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Why don't Bryan-College Station attract higher paying jobs?

PS3D
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There's a disproportionate amount of posts on this forum that boil down to "why don't we have nice things?", often citing Houston or Austin as an example. The answer is going to be better, high-paying jobs, of course, yet neither College Station or Bryan seem to be willing to do that. Bryan has at least made some efforts every once in a while with new blue-collar facilities (like Axis Pipe & Tube) but all College Station wants to focus on is "city beautification" and pet projects, all the while raising taxes on what is a largely middle-class area. In fact, according to this article (originally published in 2010), we have this rather telling quote that illustrates how out of touch from reality CS leaders seem to have:

Quote:


"College Station Mayor Ben White said he thinks many graduates move away because they think the city isn't "cool" enough."



Is there some reason I'm missing why can't either city (especially College Station) use funds to attract higher-paying jobs, despite changes of leadership? It seems simple, attract businesses with financial incentives, attract higher-paying jobs with corresponding higher taxes, and then not only do the nicer businesses and shops everyone wants come here, but the city has money to do the projects they want to do.
TheAlarmGuy
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BigBubba
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Better paying jobs does not necessarily mean better quality of life. We left Houston 10 years ago and took a 40% cut in our household income and it was the best decision of our lives.

The bigger cities pay more because because it is needed to attract people. If the exact same job at the exact same pay was available in Houston and College Station, I would bet that 80% of people choose College Station over Houston (even Longhorns). The 20% would be mostly the younger, single crowd and people that don't have kids.

That being said, there has been growth in the medical field and there are other smaller companies that pay well but you don't here much about them because of their small size.

Also, we have one of the highest paid coaching staffs in the nation. ;-)
australopithecus robustus
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The fact that we're in such close proximity to the other cities also doesn't serve us well. When it's an hour to the Woodlands, we actually compete with them.
Captn_Ag05
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I'd like to see the cities and university partner up to do more to incentivize startups to start here. I believe the area has a lot that would be attractive to startups.

Also, I'd like to see targeting of small and mid sized businesses in similar-sized markets to relocate by offering tax incentives.
02skiag
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Tech company's that can utilize college educated part time labor need to take a serious look at BCS. I think that's the biggest selling point the area has. Rey Rey does an excellent job of it. They have a revolving door of lower paid part time jobs they fill with individuals seeking higher education. High quality of work for lower pay.
BANA89
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Quote:

I'd like to see the cities and university partner up to do more to incentivize startups to start here. I believe the area has a lot that would be attractive to startups.
BTW, there are a number of us working on that.
BANA Class of '86/'89 - Living in Aggieland!
Captn_Ag05
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Glad to hear that. I started following Startup Aggieland on social media and am impressed with their work. So, I know there are some efforts, but excited to hear it is a concerted effort. I would be interested in knowing if there's anything can do to help.
agrab86
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One clarification please: what do people here consider to be a high paying job? Is it $40K, $50K, $60K, $75K, $90K, or$100K+? Or are all my options too low to be considered high paying?
rhoswen
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I worked at a biotech company and made $48k. Moved to Houston & got a teaching job making $53k. They didn't pay much more because they knew there was a never-ending supply of fresh grads who were willing to work for $40k. Similar jobs in houston pay much more.
ag-bq-seventy
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Seems like the average salary went up some with the Jimbo hire.
02skiag
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I wouldn't focus much on "high paying" jobs. I think the need is for more salaried full time jobs that typically require a degree or equivalent work experience. Pay is low because supply of employees is high compared to the number of those type of jobs. Retail is not ideal for someone with or starting a family but retail is almost all that is being added.
agrab86
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I was just going with OP's original question and title thread. High paying jobs are great, but they are not the same as white collar type jobs that require a college degree though there is a lot of overlap.

While I work in a position which requires a degree, I don't consider it to be particularly low or high paying. I also have a lot of friends who work in the trades industry who make as much or more than I do at similar points in our careers. Their jobs don't require degrees but do require a lot of training, experience, and in many cases, hard physical work.

Personally, I agree with OP's post in wanting more high paying jobs. I also agree with your post in wanting more college-degree required jobs. I also want more jobs at all pay ranges so that all can have jobs/careers because that is what makes an economy hum.

