MIDLAND, Texas — Midland Development Corporation has invested a little more than $80 million across downtown Midland.
So far, about $50 million has gone into infrastructure, water and sewage lines along with education and the workforce.
Sara Harris, the MDC's executive director, says this investment will bring growth to Midland and its economy.
“Over the past decade, we’ve invested over $50 million in new road, sewer and water lines across the city to accelerate new growth areas," Harris said. "We've also put a lot of money into education and workforce.”
This money has come from a quarter-cent sales tax that was passed by voters in 2002.
The MDC uses this money to attract new businesses and "primary jobs" to Midland while developing new workers.
“Any business that creates primary jobs in Midland is one that we will look at for direct incentives and support. So there’s a defined list of primary jobs that the state gives us that we work with," Harris said. "But in essence those jobs are ones that create goods or services that are exported out of Midland or bring dollars into the city.”
The MDC is also looking to break into the aerospace sector. West Texas has been a popular spot for aerospace launches, as Amazon's Blue Origin has had test launches near West Texas.
“The heart of Midland’s economy is energy, oil and gas and it always will be. However, aerospace is complimentary to oil and gas," Harris said. "The workforce for aerospace uses a lot of the same skill sets as that for oil and gas, we already have twice the national number of engineers per capita in Midland and they have a lot of directly transferable skills.”