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Sunday, June 1, 2003
Last modified at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, 2003
© 2003 - The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

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Fun and education are two goals of the Lubbock Business Expo, which is put together by Market Lubbock Inc. each year.

Market Lubbock Inc. helps bring business to city


By CHRIS VAN WAGENEN
A-J Business Editor

Lubbock's economic development efforts fall on many shoulders, but clearly are led by the city-appointed board of Market Lubbock Inc.

The nonprofit economic development corporation, which is entering its eighth year, is headed by a seven-member board of directors which is currently seeking a new full-time chief executive officer.

Market Lubbock Inc. was created to recruit business and industry as well as assist in the retention and expansion of existing ones.

In addition to its main mission, Market Lubbock oversees the operations of the Lubbock Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Lubbock Sports Authority, both of which are instrumental in bringing visitors to the Hub City.

Market Lubbock's finance arm is supported by a 3-cent ad valorem tax that generates about $2.1 million a year.

Tax support is used to fund both the organization's administration as well as provide incentive funds for new job creation.

Market Lubbock's board of directors is led by attorney Mike Field, who serves as chairman.

Other members of the board include Delbert McDougal, chairman and chief executive officer of McDougal Com panies; Attorney Ruben Reyes with the law firm of Hurley, Reyes & Guinn; Dr. David Smith, chancellor, Texas Tech; David Alderson, general manager, Alderson Cadil lac/BMW/Lex us; Charley O. Trimble, chief executive officer, Covenant Health Systems; and Jane Ann Stinnett, president, JAS Management Inc and JGG Inc.

Since its inception, the organization has provided job creation incentives to 52 companies which combined have created nearly 6,185 jobs representing a capital investment by the those companies totaling $242.6 million.

Market Lubbock's most ambitious project to date involves Tyco International Ltd., which is in the process of relocating to a new 500,000-square-foot manufacturing plant north of the city at Lubbock International Air port.

The $13 million project is expected to create 625 new jobs when it opens in later this summer.

Other jobs created through Market Lubbock incentive packages have involved companies such as Frito Lay, Convergys, HealthSmart Pre ferred Care, Cingular Wire less, X-Fab Texas and Watson-Sysco.

Market Lubbock was instrumental in helping to create 1,048 jobs in fiscal year 2001-2002, committing $12 million 12 local operations which in turn made capital investments totaling more than $27.6 million.

Five years ago, the city, with assistance from Lubbock Power & Light opened the much-touted Lubbock Busi ness Center located at 1301 Broadway.

The 62,000-square-foot center brought together the offices of Market Lubbock Inc., the LCVB, the Lubbock Sports Authority, the Lubbock Cham ber of Commerce and the South Plains Regional Work force Development Board under one roof.

The purpose of the center is to act as a central clearinghouse in providing existing and potential employers with an array of information ranging from demographics to workforce training programs.

Working closely with Market Lubbock is the Lub bock Chamber of Commerce, which also has gone through changes over the past few years.

The chamber is committed on a number of legislative fronts, leading the way on such issues as the Ports-to-Plains ­ a 1,000-mile four-lane divided highway that would connect Mexico to Denver through Lubbock.

It also is the central force behind the city's annual Business Expo, which each May brings together hundreds of businesses with thousands of potential customers under one roof at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

In addition to Market Lubbock and the chamber, the Lubbock Business Center serves as home to the South Plains Regional Workforce Development Board, which oversees programs for first-time job seekers, the unemployed and the underemployed.

The 35-member board is responsible for the administration of 28 job-related programs that were returned to local control through the Texas Workforce Commission.

cvanwagenen@lubbockonline.com t 766-8744


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