Ornlu
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agrab86 said:

One clarification please: what do people here consider to be a high paying job? Is it $40K, $50K, $60K, $75K, $90K, or$100K+? Or are all my options too low to be considered high paying?
Short answer to that questions is "Depends on the industry".

Better answer: Aggieland is woefully short on jobs that pay in the 25th+ percentile for their industry. https://www.careeronestop.org/Toolkit/Wages/wages.aspx It's true across multiple industries (construction, social services, information technology, engineering, law enforcement, engineering, etc.). The exceptions seem to be post-secondary education and healthcare. It's worst in the entry-level positions for fields that require "any" degree - clerical, sales, office work.

This is because there is a huge oversupply of part-time, computer savvy college students who will do that type of work for $9 an hour. For example, 50th-percentile pay rate for a proposal writer for a design firm is $46,500 in Houston and $47,250 in Dallas. Searching for that job title on national job boards, I see two openings here in Aggieland for that description - at $28k and $32k. That's got to be in the bottom 5%.
DBSwooper
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rhoswen said:

I worked at a biotech company and made $48k. Moved to Houston & got a teaching job making $53k. They didn't pay much more because they knew there was a never-ending supply of fresh grads who were willing to work for $40k. Similar jobs in houston pay much more.


This.

There's a never ending supply of intelligent goal driven college kids and grad students who can do a good enough job for peanuts with no benefits. Why would a company pay for an established professional when the difference in results isn't enough to justify the much higher costs?

The Original AG 76
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not being on an interstate or even a major highway ( US 290) is a huge drawback. Face it Hwy 6 is not considered a major artery. Even thought BCS is geographically located in an ideal place to serve Houston, Austin, Ft Worth and S.A we are not on any direct connector to ANY major city on the planet. IF that new interstate and IF the so-called Aggie highway ever become a reality BCS might be able to compete for major manufacturing or supply based businesses like that giant AC manufacturer on 290 in Waller. I know , for a fact , that the transportation access was one of the key factors that eliminated Brazos County from competition for that AC facility.
One thing that will be changing the landscape of Brazos county is the FINAL looming completion of 290 up thru Waller. A lot of Houston growth will now be heading out 290 much like it did in the 90's out 59 to Ft Bend once 59 was rendered useable. There is a lot of pent up demand for dirt out in the NW corridor as this direction is the ONLY viable direction for real growth that is relatively free from the flooding nightmare of most of Harris County. A RAPID trouble free 30 minute drive from south Brazos County to the Hempstead-Waller area to work will be a huge reality for the growth of the area in the next few decades as more and more want to work close to Houston but live " out in the country". Of course the City of CS will do everything possible to stifle this growth as it must defend its title as the Hardest City In Texas To Do Business With...BUT hopefully Brazos County will step up and benefit from this and realize the potential. Better watch out, however, as it looks like Navasota and Grimes County got the memo and stand to benefit.
EcoZapp.Makes.Crisp.Air
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We toured the Goodman/ Daikin facility this week. Mighty impressive, and having that whale of a business inside our country lines would have been huge!
The Original AG 76
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EcoZapp.Makes.Crisp.Air said:

We toured the Goodman/ Daikin facility this week. Mighty impressive, and having that whale of a business inside our country lines would have been huge!
Yep. We attended the Grand Opening and know most of the upper management. Several of them are considering living in Brazos County or perhaps Grimes. A couple of their engineers already do. As more of these types of businesses open out on 290 , especially further out toward Hempstead, we could see a nice little commuter community in the county. Navasota is already seeing a growth in nicer residential ( in spite of its old reputation) and all you need to do is drive on the Hwy 6 By-pass to see the growth just starting. Brazos county could see some of this unless the City of CS steps in with their intrusive overbearing heavy handed regulations and kills it. Just ask ANY small or mid sized business owner what its like trying to open up a shop in CS...Its a nightmare.
Ornlu
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The Original AG 76 said:

...Of course the City of CS will do everything possible to stifle this growth as it must defend its title as the Hardest City In Texas To Do Business With...BUT hopefully Brazos County will step up and benefit from this and realize the potential. Better watch out, however, as it looks like Navasota and Grimes County got the memo and stand to benefit.
I was right there with you, up until you said that last bit. CoCS really sucks to do business with; they've got their hand out for everything and have impossible expectations. However, Navasota and Grimes County aren't really any better.

Would they welcome the growth, and make accommodations to welcome it? Sure.

