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Sunday, June 18, 2000
Last modified at 6:02 p.m. on Friday, June 16, 2000
© 2000 - The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

A-J Photo/Chase Perry

photo: general


 
A beautification project has brought new landscaping to Broadway in the city's downtown section and leading to the Texas Tech campus.

Four interdependent city elements create success


By NICOLE MEADOR
Avalanche-Journal

A family works within itself to create a successful and enjoyable life for the people involved.

The City of Lubbock is very much a family. The members the city council, Texas Tech University, Lubbock Independent School District and Market Lubbock Inc. work together to provide the citizens with a prosperous present and hopeful future.

"The city council is part of a family," said City Councilman TJ Patterson. "Look at the city of Lubbock. There are very diverse people, a team of people you need to do the job."

Patterson added that people serving on elected political and economic boards such as the City Council must be inclusive "the best of the best from the four corners of Lubbock in order to carry out the wishes (of the citizens) because six council members and one mayor cannot do it."

Market Lubbock Inc., the economic development catalyst for the city, operates by a board appointed by the City Council and is funded by approximately $1.6 million annually from the economic development portion of the city's property tax. The organization works with the City Council to attract businesses and corporate headquarters to Lubbock.

"The purpose of (Market Lubbock Inc.) is to attract new jobs," said Wayne Boling, director of economic development for Market Lubbock. "We're after job investment. It helps all of us even those in school. It helps keep them here for the future."

Mayor Windy Sitton agrees. The purpose of Market Lubbock is to "sell Lubbock," said Mayor Sitton. "It acts on behalf of the airport and businesses as an umbrella. That way you get more bang for your buck."

Some recent projects that Market Lubbock has been involved in since its birth in 1995 include establishing Southwestern Bell Wireless, a new in-bound customer care call center that added more than 800 new jobs to the job market.

Cox Communication established its regional call center in Lubbock which created 115 new job opportunities, including 34 management or supervisory positions, and Convergys, a telecom industry, employs 1,500 people, Boling said.

Market Lubbock teamed with the Lubbock International Airport to develop the Interport Trade Center, a developmental site open to businesses around the airport, Boling said.

However, the future depends on education. Lubbock is home to four higher educational institutes, which include Texas Tech University, Lubbock Christian University, Wayland Baptist College and South Plains College.

"Texas Tech affects all four corners of Lubbock, bringing young people equipped with the necessary tools," said Patterson. "This is quite essential. (Texas Tech is) an outstanding vehicle of economic development."

Texas Tech Chancellor John T. Montford teams with the City Council in trying to make the university a Tier 1 institution, Sitton said. "Texas Tech is our shining star."

An institution with over 25,000 students, Texas Tech is an integral partner in economic development, said Montford.

"We have worked very well with the city," Montford said. "The mayor, the city manager and the City Council are very responsible. I look at Texas Tech and the City Council as a partner in the community."

The City Council helps Texas Tech by funding and supporting present projects such as the development of a fire station on the campus and innovations to Jones Stadium, Montford said.

As for the over 29,000 students enrolled at Lubbock Independent School District, the future depends on successful educational building blocks. "Speaking as a former teacher, truthfully, our students will help us provide a work force," Sitton said. "We are always promoting our excellent school district."


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