Great jobs for the Coastal Bend

Editor:

At Del Mar College, we strive to educate members of the community to reach forward and deliver excellence. It’s the bedrock of our community college’s vision for the coming years. In educating our sons and daughters, we strive to find emerging leaders in our community while giving them the foundation and skills to succeed. 

Increasingly, keeping these future leaders in our community requires embracing new, exciting opportunities. And there’s no opportunity coming to our community in the years ahead that is bigger than the proposed Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project.

Parents, I talk to want great jobs for their kids  right here at home. The proposed ExxonMobil- SABIC Gulf Coast Growth Ventures plant would provide an incredible new investment for the Gregory-Portland and greater Coastal Bend communities.

In its first six years alone, the project would produce more than $50 billion in economic gains in Texas.  That would create 11,000 construction jobs, 3,500 additional indirect jobs, and 600 high-paying, family-supporting, home-grown, salaried jobs with benefits over the long-term. These permanent jobs would also pay an average annual salary of $90,000.

This is a workforce development opportunity unlike our community has seen in decades and one we would be smart to embrace. Our community college is already investing in new training programs to further grow the pool of local skilled workers to meet the demand of proposed projects in our area. An investment of the magnitude of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project would create even more incentive for further investment in job training programs, while providing a new community partner to provide good-paying jobs and long-term careers.

I encourage everyone to read the facts and to take the longer view for the Gregory-Portland community. I understand that some residents in our community have mixed views on this project. This project means one thing to me; it means a promising future for the rising junior and high school students.

The Gulf Coast Ventures plant is an investment in our community’s economic future. Our community should come together to support it. Together, we can help build a brighter tomorrow for our community and provide great jobs right here at home.

Lenora Keas

Portland resident and

vice president of Workforce Development and Strategic Initiatives at Del Mar College

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