But they simply don't do enough business to know how their own permitting process is supposed to work. That results in months of delays and huge cost increases, simply because they're not adept and practiced enough at being a regulatory entity...
Captn_Ag05
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Knowing that the area has the limitation of not being on an interstate, what types of business/industry would that not deter and what is the area doing to target and attract those businesses? Would those efforts fall to the Research Valley Partnership?

I hear some about the efforts of Experience BCS to bring in conventions and sporting events, but don't really hear what efforts RVP is undertaking (or their level of success). Not intended to be critical of RVP, they may be doing great work behind the scenes.
The Original AG 76
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Ornlu said:

The Original AG 76 said:

...Of course the City of CS will do everything possible to stifle this growth as it must defend its title as the Hardest City In Texas To Do Business With...BUT hopefully Brazos County will step up and benefit from this and realize the potential. Better watch out, however, as it looks like Navasota and Grimes County got the memo and stand to benefit.
I was right there with you, up until you said that last bit. CoCS really sucks to do business with; they've got their hand out for everything and have impossible expectations. However, Navasota and Grimes County aren't really any better.

Would they welcome the growth, and make accommodations to welcome it? Sure.

But they simply don't do enough business to know how their own permitting process is supposed to work. That results in months of delays and huge cost increases, simply because they're not adept and practiced enough at being a regulatory entity...
That is interesting. I only know a couple of guys who have businesses in Navasota and they all have nothing bad to say about the city. They both looked at CS and then Navasota and there was absolutely no choice or decision required. Navasota won hands down. ( one was an eatery/retail and the other a small manufacturer). I also know a number of business owners in CS and quite a few FORMER potential business owners in CS and none of them have anything positive to say about dealing with the city. I have had political dealing with some of the mega developers well know in the state and it pretty much a given that CS is the absolute hands down WORST city in the state to do business with. ( not counting the artsy-tartsy little residential villages like West U or Hunters Village of course)
techno-ag
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The Original AG 76 said:

Ornlu said:

The Original AG 76 said:

...Of course the City of CS will do everything possible to stifle this growth as it must defend its title as the Hardest City In Texas To Do Business With...BUT hopefully Brazos County will step up and benefit from this and realize the potential. Better watch out, however, as it looks like Navasota and Grimes County got the memo and stand to benefit.
I was right there with you, up until you said that last bit. CoCS really sucks to do business with; they've got their hand out for everything and have impossible expectations. However, Navasota and Grimes County aren't really any better.

Would they welcome the growth, and make accommodations to welcome it? Sure.

But they simply don't do enough business to know how their own permitting process is supposed to work. That results in months of delays and huge cost increases, simply because they're not adept and practiced enough at being a regulatory entity...
That is interesting. I only know a couple of guys who have businesses in Navasota and they all have nothing bad to say about the city. They both looked at CS and then Navasota and there was absolutely no choice or decision required. Navasota won hands down. ( one was an eatery/retail and the other a small manufacturer). I also know a number of business owners in CS and quite a few FORMER potential business owners in CS and none of them have anything positive to say about dealing with the city. I have had political dealing with some of the mega developers well know in the state and it pretty much a given that CS is the absolute hands down WORST city in the state to do business with. ( not counting the artsy-tartsy little residential villages like West U or Hunters Village of course)
Sad but true. We all want nicer things but good gosh CStat's anti-business climate is stifling.

Thank goodness for Bryan. They've brought in the ink plant and other facilities and roll out the red carpet for business.
Captn_Ag05
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I hear the anti-business climate of CS stuff a lot. What is the motivator? Are there particular individuals that are making it difficult? I'd really like to know more about this, since it would be really disappointing if true.
SARATOGA
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Please define a "High Paying Job", cause we apparently have plenty of them with all the 400k-600k houses going up.....


For those have been around a while where Gander was used to be a driving range.

Buy Gander, Remodel to Top Golf....would prolly take 20 million in purchasing, construction, and franchise fees..... I'm a little short, but I support your notion Alarm Guy
PS3D
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The air conditioning plant consolidated jobs from northwest Houston. If it was located in College Station, they would have to hire all-new people or expect people to move here. Having it in Waller County is manageable for commuting.

