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Caldwell County, TX

Made up of Lockhart and Luling, Caldwell County Texas is bursting with opportunity. Just 30 miles outside of Austin, folks from all over the state flock here for great culture and great food, all at great prices.

Texas Monthly recently featured Lockhart on the cover of its August 2018 edition. This issue dives into the benefits of small town living without high city prices. The author, John Lomax, follows the story of Richard and Miranda Platt who moved to Lockhart and found an the easy living lifestyle and the live music atmosphere of Austin for half the price. They came to be close to the big city and stayed for the culture, affordability, and community. 

Culturally Strong

Right off of I-10, Luling Texas is the original center for cattle drivers who were brave enough to embark on the Chisholm Trail in the 1870s. Known as the "toughest town in Texas" because of the cowboys, Luling continues to boast its strong history. The discovery of oil in Luling formed much of its economy over a span of 60 years. 

Visitors and residents can spend the day exploring the best of old and new with museums and events like the infamous Watermelon Thump Festival, along with a few surprises as well. Click here to read about the best things Luling has to offer. 

A few miles away, Lockhart sits closer to the interstate and further down the Chisholm Trail. It is recognized as a site of a victory of the Texans over the Comanche and today is known as the Barbecue Capital of Texas; it is a sin to not visit at least one of the infamous BBQ joints. Lockhart is also a popular location for many films in recent years including: The Leftovers (2015), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Joe (2013), and more. For the ambitious and hungry visitors, click here to discover the most famous attractions and hidden gems all in one day. 

Industry Highlights

Today, these two cities are making a strong impact on making our mission to connect Austin and San Antonio as the Innovation Corridor. As a significantly more affordable region than our neighbors to the north, Caldwell County is nearly half the price to live. 

Taking a look into some of the county's key industries, manufacturing and construction are taking a drastic lead when compared to our Texas counterparts. 

"The growth of manufacturing and technological improvements machinery are still the main drivers of modern economic growth" (Roosevelt Institute). In Caldwell County, the manufacturing sector grew 11.9% last year. For comparison, the Austin/Round Rock MSA had total growth of 3.2% and Texas had an overall growth rate of 1.6%. The manufacturing industry also provides good paying, quality jobs. The overall average wage in Caldwell County for 2018 Q1 was $35,635, but in manufacturing there is an increase of $5,241, totaling $40,876 annually! It is a great time to be in manufacturing in Caldwell County! 

 

By successfully constructing buildings and infrastructure, you usually get direct social and economic benefits that result from them being in use (Quora). Growth in the construction sector for Caldwell County grew 11.1% last year. Compared to the Austin/Round Rock MSA had total growth of 3.6%, and Texas comes in at 1.2% growth. Average wages for construction workers is $10,200 above the county average, coming in at $45,835. 

Sustained Success

James Fallows outlines the Eleven Signs a City Will Succeed. He highlights various topics that speak to both private and public concerns. Of the 11, he includes the presence of public private partnerships. As the Greater San Marcos Partnership, we strive to connect the public and private sector together in a way that benefits not only the parties involved, but the community itself. Part of this strong community partnership is telling the regional story, another point on Fallow's list. 

Our region has a variety of unique downtowns that exude their own specific cultures. Rounding off the list, the existence of craft breweries is fulfilled by establishments like the Caracara Brewery on the Lockhart square. "A town that has craft breweries also has a certain kind of entrepreneur and a critical mass of mainly young customers." Of all the things mentioned on Fallows list for successful cities, both towns in Caldwell County have a high standard that complete a unique blend of attributes that will ultimately create lasting success.