A recent regional study indicates that
the Eastland labor shed has a potentially hidden labor pool in over
100,000 workers currently employed yet desirous of additional training,
recent college graduates, and those unemployed that are interested in
working. Nearly 60,000 currently-employed residents desire additional
training, mostly computer professionals and support staff, and persons
employed as medical professionals and in business services. Some 42,000
residents are unemployed but would be interested in employment. Based on
employer surveys, there are satisfactory skill levels and availability.
Wages are low to moderate in Eastland's labor shed, at 66% and 65% of
state and national levels respectively. Benefit packages are also modest
when compared to national standards.
sectors that would benefit from Eastland's labor pool and resources:
Warehousing and Distribution
Logistics and distribution centers are a viable target industry for
Eastland. Recent articles by logistics industry experts have indicated
that although dot-coms and the technology industry have taken a beating
in recent years, the growth of e-commerce has spurred a heightened level
of construction of state-of-the-art distribution properties. The
nationís leading commercial and industrial real estate brokers report a
steady demand for warehousing at all levels. U.S. industrial markets
such as the West Central Texas region, which are under-tapped for these
operations but offer strong transportation amenities, will be targeted
by logistics companies looking to get closer to their consumers and save
on their real estate costs.
Plastics manufacturing is a viable target industry for the Eastland. The
plastics industry is one of the largest manufacturing industries in the
United States, accounting for more than $330 billion dollars in annual
shipments. The industry directly employs more than 1.5 million workers.
Plastics play an
indispensable role in a wide variety of markets, ranging from packaging
and building/construction to transportation; consumer and institutional
products; furniture and furnishings; electrical/electronic components;
adhesives, inks, coatings, and other products.
Regional Professional Service Centers and Call Centers
Customer Support and Service Centers consists of inbound call centers
designed to provide ready access to customer support for products and
services. The functions at customer support and service centers are
common to a diverse group of industries, and particularly to the retail,
finance and insurance, manufacturing, transportation, software,
utilities, and business sectors. They share the common element of being
mid- to high-end, white-collar operations with well-educated employees.
The workforce typically consists of individuals with two- or four-year
college degrees and a high level of administrative or professional
Administrative Service Centers
Administrative Service Centers is a viable target industry for Eastland.
As corporations continue to take steps to minimize their administrative
costs, there is a growing emphasis on reducing headcount through the
elimination of redundant positions, process improvements to make
existing office procedures more efficient, and technology improvements
to increase productivity. In order to implement these strategies,
companies are turning increasingly to the relocation of single or
multiple units that are the most cost sensitive and the most mobile from
higher-cost locations to lower-cost centers such as Eastland region.
Alternative/wind energy production equipment
The windmill product manufacturing industry target comprises
establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing turbines (NAICS
333611), which are the mechanical devices used to harness the energy
from the wind, and turbine blades, which are one component of the wind
turbine (NAICS 326199). While we focus on manufacturing the equipment
involved in generating wind power, it is important to note that the West
Texas region is also ideally suited for locating "wind farms" due to the
flat terrain and abundant wind resources.
West Texas is already home to a number of windmill farms that can
provide large amounts of electricity without the use of fossil fuels.