This year, 2020, has put a spotlight on where people choose to live and work. As business restrictions forced temporary shutdowns, furloughs, and layoffs across the country, many Americans began to assess their communities for available opportunities and resources. In Temple, Texas there’s lots to be thankful for: a strong economy, excellent schools, outstanding recreation, and affordable opportunities everywhere you look.

Here’s a glimpse of the resources we are thankful for in Temple, Texas as we prepare for a Thanksgiving like no other:

Employment is on the rise. In stark contrast to economies that have been disrupted by the pandemic, Temple remains a pillar of resilience. Our city has experienced a whopping 14 percent increase in jobs during the last 10 years, with six percent growth projected through 2025. Large development projects launched by existing employers such as H-E-B, Niagara Bottling, and Sunbelt-Solomon Solutions during the pandemic fortify this forecast. Similarly, Temple’s population has increased by nearly 11 percent during the last five years, with a seven percent increase expected through 2025. As a regional employment hub, Temple is on the rise.

Education is front and center. The strength of our community can be gauged in the actions and accomplishments of our schools. With four independent school districts (ISDs), four high schools, two private high schools, and multiple higher education campuses including Temple College, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and Texas A&M University-Central Texas, the foundation as a center of quality education has been set in Temple.

Recreation and amenities abound. With 43 parks and more than 18 miles of trails in Temple, the only decision you have to make is where to go first. From the peaceful open trails and wildlife views at 260-acre Miller Springs Nature Center to Temple’s newest action-packed ballpark, Crossroads Park, there’s something in Temple for everyone! As though existing amenities aren’t enough, work on new housing, parks, bike lanes and nearly $50 million in developments is underway, upping the allure of existing neighborhoods, local arts, and culture.

Affordable cost of living. Temple’s affordability offers a generous respite from rising living, housing costs and competitive state job markets in Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Housing prices in Temple come in at 41 percent below the national average with cost of living more than 20 percent below the national average. Everything really is bigger in Temple, even value, where your dollar stretches further.

Finally, the Temple resource we are most thankful for is our people: From frontline healthcare workers, to distribution and logistics mavens, and manufacturing experts who have risen to exceed all expectations, the men, women, and children of Temple, Texas are our biggest strength. As we enter the holiday season, remember to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @MeetTemple for the latest updates from our growing community.