When it comes to the high tech, high fashion companies in the USA, there is no denying that California is home to some of the biggest brands in the world. Companies like Google, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard and Apple all grew up in the area known as Silicon Valley, close to San Francisco. It’s the spiritual centre of the world’s computer industry, but it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that other parts of the United States are home to equally innovative businesses. One of these places is Dallas in Texas, a location more associated with oil barons, ten gallon Stetson hats and cowboys than with high-tech industries.
As well as being home to JR, Bobby, Sue Ellen and the rest of the Ewing clan, Dallas is home to the University of Texas, a high prestige university with a great reputation for training scientists and technological innovators. So many businesses working in the telecoms and computer sectors have sprung up in the area surrounding the university campus that it has become known as the Telecom Corridor. Over 600 high tech companies have made the Telecom Corridor their home. At the centre of the corridor is the small town of Richardson, which has been rated as one of the 20 best places to live in America, according to Money magazine.
As the name Telecom Corridor suggests, this small corner of Texas is home to more than its fair share of telecommunications companies. Names such as AT&T (originally the American Telephone and Telegraph company), Verizon and MetroPCS are not particularly well known in Europe, but are household names across North America as providers of landline telephones, mobile phones and internet services. They have chosen to locate in Telecom Corridor due to the local expertise and access to skilled staff.
There is a huge crossover between telecommunications and other sorts of technology, so it’s no surprise that other companies such as Ericsson, Cisco Systems, Samsung and Fujitsu have chosen to make their North American bases in Texas too. Other companies which are longer established in the Richardson or Dallas area include Texas Instruments, well known for their semiconductors and calculators, and Fossil, an accessories manufacturer which produces high-tech watches like their ladies Fossil ceramic watch and fashion items such as handbags or shoes. Fossil and Texas Instruments continue to innovate with new products, and products like the Texas Instruments’ TMS320 semiconductors and the ladies Fossil ceramic watch are just the last in a long line of innovations.
Working in America
Although there are many job opportunities in the Dallas area for innovators and technology experts, working in Telecom Corridor is not as simple as booking a one way flight to Dallas and handing out CVs. In order to work for one of these companies you’ll have to secure a job first, and they will have to prove you have skills that they can’t get from Americans for you to qualify for a working visa. It’s not impossible, but it is a lengthy and expensive business.
Morag P writes for a large range of websites on a variety of subjects including technology, finance and music.