For approximately a month, now, Larry Martinez has welcomed his new position in the City of Alice as the new executive director of the Alice, Jim Wells County Economic Development Corporation. Martinez is ready to make an impact and has high exceptions for the city and the county.
“My role as executive director is to try to solicit new industries and businesses that are coming to the community. I have a lot of support from the mayor and the county judge. So we're collaborating and developing a strategic plan for aggressively going and implementing the policies and procedures to bring gin new industry, but with a really strong emphasis on what we're doing for business retention,” Martinez said. “We are really trying to develop programs and processes so that we can create and help current businesses in Alice; to give them resources to assist them. At this point, we are setting up our office and developing different ways on how we can improve and communicate. Right now, we are in the process of trying to develop strategically what we are going to do to attract our grants from the state and federal level. There's a lot of monies out there we're, again, aggressively trying to tap into those funds so that we can use those monies to do projects in Alice and Jim Wells County.”
Martinez is focused on projects that would begin high-paying jobs to the area. Jobs that range from an educational facility that would bring people to Alice to train or even a manufacturing company.
“Right now, we are currently looking at what's are availability. We have a lot of land. Land is a strong asset for us. We aren't landlocked...We look at the economic development. What do businesses need to help them work. One is land, one is availability of a water resource. Water is really strong commodity...We have a lot of potential. Of course, rail is also real expensive. A lot of companies want rail. Those are real strategic on how we create a new industry to come in,” he said. “There's a lot of property available (for companies and residential). If we look at our last marketing housing study, it gives us a detail of what the trends are for new jobs in Alice, Texas.”
According to Martinez, Alice and JWC is looking at a medical field trend. He wants to make sure that that industry doesn't pass Alice and JWC by.
“We'll look at education, medical and oilfield, but we know that the medical industry is booming. For years, we've always been known as an oilfield town. We're looking at diversifying,” he said. “We think that strategically we are in a really great place because we have to major corridors, Highway 281 and Highway 44 that can distribute any products or goods that are located here to any other part of the country. Those are some of the things we look at so that we can provide that source or that data to help companies trying to come in...The importance of bringing jobs into the area is to help those currently living in Alice have a better quality of life. Based on the last downfall, a lot of people were hurt. We want to tell the people of Alice that we are diligently working to create industries that provide good paying jobs; jobs that will give them the opportunity to make a decent living and be able to stay in Alice, Texas...We want those jobs to be here. We want to people to get up and say they work in Alice, Texas and Jim Wells County. When they have good jobs that expendable money goes into spending in our local business...” People work in Alice, they spend the money in Alice, keeps taxes down with more people and it creates a domino effect.”
Martinez is known in especially since he served 12 years as an elected official; two years as the mayor of Alice and 10 years as a city councilman. He feels that because he's held positions in Alice and knows the background, he can better serve the community and those who want to create new opportunities in the area.
“It's not going to happen tomorrow, but I think we're in the right direction. We started something. That start will blossom if we work hard and we all work together...I've had a couple of leads and meetings with potential clients that want to come in,” Martinez said. “See who they can attract. Open all kinds of doors, but I feel pretty optimistic that we can do something.”
Martinez wants the community to know that he has an open door policy. His office is located on the third floor of the Alice City Hall. He can also be reached by phone at 361-356-4480 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.