“We’re all neighbors and partners. If one of us is successful, it all trickles down,” Martinez said.
She said, rather than spend time talking to politicians, more time can be spent visiting neighbors and talking about jobs.
Bob Haueter, district director for U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, was on hand to represent the representative.
Victor Garza, executive director for the Refugio County Community Development Foundation, said he is expanding efforts to keep business in Refugio County. As a result, he is going to visit each and every business to see what the needs are.
He added that he hopes to visit all individuals in the community, as well.
And he said he is also working on attracting businesses to the county, and that includes improving housing across the county.
“We are trying to get actual numbers together,” Garza said.
He added that the goal is to get everyone together and working on the same page.
“We want to improve the quality of living across the county,” he said.
President of the Refugio County Chamber of Commerce Lenny Anzaldua, speaking on behalf of County Judge Rene Mascorro, noted that there are 1,786 drilling rigs and 848 of them are in Texas.
“A rising tide lifts all ships. What’s good for Corpus Christi, is good for Refugio,” Anzaldua said.
Amy Villarreal, Workforce contract manager, said there were 266 job openings within 30 miles of Refugio.
“We know there is a need for jobs – maybe not in Refugio where the unemployment rate is 4.1 percent – and lots of openings are available for men and women,” she said.
And Janet Cunningham, who has a doctorate in education, said Coastal Compass is a clearing house for the workforce.
“There are jobs in this area, jobs coming to this area, and we need to match the people to the jobs,” she said.
Cunningham, the executive director of Citizens for Educational Excellence, said the place to start is Coastal Compass located in La Palmera Mall in Corpus Christi.
“Two-thirds of the jobs coming will require post secondary education,” she said.
Coastal Compass offers information and resources to help those interested get jobs.
Help in filling out forms and applications, connecting with potential employers and more is available.
A workforce panel also presented job information at the Town Hall meeting.
Maury Hudson, with Cheniere near Gregory, said his company is trying to get a liquefied natural gas plant constructed in the Gregory area.
He said his company was trying to get a market for gas to be shipped overseas. And regulations approval was being worked on currently.
He said construction would begin in 2015 that will require 3,000 jobs.
When the plant starts up, 155 permanent jobs would be available, including operators, maintenance schedulers and others.
He said the plant will cost $10 billion to construct.
Hudson said his company is working with the school district to get curriculum added for process technology because some 35 engineers will be needed.
Ward Dudley, of Roywell Services, said his company has been around for 20 years in Refugio.
He noted that his company had grown from 75 employees to 250 in the past five years.
He said his company now has 144 commercial driver’s licensed truck drivers.
“We are always hiring hazmet drivers,” he said.
“Refugio houses about 25 sand haul trucks. We are looking to expand on that,” he said.
Paul Labat, of Supreme Services, said his company is always looking for truck drivers.
“We need as many applications coming through our door as possible,” he said.
He said his company – Louisiana and Texas based – has grown from 250 to 600 people.
He noted his company is not hiring currently but wants the applications in so they can hire when ready.
Amanda Brisbin, of Watco companies, said she was a recruiter out of Pittsburg, Kan. for her company.
She noted that her company is a railroad/transport company and it celebrated its 30th anniversary a couple of weeks ago.
“We believe in customer first foundation,” she said.
She said her company which is in Canada, Australia and the United States, has 3,300 team members.
She said 45 of those workers were in Refugio at the EOG plant.
She added that Watco needs operators who are willing to work outside, maintenance personnel and electricians.
In addition, she said her company has Watco U., an inhouse training program.
Also, Terri Howe, associate director at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Leonard Rivera of Del Mar College’s off campus programs, talked about educational opportunities.
Both said resources for getting jobs were available, as well as the post secondary education one might need to get a job.
Anzaldua returned to speak to the 50 or so in attendance as a business services representative for the Craft Training Center.
He said crafts such as plumbing, electricians, carpentry and welding were available at the center.
He noted that there are 88 scholarships available today with 12 more to be added soon.
He said scholarship information is available at cbcFoundation.org.
“The story is there aren’t any jobs. We busted that myth,” Anzaldua said.
Quoting Dr. Suess, Anzaldua said, “The more you read, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
In her closing remarks, County Commissioner Ann Lopez recognized Mayor Martinez for her passion to achieve togetherness.
“God bless you. We wish you great things in Refugio County,” Martinez said.