I don't think Highway 6 is a problem nor that the US-290 expansion is a factor. Even 249 (from plans I saw) would just dump onto Navasota (it would be a different issue if it hooked into 40, but I digress). 290 development historically never panned out like it did with Interstate 10 and US-59 (I've said before on a different forum that it even in the early 2000s, it didn't feel like you were in "Houston" until Beltway 8, whereas US-59 and I-10 had development past Beltway 8 for years).

Even if College Station's leaders were being pills in terms of bringing better things here, why didn't Bryan step up to the plate? Imagine if they put money into revitalizing Briarcrest when they were doing their median project, like creating a "new downtown" with office buildings complementing Galleria Plaza and Wells Fargo Plaza and beating B/CS to the punch with a new "Medical Center"? Or modernizing Downtown Bryan with modern mid-rises?

And as for the poster that suggested partnering with the university, that's not a good idea considering the legacy of that and the people in charge of the university. When has that ever successfully worked?

Ornlu
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SARATOGA said:

Please define a "High Paying Job", cause we apparently have plenty of them with all the 400k-600k houses going up.....
High paying jobs are in the top 25th percentile of the national median wage for their industry.
Slocum on a mobile
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Quote:

Tech company's that can utilize college educated part time labor need to take a serious look at BCS. I think that's the biggest selling point the area has. Rey Rey does an excellent job of it. They have a revolving door of lower paid part time jobs they fill with individuals seeking higher education. High quality of work for lower pay.
AMS / Vertafore was here, they left to go to Seattle. Decision One folded. I can't think ot another IT type company besides the local small ones that sell to the University / Students.

I work for a company in Seattle and live here. My annual income is over $200k. I made a third of that when I managed a datacenter at the college, half when I managed the Vertafore / AMS Datacenter.

The University is the elephant in the room that keeps wages low if we're honest.

ETA: I do not live in a $400k house. Momma wants one, but I'm happy in my $200k house I bought for $100k.
The Original AG 76
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PS3D said:

The air conditioning plant consolidated jobs from northwest Houston. If it was located in College Station, they would have to hire all-new people or expect people to move here. Having it in Waller County is manageable for commuting.

I don't think Highway 6 is a problem nor that the US-290 expansion is a factor. Even 249 (from plans I saw) would just dump onto Navasota (it would be a different issue if it hooked into 40, but I digress). 290 development historically never panned out like it did with Interstate 10 and US-59 (I've said before on a different forum that it even in the early 2000s, it didn't feel like you were in "Houston" until Beltway 8, whereas US-59 and I-10 had development past Beltway 8 for years).

Even if College Station's leaders were being pills in terms of bringing better things here, why didn't Bryan step up to the plate? Imagine if they put money into revitalizing Briarcrest when they were doing their median project, like creating a "new downtown" with office buildings complementing Galleria Plaza and Wells Fargo Plaza and beating B/CS to the punch with a new "Medical Center"? Or modernizing Downtown Bryan with modern mid-rises?

And as for the poster that suggested partnering with the university, that's not a good idea considering the legacy of that and the people in charge of the university. When has that ever successfully worked?


Not to get into a derail regarding Daiken but their own presentation states that the estimated peak employment will be over 5000. They only consolidated a few hundred from Goodman . Virtually all of their shop floor people are new since they are all trained for the new processes and equipment. My only reason to mention Daiken was to point out that these types of potential businesses with those " high paying " jobs are largely out of bounds for BCS due to the transportation issue. In 40 years or so , IF the new interstate is built, that may change.
My point about similarity of 290 and 59 are based on history. US 59 , the Southwest Freeway, was possibly the worst most congested useless giant parking lot masquerading as a freeway on earth in the 60's and 70's , just like 290 is now.. Sugarland was a quaint small nothing berg with a single industry and a neat iconic building surrounded by ONLY farm land. Richmond /Rosenberg were pathetic gas stops on a horrible highway that no one even payed attention to as we struggled to drive to South Padre in 1976. Once 59 was modernized and improved Houston EXPLODED out that way . It is solid city from downtown Houston damn near all the way to the river. If you were not around in the 70's-80's you just can't appreciate the unbelievable magnitude of change and growth out 59.
Today the 290 corridor is poised to do the exact same thing. There really is only ONE direction for Harris County and Houston to grow. And the flooding problem even enhances the NW direction as the only viable way for Houston to grow. I honestly think that in a few decades we will see development out to Hempsted and the Brazos that rivals Ft Bend out 59. BCS COULD be poised to pick up a lot of people that work those mythical " high paying" jobs along the 290 boom IF we want to. I doubt I'll even be alive to see it but some of ya'll will . HOWEVER it will be significantly stymied if we allow a city to have some 26 year old kid sitting in some office with an arts degree to decide that a small business can not built an outdoor patio to grow and thrive because some city official thinks that that will cause them to not have enough parking spaces. WHY THE HELL is it the business of ANY city to tell a business how many parking spaces or water fountains or light fixtures or tables and chairs per square foot.... blah blah blah it needs. All cities do it as part of the well known corruption and shake downs that city employees do daily BUT CS seems to do it as an art form.
Somebody is going to be the next Sugarland ..it could be the Brazos Valley but NOT with the civic attitudes that seem to be dominant in CS.
The Original AG 76
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Captn_Ag05 said:

