Gravell: Williamson County is 'technology superhighway of the world'

A joint meeting of Taylor City Council and Williamson County Commissioners Court was held Sept. 8 in Taylor. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
A joint meeting of Taylor City Council and Williamson County Commissioners Court was held Sept. 8 in Taylor. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

A joint meeting of Taylor City Council and Williamson County Commissioners Court was held Sept. 8 in Taylor. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Dell Technologies, Apple and now Samsung have made major investments in Williamson County, and few are as proud County Judge Bill Gravell.

In a deal that took nearly a year before the announcement came Nov. 23, Samsung will build a $17 billion, 6 million-square-foot chip producing facility in Taylor.

Williamson County, where Gravell grew up, has become the “technology superhighway of the world,” in his words.

“Williamson County has again proven it can attract the world’s top tech companies,” Gravell said in an interview with Community Impact Newspaper. “These are the world heavyweights coming here.”

The deal, which meant months of negotiations, economic incentive deals and fierce competition from other possible sites in New York, Arizona, South Korea and Austin, came to Taylor after a late start.


Gravell said seven other sites were in consideration when Williamson County stepped up and made their pitch for the massive facility, which will bring thousands of construction jobs, 1,800 higher-paying jobs when the plant is operational and thousands more contract employees.

“We came to the dance late,” Gravell said. “We were the last invited, but we won. We worked tirelessly and found a way to say yes to every challenge.”


In past Community Impact Newspaper interviews, Gravell said the project is about national security and being able to help meet the needs of chip production. Shortages of chips in the United States has altered production of some items, including heated seats and steering wheels in General Motors vehicles.

Gravell said the new project is a huge financial win for the city of Taylor and Taylor ISD, along with all of Williamson County and Texas.

“We had so much help to get here,” Gravell said. “The governor’s office, thank you. And thank you to everybody who helped us bring this project here. We worked harder than anyone else.”

Gravell said Samsung has purchased the 1,288 acres of property it needs and construction should begin at the start of the new year. Road work around the facility will start at the same time.

“This is absolutely the highlight of my career because I know what this project will do for our county, cities and schools,” Gravell said. “It’s humbling and I think this is just the starting point with Samsung.”
By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is executive editor of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor for Central Texas and senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


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