$1.3m incentive agreement approved for DuPlooy Trucking

$1.3m incentive agreement approved for DuPlooy Trucking

Claire Kowalick, Wichita Falls Times Record News

An incentive agreement to assist DuPlooy Trucking in their expansion and relocation to the Wichita Falls area is exactly what the area needs right now, said Mayor Stephen Santellana.

DuPlooy, which currently has locations in Byers, downtown in the Oil and Gas Building and a dispatch center in Oklahoma, wants to combine their offices into one main center at Highway 277 and Business 277.

DuPlooy is a mainly agricultural hauling company that operates mainly in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. It was established in 2011 and began commercial agricultural hauling in 2016.

Co-owner Matthew Wood said Tuesday during a Wichita Falls City Council meeting that business has been booming for them, especially with the close of several large trucking companies in west Texas and Oklahoma. The company wants to add 100 new jobs, including 90 trucking positions at an average salary of $35 per hour.

The company’s other owner is A.J. DuPlooy. 

The Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation (4A) unanimously approved an up to $1.334 million incentive agreement for cash-for-jobs and relocation incentives with DuPlooy.

Read the full story at Times Record News.

Wichita Falls economy ending 2019 with robust indicators

Wichita Falls economy ending 2019 with robust indicators

Dr. James Owen, Midwestern State University

Economic performance in the Wichita Falls area during November continue to support the robust activity that has been evident throughout most of 2019. 

Overall, our local economy reflects reasonably well the reports that have been provided about the national economy. We are now past the 10-year mark for the beginning of our recovery from the Great Recession.  Prospects for continued economic growth are favorable.

Particularly encouraging is the number of new home construction permits issued during November. Permits for new homes are more than 80 percent higher in the month-to-month comparison with last year. 

The year-over-year comparison is nearly 17 percent higher and in line for an annual number that is in line with past years that have exhibited favorable overall economic performance.

Our market for existing home sales is holding its own.  The number of closings during November is lower by 14 percent while the average price is higher by nearly four percent.  The year-over-year numbers are more nearly in line with performance exhibited in past favorable years.  Compared to the year-to-date number of closings in 2018, current performance is 1.2 percent lower but the average price thus far this year is 1.1 percent higher.

Read the full story at Times Record News.

DuPlooy Trucking hopes to hit the gas on incentive proposal

DuPlooy Trucking hopes to hit the gas on incentive proposal

Lauren Linville | Texomashomepage.com

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A trucking company based in Byers is expanding to Wichita Falls, and with a vote from the 4A Board, there could be an incentive for employees willing to relocate.

The Wichita Falls 4A Board voted to approve DuPlooy Trucking’s incentive proposal.

The company wants to add an extra 100 employees, DuPlooy Trucking has 32 employees right now.

“We are a regional hopper bottom company, we are expanding into different divisions,” DuPlooy Trucking operations manager and co-owner Matthew Wood said. “We’re gonna have flatbeds, tankers as well as a couple of specialized flatbeds and specialized commodity trailers.”

With the new location and expansion, they want to provide extra motivation for truck drivers from California, New York and other parts of the country to make Wichita County their new home.

“With a lot of the layoffs that’ve been going on with the oil industry we’re kinda hoping to retain some of those, maybe not retain but hoping to bring more of those jobs in,” Wood said.

The 4A Board has hit the gas on this proposal.

The incentive would help with the expenses it takes to pack up and move.

“It’s a cash for jobs incentives, so they produce the jobs upfront, employed for a year and we give them some cash,” Wichita Falls 4A Board president Leo Lane said. “Our goal is to bring people from outside the area for those folks and help increase the population of Wichita Falls.”

Watch/read the full story from Texomashomepage.com

Learn more about the incentive program.

David Leezer joins Chamber as Vice President of Business Attraction

David Leezer joins Chamber as Vice President of Business Attraction

Chamber welcomes new V.P. of Business Attraction

The Wichita Falls Chamber has a new Vice President of Business Attraction. David Leezer, CEcD, FM joins the team from St. Charles, MO. He brings over 35 years of economic development experience to the dynamic efforts of the Chamber.

Leezer’s extensive experience includes adding over 5,000 jobs and $400 million of investment for St. Charles as well as development and implementation of a new strategic plan. He joins us with the goal of attracting new businesses to Wichita Falls in our target industries (aerospace/aviation, business support services, and manufacturing). 