I hear the anti-business climate of CS stuff a lot. What is the motivator? Are there particular individuals that are making it difficult? I'd really like to know more about this, since it would be really disappointing if true.
I asked this of a dear friend who retired from Houston up to Gods Country many years ago. He initially wanted to move his small business up here and continue to run it but gave up after a year of the idiocy of the city. All he wanted to do was have a small sales office, a small machine repair and machine make ready warehouse and floor space to show off some machine tools. He was a machine tool sales business in Houston.
They continually tried to find ways to keep him out of where ever he wanted to locate. He gave up and sold the business to his sons and left it in Houston.
I asked him the same question..WHY?
His answer made sense . Damn near all of his new friends around town were academics that , while educated and good folks, had very very little grasp on reality outside of the classroom world. They wanted their small town storybook utopia free from those evil city horrors like they see in Houston or Dallas . They want quaint little book stores and cute little coffeeshops and an occasional retail so that Mrs Professor doesn't have to drive to Houston to shop. They aren't too keen on the corrupting influence of " big business " or the hard driving profit monsters. They can regurgitate economic theory but have no idea how to make it work and THEY run the nice little college town called College Station. I imagine that it may be the same today as it was 30 years ago when he came up here.
andyv94
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BANA89 said:

Quote:

I'd like to see the cities and university partner up to do more to incentivize startups to start here. I believe the area has a lot that would be attractive to startups.
BTW, there are a number of us working on that.


Are you in the private or public sector? I might be interested
In investing in the town (besides real estate)
andyv94
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Yep, city council is too busy coming up with ways to make it difficult for business's to start, expand, etc.......unless ofcourse your are a big out of town developer OR you are wanting to build ANOTHER freaking apartment complex!!
lost my dog
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The Original AG 76 said:


His answer made sense . Damn near all of his new friends around town were academics that , while educated and good folks, had very very little grasp on reality outside of the classroom world. They wanted their small town storybook utopia free from those evil city horrors like they see in Houston or Dallas . They want quaint little book stores and cute little coffeeshops and an occasional retail so that Mrs Professor doesn't have to drive to Houston to shop. They aren't too keen on the corrupting influence of " big business " or the hard driving profit monsters. They can regurgitate economic theory but have no idea how to make it work and THEY run the nice little college town called College Station. I imagine that it may be the same today as it was 30 years ago when he came up here.
I don't think it's correct that they have very little grasp on reality outside the classroom world. And I don't think it's a ideological as you think. But they already have it good - they have good relatively high-paying jobs, and don't feel the need for more growth/more jobs here. If you like the way the town currently is, and aren't worried about employment, why would you want to change the town?

They are backed up by the old-Ags who retire here, who like the expensive homes and the proximity to Kyle Field, but don't need to work anymore.

If you like the way things are, why would you want to change them for someone who wants to move here and open a business that isn't going to provide something you want (and tbh most people aren't in the market to buy machine tools.)

andyv94
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Lol, academia in "general" have very little grasp of how the real world works! My wife works at A&M on the business side of things......you should hear her opinion of them. Mind you she has three degrees from A&M. A lot of them (depending on department) are flat out oblivious to the real world!
lost my dog
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True, depends on the department. And no offense meant to your wife, but the business side of A&M is hardly the real world, since they have to follow so many stupid state rules.

But that's irrelevant to my point - professors and retirees in the town don't need/want the town to change, because their economic situation is fine, so they would rather not have a large AC factory (for example) move into CS.
Broncos
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Doesn't*
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