PLANO (KRLD) — When Ross Perot brought EDS to Plano in the early 1980’s, it served as a magnet for other major companies. Today, the city continues to attract even more business.

“Fourteen of our businesses have over 1,000 employees; eighteen of them have over 500 employees,” said Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere. “The great thing about big companies is that they attract smaller companies that support their services. We have a very wide range of small to big businesses in Plano.”

Frito Lay, Ericsson, Raytheon, Pizza Hut, PepsiCo, and J.C. Penney are among the world-renowned brands located in Plano.

LaRosiliere in part credits the huge educated workforce in Plano, where 55-percent of adults have an advanced degree — compared to 29-percent nationally.

Dr. Michael Davis, an expert in economics at SMU, says Plano’s strategy for attracting more big businesses is simple.

“Probably the best thing it can do is be a good place to live,” said Davis. “Plano is first and foremost a residential community. If it can preserve the quality of its’ schools, the attractiveness of its housing stock, the shopping, transportation and infrastructure, the businesses will follow.”

Mayor Harry LaRosiliere believes that, though Plano already hosts a large number of prominent companies, the future is bright.

“The economic development activity is very robust in our city. And there’s nothing that I can say specifically, other than, keep your eyes and ears open. We have good things coming into play now.”

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