“I appreciate the opportunity to join the Wichita Falls team and represent both this great region the great State of Texas.  I’m looking forward to implementing the Market Street Strategies recommendations to enhance the growth of the greater Wichita Falls area.”

David Leezer

“When we began the search for someone to lead our business attraction efforts, we knew that we needed not only an experienced economic developer, but also someone who would be a great fit for the organization.  David is that individual.  I’m excited to work with him and the rest of the team to bring new projects to Wichita Falls,” said Chamber CEO Henry Florsheim.

He will work closely with the Chamber staff on research, marketing, and lead generation while developing relationships with city leadership, community, and companies in Wichita Falls. His focused efforts will be to find businesses looking to expand or move their operations to Texas.

You can contact David by email or by calling 940.723.2741

Wichita Falls Chamber hopes to launch program to bring skilled workers

Wichita Falls Chamber hopes to launch program to bring skilled workers

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) – Manufacturers in Wichita Falls are hoping to partner with the Chamber of Commerce to attract workers to the area.

Finding workers for manufacturing jobs in the area has been difficult. It is a challenge Sharp Iron Group President Michael Stanford knows all about.

“One of the things that’s common among manufacturers is finding skilled labor. There’s a lot of great trade schools and training here locally but they don’t always churn out enough capacity,” he said.

In the five years he has been president, he has seen how stiff the competition to hire welders can be.

“It seems like when we’re hiring welders, everybody’s hiring welders,” he said.

So, they had to come up with a new approach to hiring.

The Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce stepped in to help. President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, Henry Florsheim said, “We know that it costs more money for a company to try to recruit a professional employee from out of town, to get them to move here…”

Through their partnership, Sharp Iron Group was able to offer more incentives to attract those workers, and the chamber helped offset those costs.

Sharp Iron ended up of hiring more welders, “We brought in three, so I think it was very successful,” Stanford said.

Now the Chamber plans to build upon that concept.

“Since we did that, we had several other companies come up and say, ‘Hey can we get assistance like that?’ We said, ‘We really need to create a structured program instead of just doing a one-off every time a company came to us’,” Florsheim stated.

If companies bring workers from outside of the area and have them on the payroll for a certain period of time, the Chamber will help offset those costs.

They have already gotten approval for the plan from the Wichita Falls 4A Board, but the final decision of whether or not the chamber will receive the $200,000 they need to get their pilot project off the ground will fall to City Council.

“This could help bring 33 to 50 new people to Wichita Falls and possibly their families as well,” Florsheim added.

Watch the video from Newschannel 6 here.

Growing jobs in Wichita Falls: Economic Development

Advance programs and policies that improve the local business climate and give Wichita Falls the best chance to grow jobs and investment in the coming years.

A primary focus for this strategic planning process was the community’s desire to become more prosperous. This will require increasing and improving opportunities for employment.

Most individuals and households rely upon the availability of quality jobs to increase their standards of living. On a larger scale, wealth accumulates in regions when local business establishments “export” goods and services to other markets in the United States and beyond. So while every aspect of this Strategy can help make Wichita Falls more economically competitive in the long run, a holistic approach to economic development must also consider opportunities to grow jobs and investment sooner rather than later.

For decades, many communities and their economic development organizations have exclusively associated “economic development” with “business recruitment.” While the recruitment is an important component of an economic development program, it comprises only one-third of a “three-legged stool.”

In fact, employment growth is primarily driven by the other two legs of the stool – expansions of existing businesses and entrepreneurship. Successful communities now pursue a balanced approach that incorporates business recruitment, business retention and expansion (BRE), and support for new enterprises.

This portion of the strategic plan focuses on programs and policies that Wichita Falls can pursue to grow jobs and investment in the next five years. Additional opportunities to enhance entrepreneurial activity are addressed separately with the Makerspace initiative.

CONNECTIONS TO COMMUNITY GOALS

Attract and retain residents and businesses: This Catalyst focuses specifically on attracting and retaining businesses and ensuring a competitive overall business climate.

Increase prosperity for all residents: Creating an attractive environment for jobs and investment is critical to raising standards of living for residents in Wichita Falls.

Enhance the quality of life and quality of place: Business attraction and retention has an indirect yet major influence on community vibrancy.

Promote inclusivity and equity: Many businesses now recognize diversity and inclusion as core values that impact the bottom line; this Catalyst includes a Tactical Recommendation that seeks to create a business culture of inclusion and expand opportunities for all residents.

Improve internal and external perceptions of Wichita Falls: While business location decisions are influenced by many factors, a reputation as a “good place to do business” is a valuable asset.