Big Spring EDC targets specific industries, activities and opportunities on which to focus recruitment and retention efforts. Matching location strengths to industry requirements and to industry demand patterns is critical in target industry identification, and an essential component of an effective development strategy. These defined industries are a likely match for the relocation or expansion of primary jobs in Big Spring.
Big Spring EDC Five Target Industries
Oil and Gas Energy
West Texas and Howard County in particular have a strong tradition of oil and gas exploration and production. Oil, originally discovered in 1926, has been a primary industry in the area and a major contributor to the local economic base. Today Big Spring is home of one of the largest inland refineries in the United States and is a hub for oil and gas processing and distribution. Drilling, refining, carbon black production, oil well servicing, oil field supply, and oil field equipment manufacturing represent a significant employment base for the area. Big Spring will continue to have a strong oil related base and efforts will continue to develop and retain oil related industry.
Transportation and Distribution
Big Spring is situated at the “Crossroads of West Texas” making it a natural transportation and distribution hub. Interstate Highway 20 is the major east west artery and Texas Highway 87 the major north south artery. Big Spring is located on the Ports-to-Plains Corridor linking Mexico with Canada, a major transportation route for goods and services manufactured or grown in the mid west and distributed worldwide. Big Spring is the former home of Webb Air Force base and boasts an 8,800 ft. runway capable of landing 737 class aircraft, a new state of the art air terminal, and facilities that lend themselves to national and global shipping and distribution. Big Spring is serviced by Union Pacific Railroad on their primary east-west track with thousands of railcars passing through Big Spring everyday. Big Spring is also proud of the newly established Big Spring Rail System, a short line, which will provide transload services to existing customers on the airpark and potential new businesses. These assets make Big Spring ideal for transportation distribution operations and a focus for the EDC to develop logistic operations.
Before oil and gas, before wind, farming and ranching were the economic engines of West Texas and Big Spring. Cattle and cotton production continue to have a significant impact of the local economy. Recently, Big Spring was selected by a major cotton storage distribution coop to warehouse and market cotton nationally and internationally. BSEDC understands the importance of agricultural production not only locally, but nationally and place a high priority on developing agriculture related industry, manufacturing and distribution.
Big Spring was one of the first sites for wind energy production in the central United States. Some twelve years ago an over 34MW project was completed and in 2008 another 250MW of capacity was added with future projects being discussed. Utility scale solar projects are now being planned with possible location in the Big Spring area. These projects are opening new door for supply chain industries’ to locate in our region. Training programs for renewable energy related jobs are now offered at the community college and high schools. This new industry diversifies the economic base and offers many new areas for job development and growth.
Big Spring has long had the reputation as being a center for health care in West Texas. Big Spring is a center for health care including a 150 bed private hospital serving the general public to a Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, a State mental health facility and a Texas State Veterans Home. Big Spring is home of one of the premier rehabilitation facilities in West Texas providing physical therapy, occupational therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, audiology, wellness programs along with a multitude of other services.