This is a day for celebration and congratulations.
Congratulations to Caterpillar for finding the right place for this facility in Victoria and making the right call to build it here.
Congratulations to Victoria for officially becoming home to this manufacturing center and expanding Caterpillar's presence in Texas.
And particularly, congratulations to everyone who will, over the years, call this their place of employment.
Caterpillar is no stranger to the way we do business here in Texas, and they've made it clear, through commitment after commitment, they like what they see.
We happily return the sentiment.
That's a big reason we used a Texas Enterprise Fund investment to close the deal on this facility back in 2010, part of $470 million in TEF investments that have thus far generated more than $22.3 billion in capital investment in our state.
Most importantly, TEF recipients have committed to creating more than 63,000 jobs for Texans.
Today's announcement is the product of a lot of hard work from our friends at Caterpillar, officials here at the local level and untold numbers of Texans at Caterpillar's plants already in our state, who have demonstrated time and again what the Texas Work Ethic is all about.
It's also been helped along by decisions we've made in Austin over the past decade or so, and our unwavering commitment to maintaining a high-quality, jobs-friendly climate that makes it as easy as possible for employers to say "yes" to Texas.
Our formula is actually pretty simple.
We keep taxes low, so that employer and employee alike keep more of the money they earn in their own pockets, maximizing the return on your investment, whether that investment is capital or the sweat of your brow.
We keep the red tape to a minimum, so entrepreneurs can spend more time building their businesses and less time filling out forms or standing in lines.
We keep our courts fair, passing important tort reforms to cut down on frivolous lawsuits and over-suing.
And we also work hard to keep our workforce among the best in the world, so employers can rest assured when they come to Texas, they'll have the human resources in place to fill any job, no matter how difficult or technically demanding.
Add it up, and you've got a business climate that Chief Executive Magazine has ranked the best in the country for eight years running.
You've got a place CNBC has called the Top State to do Business in 2011.
And, just recently, Texas became the first state to win the fDi Magazine "Governor's Award"...as the state most successful in drawing new investments to its borders.
Those accolades are all well and good, and we love to hear people from outside the Lone Star State tell us what a great job we're doing in Texas.
But the real reason we do it is for days like today.
Whenever we get a chance to look up at a newly-constructed facility that's going to bring real jobs to real Texans, that's when the real rewards are found.
A quality job means a new beginning for an entire family, a fresh start in a new direction or maybe even the first steps toward a better life.
That's why we work so hard to maintain a business climate that's second to none...and why we'll remain committed to the bedrock principles that got us this far in the first place.
Once again, I thank you all for having me here today, and I wish Caterpillar, Victoria and everyone associated with this new beginning the best of luck and the greatest of success for many years to come.
May God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the great State of Texas.