One of the smallest cities in Tarrant County is home to one of its biggest workforces.Fidelity Investments, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in Texas this year, now has more than 4,500 employees working at its 337-acre regional campus in Westlake, a town with only about 1,000 residents. Another 400 people work at Fidelity facilities in Irving and Grapevine.When the campus first opened in Westlake in 2001, Fidelity consolidated facilities from Las Colinas and elsewhere in North Texas. Since then, the campus has added jobs through a mix of internal expansion and relocations from its Boston headquarters and other sites.The latest influx came since 2010, when a second building opened in Westlake. Construction on that building began in 2008 but was mothballed for 18 months during the economic meltdown. But since it was completed, about 100 workers a month have been added, said Scott Orr, Fidelitys vice president of public affairs in Westlake. Overall, about a quarter of the Westlake jobs have been moved to Texas from other Fidelity sites.On a recent visit to the campus, set back off busy Texas 114 in the wooded calm of the former Circle T Ranch, officials showed us the complexs spacious cafeteria, open seating area and bright modern workspaces. Theres a fitness center inside and walking trails outside.About 1,700 employees work the phones day and night to help individual investors and retirement plan customers. But this is not your average call center. These financial services associates get six months of training for jobs which pay salaries in a range around $50,000 a year, said Tom Herrick, senior vice president and regional site leader.Another 1,100 people work in corporate technology positions. Other business groups with employees in Westlake include asset management, fund accounting, corporate finance, legal and audit, making it a microcosm of the whole company, said Roger Stiles, another regional site leader and chief investment officer for Fidelity Personal Investing.The Westlake complex is now Fidelitys largest regional operations center outside New England. Overall, Fidelity has 41,000 employees. Steve KaskovichFort Worth makes Forbes rankingsFort Worth is getting high marks from Forbes magazine.The publication ranked the city No. 6 on its list of Fastest Growing Cities Since the Recession, experiencing 14.3 percent growth since 2007.Fort Worth is the highest-ranked Texas city, right above Irving at No. 7. New Orleans topped the list, having seen its population grow 28.2 percent in the past six years. Forbes also ranked the Fort Worth-Arlington metro area No. 4 on its list of Best Big Cities for Jobs in 2013. The area had 3.8 percent employment growth in 2012.It was also the highest-ranked Texas city on the list. Houston was ranked No. 5. The top city was San Francisco with 4.1 percent employment growth.Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said the rankings reinforces the citys position as a premier business destination.During the most challenging economic conditions in recent history, Fort Worth continued to attract new business opportunities, jobs and sources of revenue, she said in a statement. As the economy improves, we are in a strong position to build on this momentum.David Berzina, executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, added, We are grateful that after years of continued economic success the world is taking notice of Fort Worth.Paralegal honored for pro bono workJulie Sherman, a paralegal at Fort Worths Cantey Hanger law firm, has won the 2012 Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas Exceptional Pro Bono Service Award.The award recognizes the member who demonstrates exceptional dedication to pro bono service. She was recently honored in Dallas. Cantey Hanger said it encourages its paralegals to volunteer their time and skills.
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