Labor Market Spotlight: Rockwall, Terrell, Forney



Nearly 100 years ago, a teenager created a stir when he came across what appeared to be an ancient, hand-hewn “rock wall,” raising questions of whether a prehistoric civilization existed thousands of years before Rockwall County was settled.

Over the past century, the Rockwall-Terrell-Forney area has evolved from agricultural production into a diverse economy, attracting defense, health care, technology, numerous manufacturing industries, and a wide range of residential and retail development.

The concentration of homeowners and renters has made the Forney Independent School District this area’s top employer, followed by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Another notable workplace in this area includes international defense and commercial communications, electronics and avionics contractor L-3 Technologies. Other top employers include corrugated package manufacturer Smurfit Kappa and Texas Star Express, which serves as a major southwestern trucking hub for Greensboro, N.C.-based Epes Transport System.

Aside from serving as a base for L-3 and Col-Met Engineered Finishing Solutions, the 400-acre Rockwall Technology Park also serves as a location to a $75 million Bimbo Bakeries facility. Bimbo USA owns several brands including Mrs. Baird’s, Oroweat, Sara Lee and Tia Rosa.

Nearby, 22,000-acre Lake Ray Hubbard serves a dual purpose: as a recreational water body, and as a water reservoir for North Texans. The lake and its 111 miles of shoreline have been a magnet for retail, commercial, recreational and residential development. The Harbor District, started by Rockwall City Council in 2003, was created to ensure that the public could access the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard. Since then, the development has grown to include a Hilton Hotel, a Cinemark Movie Theater, a marina and more than a dozen shops and restaurants. Roughly 20 percent of this area’s workforce is in the retail sector. 

More than a third of all workers commute less than 10 miles to their jobs; the vast majority of those commuters travel eastward. Two thirds have post-high-school educations.

Whatever came of the rock-wall mystery?

“The verdict of the scientists was that the walls are of natural origin,” the Dallas Morning News deadpanned in 1925. “Volcanic sands thrust up through strata of clay formations, and solidified into sandrock.”

SAMPLE OF MAJOR EMPLOYERS IN ROCKWALL/TERRELL/FORNEY

1Walmart

2Smurfit Kappa

3Intex Electric

4Steve Silver Company

5Kroger Marketplace

6Lowe's Home Improvement

7ABOX Packaging

8Ridgecrest Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center

9Brookshire's

10Eric L. Davis Engineering

11Three Forks Senior Living

12Emergicon

13Baylor Scott & White Emergency Center

14Dal-Bac

15Aircraft Ducting Repair Inc.

16Luminant

17Care United

18Oncor Electric Delivery

19Texas Lamp

20The Sophia Design Group

21Forney Wellness

22Classic Industries

23Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital

24L-3 Technologies

25Texas Star Express/Epes Transport

26Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront

27Bimbo Bakeries

28Channell Commercial 

29Pratt Industries

30Pegasus Foods

31SPM (Special Products & Mfg.)

32Whitmore Manufacturing

33Col-Met Engineered Finishing Solutions

34SPR Packaging

35Multi-Metal & Manufacturing Co

36TransAm Trucking

37EZ-Flo International

38Falcon Fine Wire

39Precision Sheet Metal Products

40Graham Packaging

41Elements International

42Terrell State Hospital 

43Madix, Inc. 

44Old Castle Building Envelope 

45AutoZone Distribution Center

46Walmart Distribution 

47American National Bank 

48Nucor Co. 

49Exel/Goodyear

50Fine Line Metal Fabricators 

51Country View Manor 

52Windsor Nursing Home 

53Maines Paper & Food Service, Inc

54R&R Design 

55Renfro Industries, Inc. 

56Lakes Regional MHMR Center 

57Conecsus 

58Preferred Powder Coating 

59Oncor 

60Unified Power 

61Veka Inc. 

62Family Medical Center at Terrell 

63Carlisle Syn Tec/Hunter Panels 

64Carlisle Coatings & Waterproofing

65The Terrell Tribune 

66The Van Tone Co.