Over the past 18 months, the Chamber Economic Development team has pushed our brand harder than ever. Because of that work, Wichita Falls is now recognized as a community for projects from site consultants, Team Texas, and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Our industry is one based on the cultivation of relationships and it is because of those relationships that we submitted for 16 projects during the first quarter of 2021.
It is worth repeating, the Wichita Falls brand is stronger than ever. That does not, however, guarantee a victory.
Case in point: Project Augustus
Project Augustus is a California-based dairy processor that was looking at Texas for their next cheese and yogurt manufacturing plant.
The site consultant specifically reached out to our office and asked us to submit for this project DUE TO our outreach and branding efforts. Prior to our new strategy, the consultant never thought about Wichita Falls. However, because of how we strengthened our relationship with them, they came directly to us.
We hosted the consultants and company representatives on two occasions. We even had them meet with a local dairy farmer and the Executive Director of the Texas Dairymen’s Association. We did everything right; we just could not control the “uncontrollable”.
What was the uncontrollable?
Proximity to dairy farms. Our competition was closer to a larger number of dairy farms which is vital in the production of cheese and yogurt. Proximity reduced transportation costs which improves the ROI for the investment in a new plant.
Was this a failure? Absolutely not. I don’t believe in “moral victories”, however, prior to 2020…this site consultant would not have given a thought about Wichita Falls. They would not have contacted us about submitting for the project.
The site consultant knew we had the right site and all the assets (that we could control) in place to serve them and their client.
There is a silver lining…Wichita Falls is a finalist for another project that was brought to us by this site selector. Why? Because they know our brand, they know our assets, and more importantly, because of the last site visit…they know Wichita Falls has their act together.