State awards Rockwell Collins $1.67 million for jobsRockwell Collins receives $1.67 million to create 334 positions
By BRENDAN M. CASE / The Dallas Morning News
Thursday, January 24, 2008
The Texas Enterprise Fund awarded $1.67 million to communications and aviation electronics firm Rockwell Collins Inc. to expand its operations in Richardson, Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday.
The company said it will add 334 jobs in the expansion.
Rockwell Collins will lease 90,000 square feet of space near its existing 276,000-square-foot facility, where it already employs 900 people.
"Rockwell Collins' expansion and commitment to create more than 330 new jobs is a strong indicator of our state's vibrant economy and business-friendly climate," Mr. Perry said.
The company's Richardson operation primarily makes aviation electronics and communications systems for the U.S. military.
The company, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, has about 20,000 employees worldwide and is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Its shares closed at $58.48 Wednesday, up 42 cents.
Serving commercial and government customers, Rockwell Collins made a $585 million profit in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2007, up 23 percent compared with the year before. The company had fiscal 2007 revenue of $4.42 billion, up 14 percent from 2006.
In a worst-case scenario – if Rockwell Collins fails to create any jobs in Texas despite its Enterprise Fund money – the company would have to repay the award to the state, plus interest, said Allison Castle, a spokeswoman for Mr. Perry.
Since the Legislature approved the Enterprise Fund in 2003, the governor's office has awarded nearly $370 million to 42 companies, Ms. Castle said.
The fund is designed to encourage businesses to locate or expand their operations in the state.
However, critics have questioned Mr. Perry's use of public money to lure private-sector investment.
A report last month by Texans for Public Justice, a nonprofit group in Austin, said some awards recipients have instead had layoffs in Texas or nationwide, or failed to meet job-creation goals.
"The track record of the state of Texas in picking winning industries and winning companies is mixed at best," said Andrew Wheat, research director at Texans for Public Justice. "And we question whether the state should have any role investing in private business."
Mr. Perry's administration disputed some of the report's findings and said the Enterprise Fund gives the state a competitive edge in attracting jobs. Some award recipients have added more jobs than they pledged to create, Ms. Castle said.