Weatherford Democrat

Business

December 11, 2009

Quality of life factors for business locations in a community

Dennis Clayton, Guest Columnist

The Area Development Site and Facility Planning magazine conducts an annual corporate survey of national and regional companies about their plans for expansion and/or relocation of business headquarters’ or operations offices, service operations, R&D; operations, industrial/manufacturing operations or warehousing and distribution centers.

This annual survey measures two groups of site selection factors — Business Operations and Labor factors and Quality of Life factors.

The top 10 Business Operations and Labor factors include highway accessibility, labor costs, occupancy or construction costs, tax exemptions, energy costs, availability of workers, business incentives, available land and buildings and others.

The top 10 Quality of Life factors include, in priority, low crime rate, health facilities, housing costs and availability, ratings of public schools, climate, area colleges and universities and recreational/cultural opportunities.

I want to highlight the top Quality of Life factors Weatherford provides for new businesses and for our existing businesses.

The City of Weatherford provides us with a low crime rate through the services of the police department, which accounts for about 30 percent of the city operations budget. If you add the fire protection services, the two departments account for about 50 percent of the city’s annual budget.

Weatherford Regional Medical Center, managed by Community Health Systems, just completed the $27 million expansion of a new emergency room, with new ICU rooms and new laboratory, radiology and pharmaceutical services and equipment.

The hospital has also recruited more than 19 new physicians in the past two years and continues to recruit needed physician specialties to provide local health care services.

Weatherford ISD provides a quality education with great teachers as a 2008 TEA “Recognized” school district, and the school board and administration was recently recognized as the state’s TASA Outstanding School Board of 2009. The school district also provides many recreational events for our citizens.

Weatherford College is one of the largest and fastest growing community colleges in the state and provides education and training of the adult workforce for our businesses, and the college provides recreational and cultural events for our citizens.

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