Local City Still a Top Tech Destination

Offices located in Plano, Texas. | Image by David J Maldonado, Shutterstock

Plano was the fastest-growing city in the U.S. for tech jobs between April 2019 and April 2020, according to labor analytics company Lightcast. While its growth has slowed as of late, it remained among the top 20 at the end of 2022.

Doug McDonald, director of economic development for Plano, said the city witnessed dramatic growth in tech in recent years. “I think that in Plano, we’re providing the quality of life that these companies are looking for,” said McDonald, according to Community Impact.

Big names in the industry have descended on Plano, including Doosan Robotics, Samsung, and electric vehicle charger manufacturer SK Signet.

The city has embraced the new activity. McDonald, along with Mayor John Muns and other city officials, even traveled to East Asia to improve relations with foreign companies active in the city. According to Muns, fostering these relationships can net future growth and more jobs for Plano. The SK Signet facility alone is expected to create 183 jobs in the city.

“I think the end user for the technologies developed here is all over the world,” said Muns, per Community Impact. “For Plano, I think the real benefit is jobs, and it’s a variety of different jobs. That really does enhance the attraction to come work and live in Plano at the same time.”

Last summer, Doosan Robotics opened its U.S. headquarters on Legacy Drive. The South Korean company produces cutting-edge robots that can help in various settings, like assisting human workers in traditionally dangerous industries.

“These types of robots are meant to help humanity, to do things where the task that humans are doing might be dangerous or dirty. Collaborative robots are basically bringing automation to the consumer. It’s no longer only inside of a manufacturing plant,” said General Manager Alex Lee of Doosan Robotics.

Plano has also been a beneficiary of the explosion in popularity of electric vehicles. Multiple charging companies are increasing their presence in Plano.

As of December 2022, there were 2,472 charging stations in Texas, and that number is only expected to grow with help from businesses located in Plano.

“There’s a huge gap in the North Texas, West Texas Panhandle, New Mexico, Colorado, [and] Oklahoma areas. It’s amazing when you look at the map, and there’s just this huge, vast wasteland with no battery chargers,” said Muns, per Community Impact.

Once it reaches full capacity, SK is expected to produce upwards of 10,000 fast electric vehicle chargers annually.

Muns said the diverse mix of industries joining the city is to be celebrated.

“There are a variety of different companies with an interest in coming to Plano. The beauty of Plano’s business community is diversity in the types of businesses — we’re not just a one-trick pony,” said Muns, per Community Impact.

Plano’s proximity to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, its strong relationship with foreign companies, and positive word of mouth have all helped attract businesses to the city.

“When you put it all together, we’re going to have access to great talent; we’re going to have easy access to be able to fly just about anywhere, and [Plano] seemed like a great place for people that wanted to start a family to live — everything just kind of gelled. It doesn’t hurt that when I look out my window, I see the Toyota headquarters. That makes you feel like you made the right decision,” said Lee, according to Community Impact.

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