The City of Irving, Texas, operates in a highly competitive environment. Despite its many advantages—ranging from its transportation network to available workforce to prime sites—the city is in a constant battle for projects within the fast-growing Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Irving occupies an enviable position in the region but is flanked in every direction by well-funded and successful economic development programs.
Given these realities, the City engaged TIP Strategies to help structure a more aggressive approach to economic development. TIP worked closely with Irving’s business and community leaders to identify the community’s most promising opportunities for economic growth and establish a common understanding of its assets and challenges. This work included holding roundtable discussions and interviews with over 150 stakeholders representing a broad cross section of Irving’s business, government, and academic institutions and compiling demographic and economic data for Irving and the region. The resulting five-year plan was built around a bold vision for Irving: to become the leading international business center in America. It provided a roadmap focused on eight priority initiatives (including international business development, entrepreneurship and innovation, higher education R&D, and business retention and expansion), as well as three “support structures” for economic success (sites and infrastructure, talent and workforce development, and quality of place and amenities). The plan also called for a re-invigoration of the Irving Economic Development Partnership and provided guidance on the city’s incentive program, prioritized sites for development, and strategic marketing initiatives.