FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Further Information contact:
Mike Running, Executive Director
Dumas Economic Development Corporation
5/17/11–Dumas, Texas Named Expansion Solutions Magazine “Top Five” Award of Excellence for Wind Industry Efforts PELHAM, AL–Expansion Solutions Magazine recently announced its Fourth Annual “Top Five” Awards of Excellence. These awards recognize economic development organizations which have shown exceptional progress and potential in the development arena –by successfully recruiting, retaining and assisting growing businesses. These locations were chosen because of the incredible support system offered to businesses as well as recent activity and potential growth that can be created in each area. Their strategic locations, pro-business climates, investments made in improving infrastructure and the availability of buildings and sites were among the top deciding factors in choosing these locations.
Dumas Economic Development Corporation was named a “Top Five” recipient for its recruitment and development in the wind energy industry. The Dumas Economic Development Corporation (Dumas EDC) is led by Executive Director Mike Running, and has been instrumental in recruiting and assisting firms in the industry through several innovative measures. “I think much of the recognition goes out to our Board of Directors and our city leaders” stated Running. “These folks have been extremely proactive and supportive of our efforts to market and attract what we believe is an incredible new industry for our community”. The Dumas EDC, the City of Dumas, and Moore County have provided tax based incentives, l and and performance based grants in an effort to attract wind energy development and wind servicing and manufacturing firms. The first wind farm developed in Moore County was the John Deere wind farms located north and south of the community. Most recently, Valero’s McKee Refinery installed 50 megawatts of wind turbines ,and the Little Pringle Wind farm placed its first 10 of an anticipated 100 megawatts in the ground just this year. New transmission lines being developed to the south of Dumas for the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) that feeds the ERCOT grid and the Southwest Power Pool transmission expansion to the north have each played into the appeal of the Dumas and Moore County area. To maximize on these opportunities, the Dumas EDC has provided a sizeable grant to the Amarillo College-Moore County Campus to initiate a new Wind & Renewable Energy Technical Training program in order to produce a localized trained workforce. Dumas EDC expanded their business park to 256 acres and are now preparing plans for a new wind energy training tower, speculative business center, Technology Center and more roads for the park. “One of the factors that have helped us in our recruitment efforts has been the availability of low or no cost lease arrangements for firms wishing to locate in the region. Many firms may have the cash to build or buy but are fearful of spending due to economic uncertainties. Our facilities will allow for them to test the waters, so to speak, without dipping too far into their pockets”, explained Running. Proposed is a 20,000 square foot, 6-unit building to house wind energy servicing firms needing to be in the heart of the class 4+ wind region . Running believes that this project is one reason why they were named an Expansion Solutions “ Top Five” recipient. “We believe that in order to reap the benefits of an industry, we have to invest in the needs of the industry, and right now, they require low cost facility options, trained employees and a community responsive to their needs”.
The region around Dumas has an estimated 1,600 megawatts of wind energy within a few short hours. Dumas is the largest city in a region that touches on the Texas Panhandle and areas in New Mexico, Kansas and Oklahoma. Running believes this to be the most logical place in the region for wind servicing firms and small manufacturers to locate. Running and the Dumas EDC are currently working with industry leaders to develop a wind component rail yard where the large components can be shipped in order to cover what is anticipated to be a major influx of new wind farm development for the region. Partnering with the Texas North West short line Rail Company, a feeder to Burlington Northern, Running feels that this development could become reality in the next year. There seems to be no length at which Running, the Dumas EDC and the local leaders will go to grow their economy. A recent trip to Northern Ireland resulted in three new wind related business leads for this Texas Panhandle community and Running is busy networking with officials in Canada and Mexico trying to seek out new opportunities for their existing businesses. “You can’t develop new business relationships sitting in an office, and we believe it speaks volumes when we show up on their door steps telling them how much we want their business in Dumas.” “We are excited about giving national recognition to these organizations as it further demonstrates their leadership role in business retention, expansion and relocation,” said Kimberly Merkel, Editor of Expansion Solutions Magazine. “Not only does it show case each area for their success in recruiting and retaining businesses, it also is asource of pride for each award winner’s city, county, state and economic development department.”