While Temple has long been a hub for logistics and distribution, a recent study reveals the city may become a magnet for the technology industry as well.
The financial publication SmartAsset compiled data from 190 cities to create the ranking. Factors included percent of workers in the tech industry, average salary, unemployment rate and cost of living. Temple cracked the list at No. 25.
The study focused on nontraditional tech cities instead of technology hubs such as New York or San Francisco, which have become oversaturated.
According to the report, the average salary for technology workers in Temple is about $75,000. This is the second-lowest figure among the 25 ranked cities, but the city’s cost of living ranked as the third lowest.
Adrian Cannady, president of the Temple Economic Development Corp., said the tech field is a budding industry in the area.
“It’s something our office is exploring — how to capitalize on our position in that particular industry,” Cannady said. “We have typically been a well-known location for distribution, warehousing and manufacturing, but the technology industry is something I think is growing and there is still untapped potential there in our market.”
Professional Datasolutions Inc. is the currently the city’s leading technology company. PDI provides software to convenience store chains such as 7-Eleven, Stripes, CEFCO and Buc-ee’s.
Last year, PDI moved into a new headquarters at 4001 Central Pointe Parkway and added dozens of employees. According to its website, the company serves more than 200,000 locations in more than 50 countries.
Cannady said the success of a company like PDI paves the way for others in the technology industry.
“In order for a community to solidify its suitability for a particular industry that has not seen a lot of growth historically, we have to have those new investments that come here and are shown to be successful,” Cannady said. “I think PDI is just one such example of a company that has done just that. That brings confidence to other companies that the tech industry can grow and be successful in Temple, Texas.”
Another tech company, Austin-based Bitmova, plans to open an $8 million data center next year in Temple. The facility will occupy an 11-acre tract in Temple’s Industrial Park and will create 56 jobs.
When the facility was announced, Bitmova CEO Behrouz Movahhed Nouri said locating in Temple made sense financially.
“Temple Industrial Park offers a unique opportunity to develop a state-of-the-art data center on a site that has access to low cost, reliable power, infrastructure in place, an excellent network of roads and an available skilled workforce,” Nouri said.
And as costs continue to rise in metropolitan areas, Cannady thinks cities like Temple will become increasingly attractive options for relocating companies.
“Traditionally, those tech-based companies will look to Dallas, Houston or Austin to relocate, but as the cost of doing business continues to get more expensive in the major metro areas, we look to be a market that can affordably and successfully grow businesses in the tech industry,” Cannady said.
Texas placed six cities on the SmartAsset ranking. Dallas came in third behind Des Moines, Iowa, and Columbus, Ohio. San Antonio and Houston ranked eighth and 10th, respectively.
Wichita Falls came in at 12, Austin at 19 and Temple rounded out the list at 25.