 

The Fort Worth Chamber's Manufacturers Group is addressing barriers to business growth based on recent findings that underscore the pivotal role of manufacturing and infrastructure in Tarrant County's economy. 

A new study highlights the critical role manufacturing plays in Tarrant County's economy, with an average wage of $81,000 and representing 9.5% of all jobs in the area. Additionally, the study reveals that manufacturers account for a significant 25% of companies likely to expand within Tarrant County. 

Manufacturers in the Fort Worth area heavily rely on efficient infrastructure for the timely movement of raw materials and finished goods. Deficiencies in transportation and energy infrastructure not only hinder productivity but also increase costs for manufacturers. A Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) study emphasizes the staggering cost of congestion, which amounts to billions of dollars annually for Texas businesses and residents. This congestion directly impacts Fort Worth as well. 

According to a study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute Mobility Division, Fort Worth grapples with the sixth most congested roadway in the state. The North Freeway/Interstate Highway 35W/US 287 stretch from State Highway 183 to Interstate Highway 30 causes over 800,000 annual hours of delay per mile and incurs an annual congestion cost exceeding $70 million. These statistics underscore the urgent need for infrastructure improvements in the area. 

Steve Montgomery, President and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber, emphasized the importance of addressing infrastructure challenges. “We recently welcomed Victor Vandergriff, Executive Director of Tarrant Regional Water District, for our October Manufacturers Group meeting. He highlighted the need for Fort Worth and Tarrant County to actively engage in transportation and infrastructure conversations. As a result, we plan to incorporate these conversations into our strategy for 2024.” 

The findings from these studies make it clear that manufacturing and infrastructure are interconnected pillars of Fort Worth's economic growth. As the business community rallies behind infrastructure improvements, our community can better position itself for future success and economic development. 

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