Manufacturing has continuously driven the Temple economy forward, with a 28% increase in sector employment between 2010 and 2020. While it remains a central piece of the region’s economic foundation, Temple has also seen technology assume an increasingly important role in its business community. In recent years, programs like the Cybersecurity Center at Texas A&M University-Central Texas and businesses like Acer and PDI have bolstered these advancements.
Nationally, STEM occupations are expected to increase 10.5% between 2020 and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Research has shown that the earlier a student is introduced to STEM principles, the more likely they are to continue down the path. Temple schools recognize the digital drive of the U.S. economy and are taking a preemptive approach to preparing students for the workforce.
With a median age of 34.6, Temple offers a labor pool that is young, educated and native to the digital age. Read on to see how Temple is working to prepare for a workforce revolution.
Real World Applications
It’s no secret — since early 2020, our day-to-day lives have become predominantly virtual. Zoom meetings. Virtual wellness checks. Streaming services that broadcast movie premieres. Not to mention the influx of packages from Amazon.
All of this comes with a need for heightened cybersecurity and digital savviness. Hackers capitalize on our increased dependence on technology, as seen by last year’s Zoom bombings and recent ransomware attacks.
Recognizing this, Temple College took initiative and applied for a five-year, $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. They received that grant (dubbed “Creating a Culture of STEM”) in September 2021 and began partnering with Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Temple High School and other school districts to bring new, engaging initiatives for students — starting from high school through their college years. Temple College expects the grant will also help increase funding for summer internships, pay for three computer labs, and add a dual credit advisor for Temple High School students. Temple College currently offers 14 STEM-related degree programs, and even more are being developed.
In October 2021, Temple ISD was also one of five high schools in Texas to receive a $1,000 STEM grant from Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Big Thinkers and Oncor. The school has had cybersecurity and IT programs for several years and even allows students to graduate with a career-ready certificate.
A Tech Industry That Recognizes Talent
Tech businesses see the proliferation of talent in Temple, and many have been establishing or increasing their involvement. Most recently, Rowan Green Data announced plans to build a 500-megawatt (MW) multi-tenant campus in Temple, Texas. The infrastructure provider for hyperscale data centers will employ 20 highly skilled data center engineers, networking technicians and operations specialists. The campus is expected to be completed in full by 2023.
Meanwhile, PDI has been established in Temple for years. In 2017, the enterprise-class software company opened a new 33,000-square-foot office facility to increase customer support to convenience stores and wholesale petroleum marketers. TeleTech, a customer experience software as a service company, also opened a new location in Temple in 2017. The healthcare-focused customer engagement center provides services that cultivate a cohesive, integrated customer experience.
One of the world’s top information and communications technology companies, Acer, employs 232 people at its Temple service center off I-35. The company has played a key part in the Temple community for years, offering a repair certification eLearning program for students at Temple ISD that helps them learn basic hardware repairs — an attractive skill for employers.
With market-ready talent and some of the lowest state energy rates in the nation, Temple is committed to building a strong atmosphere for IT, cybersecurity and tech companies. Get in touch to learn more about why Central Texas offers a business-friendly environment for the expansion or establishment of tech businesses.