The Fort Worth Business Community Talks: “How We’re Helping to Build Fort Worth as the Best Place for Kids!”

The Raising of Fort Worth hosted a breakfast event on September 26th to share the unfolding story of how more than 70 local business leaders are engaging with and catalyzing the Mayor’s effort to build Fort Worth as the “Best Place for Kids!”.

The three key goals of the event included:
Lifting up local businesses of various size and industry that are innovating in their approach to family-friendly practices.
Sharing key takeaways from 70+ local business leaders who provided insight on successful strategies they have utilized to attract and retain top talent.
Testing the first iteration of Fort Worth’s business self-assessment based on 10 research-backed policies that impact both working families AND businesses’ bottom line.

Highlights from Mayor Betsy Price and The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Mayor Betsy Price and Fort Worth Chamber leader Brandom Gengelbach kicked off the morning’s event, highlighting several key stats to frame the day’s discussion about why family-friendly policies are a key economic development strategy for Fort Worth.

  • Fort Worth has the 2nd HIGHEST SHARE OF FAMILIES with children in the U.S.
  • 83% of millenials will leave one job for another with stronger family-friendly policies and supports.
  • Replacing an employee costs a business 6 to 9 months of that employee’s salary on average.[1]

Fort Worth will be launching the “BEST PLACE FOR WORKING PARENTS” AWARDS this year in connection with a first-of-its-kind business self-assessment.

Family-Friendly Business Panel – Key Takeaways
A business leader panel highlighted some of the family-friendly innovations local Fort Worth businesses are utilizing to boost their recruitment efforts, as well as increase employee loyalty, satisfaction, and productivity.

The panel organizations’ approaches ran the gamut – from sophisticated policies and financial resources dedicated to family-friendly practices to low-cost, grassroots innovations that have made a tangible difference for these companies’ employees.

Building Our Blueprint: Fort Worth as the Best Place for Working Parents

Cheraya Peña, Director of the Best Place for Kids! initiative, provided key updates on the city’s business engagement strategy, and enabled the audience to test the first iteration of the online family-friendly business self-assessment.

Key progress updates included:

  • The 10 research-backed policies that make up Fort Worth’s self-assessment.
  • The important takeaways gleaned from over 70 business leaders that helped shape the self-assessment.
  • Benefits of earning “Best Place for Working Parents” designation or a “Best Place for Working Parents Innovator Award”.

Wrap Up & Looking Ahead

The Best Place for Kids! team will be working to launch a final version of the family-friendly business self-assessment in the coming months, culminating in the “Best Place for Working Parents Innovator Awards” at the Mayor’s State of the City address in February 2020.

On behalf of Mayor Price and all of the Best Place for Kids! partners, we would like to thank all of the local business leaders who invested time to participate in our roundtables this summer.

Your candid feedback, best-practice sharing, and valuable insight on impactful family-friendly strategies have helped shape what will be a first-of-its kind online business self-assessment tool for family-friendly practices.

Our goal is to introduce a tool and designation system that:

  • Provides measurable value to our local businesses seeking to differentiate themselves in a competitive market.
  • Provides insight to employees looking for Fort Worth companies that understand the challenges of today’s working parents and address those challenges in real, tangible ways.

We look forward to our ongoing collaboration.

For information on how to get involved in the Best Place for Kids! effort, please contact Cheraya Peña, at

[1] Sources: Cited on

[2] Collective Growth Designs was a consultant to Satori Capital related to the company’s “Optimal Living Initiative.”

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