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May 2011 — Web Exclusive

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Texas First in Industrial Construction

According to Industrial Info Resources, Texas ranked first among states for industrial project construction in 2010. As of September 2010, the Lone Star State featured 184 projects with a total value exceeding $26 billion.

With 98 projects worth $9 billion, second-ranked California trailed Texas with roughly half of its construction activity and a third of its value.

Port Arthur, Texas was a major hub for industrial construction in 2010, due in part to Motiva Enterprises LLC’s expansion of its refinery there. As of September 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration ranked Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery 14th for operable capacity, capable of processing 285,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil. When the expansion is complete, the Motiva refinery will have a capacity of 600,000 bpd, making it the nation’s leader.

According to Motiva, the Crude Expansion Project has created nearly construction 6,500 jobs to date and should add 300 full-time positions to a refinery staff of about 900 when completed in 2012.

Also active in Port Arthur is a Total Petrochemicals refinery capable of processing 174,000 bpd of crude oil. The refinery’s $2.2 billion Deep Conversion Project, its biggest single-refinery investment to date, includes a 50,000 bpd coker and related equipment to improve its processing of heavy and sour crude oil. The expansion will raise the refinery’s annual product output to approximately 12 million tons.

This project employed 4,700 construction workers as of October 2010, and will add at least 60 jobs upon completion in 2011.

(Meghan Vail)

Killeen MSA Top Performer
in 2010

Texas’ Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood metropolitan statistical area (MSA) claimed the top spot in the Milken Institute’s “Best-Performing Cities” Index for 2010. The index ranks 200 of the nation’s largest MSAs based on their ability to create and sustain jobs.

Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood bumped Austin-Round Rock to second place, while McAllen- Edinburg-Mission remained at No. 4.

Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood’s job growth ranked in the top 10 in 2009, but its overall performance was boosted by its first-place position in wage and salary growth over the five-year (2003-2008) and one-year (2007-2008) periods Milken examined for the index. It also ranked third nationally in year-over-year job growth in the year ending April 2010.

“Our region’s economic success is due in no small part to our balance,” says John Crutchfield, president of the Killeen Chamber of Commerce. “We are blessed with robust manufacturing on the east side of the region, robust service industries — primarily in defense contracting — on the west side of the region, a robust medical industry throughout the region and a growing educational complex.”

Fort Hood provides the region with $7.1 billion annually in economic activity and a constant supply of work force talent in the form of military retirees and spouses.

“We enjoy a location central to the state with multiple transportation options,” Crutchfield says, “and we have worked very hard to keep our cost of living low, to keep Fort Hood competitive for military investment.”

View the complete list of the Best Performing Cities, including the biggest gainers and decliners.

(Tracey Lamphere)

Milken Institute’s
10 Best-Performing Metro Areas, 2010

  1. Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood
  2. Austin-Round Rock
  3. Huntsville, AL
  4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission
  5. Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, WA
  6. Washington-Alexandria-DC, VA
  7. Raleigh-Cary, NC
  8. Anchorage, AK
  9. El Paso
  10. Houston-Sugar Land
    -Baytown

Source: The Milken Institute

$10 million to Tackle Nursing Shortage


Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) has received a $10 million donation from the Hunt Family Foundation that will help develop a fully accredited nursing school on its El Paso campus for as many as 500 students by 2015.

The current nursing program offered in El Paso, through the TTUHSC School of Nursing in Lubbock, serves about 40 students.

The new Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, to be named for the wife of Woody L. Hunt, chairman of the Hunt Family Foundation and chairman and CEO of the Hunt Companies, will help shrink the nursing shortage for the region and the state.

According to a Texas Department of State Health Services report, Texas Nursing: Our Future Depends on It, the state’s number of new nursing graduates must grow to 25,000 annually by 2020 to meet demand. In 2009, Texas schools produced 8,211 graduates.

To find out more about measures being taken to address Texas’ nursing shortage, visit the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies.

(Tracey Lamphere)

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