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Website: http://www.AUSTIN, TX .net/
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 15th-largest in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. According to the 2009 U.S. Census estimate, Austin had a population of 757,688. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos metropolitan area, with a population of 1.7 million as of the July 2008 U.S. Census estimate, making it the 36th-largest metropolitan area in the United States.
The area was settled in the 1830s on the banks of the Colorado River by pioneers who named the village Waterloo. In 1839, Waterloo was chosen to become the capital of the newly independent Republic of Texas. The city was renamed after Stephen F. Austin, known as the father of Texas. The city grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for government and education with the construction of the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas. After a lull in growth from the Great Depression, Austin resumed its development into a major city and emerged as a center for technology and business.Today, Austin is home to many companies, high-tech and otherwise, including the headquarters of three Fortune 500 corporations, Dell, Whole Foods Market, and Freescale Semiconductor.
Austin is considered to be a major center for high tech. Thousands of graduates each year from the engineering and computer science programs at The University of Texas at Austin provide a steady source of employees that help to fuel Austin's technology and defense industry sectors. The metro Austin area has much lower housing costs than Silicon Valley, but much higher housing costs than many parts of rural Texas. As a result of the high concentration of high-tech companies in the region, Austin was strongly affected by the dot-com boom in the late 1990s and subsequent bust.Austin's largest employers include the Austin Independent School District, the City of Austin, Dell, the United States Federal Government, Freescale Semiconductor (spun off from Motorola in 2004), IBM, St. David's Healthcare Partnership, Seton Healthcare Network, the State of Texas, Texas State University-San Marcos, and the University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas. Other high-tech companies with operations in Austin include 3M, Apple Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Google, AMD, Applied Materials, Cirrus Logic, Cisco Systems, eBay/PayPal, Hoover's, Intel Corporation, National Instruments, Samsung Group, Silicon Laboratories, Sun Microsystems and United Devices. The proliferation of technology companies has led to the region's nickname, "the Silicon Hills," and spurred development that greatly expanded the city. The concentration of high-tech companies has led the former American Airlines flight between Austin and San Jose, California to be dubbed the "nerd bird." This route will now be operated by Alaska Airlines effective September 2, 2009.
Southward view of downtown Austin from The Capitol Grounds on 11th Street.Austin is also emerging as a hub for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. About 85 companies from this industry are based in Austin. The city was ranked by the Milken Institute as the #12 biotech and life science center in the United States.
It is also home to advertising agencies including Omnicom owned GSD&M Idea City and LatinWorks, as well as Dell’s agency of record, WPP Group owned Enfatico.
Whole Foods Market is a grocery store that specializes in organic, local, and natural foods and other goods. It was founded and based in Austin. As of August 25, 2008, Whole Foods has 271 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to global companies, Austin features a strong network of independent, locally-owned firms and organizations. The success of these businesses reflects the high level of commitment by the citizens of Austin to preserving the unique spirit of the city and has been tied to the "Keep Austin Weird" campaign
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