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New technology complex significant in industry recruitment, development

June 6, 2015 at 9:06 p.m.

D. Dale Fowler

D. Dale Fowler

Partnerships are important to successful community economic development efforts, and the Victoria community has a great history of bringing the right partners together to make projects work. At the Victoria Economic Development Corporation, we often tell our clients that while our organization does not own land or buildings, we possess many great partnerships that will help make their project a success in our community.

During the past decade or so, we have had the opportunity to host many companies as they considered Victoria for a potential expansion of their current facility or for a place to build a new facility, such as Caterpillar did in 2010. These companies engage in a competitive and exhaustive site selection process of examining communities to find the best location for their business. Two of the most significant community attributes in today's industry location market are: One, the availability of a workforce; and two, the ability to train a workforce. Having the human capital to supply quality employees and possessing the ability to train them for specific positions is often what separates the winning community from the others. For the Victoria region, one of our strongest partners in this category is Victoria College and its asset, the new Victoria College Emerging Technology Complex.

Victoria College hit the ball out of the park with the Emerging Technology Complex. This first-class facility is tangible evidence of our community's commitment and ability to train a workforce for today and well into the future. I am excited to have the benefit of taking prospective business clients to tour this state-of-the-art facility so they can see what partnerships are available to them in our community. No company invests millions of dollars in a new manufacturing facility without an expectation of being in production for decades to come. Therefore, they must carefully choose a community that can demonstrate the leadership necessary to be proactive, visionary and deliberate in their plan for the future. The Victoria College Emerging Technology Complex characterizes our community's ability to do just that.

Last month, while the finishing touches were being installed at the Emerging Technology Complex, VEDC was given the opportunity to hold our semi-annual membership meeting at the new complex. One of the nation's leading site consultants joined us as our guest speaker. Hartley Powell, principal of Global Location & Expansion Services at KPMG LLC, visited the new facility and addressed our membership on the site selection process of competitive economic development including the importance of workforce and training. I was proud to be sitting in this community's new industrial training, conference and education center as I heard him commend the leadership in their partnership for progress.

Congratulations to the Victoria College administration, the Victoria College Board of Trustees, the Victoria Sales Tax Development Corporation and City Council for providing the land and to the Victoria County voters who all worked together to make this new facility a reality. This new training and conference complex is a strong show of community readiness to support growing industry interest in the region. You have provided us with a significant tool to use in our industry recruitment efforts; we at the VEDC say thank you.

D. Dale Fowler, president of the Victoria Economic Development Corporation, is a Certified Economic Developer with the International Economic Development Council and serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Texas Economic Development Council. He may be contacted at vedc@victoriaedc.com or 361-485-3190.


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