In this morning’s Times Record News, Dr. James Owen from MSU presented his update to the Wichita Falls Economic Index. Most of his indicators point to an improving economy for our community.

 
– Employment is up.
– Retail sales and sales tax collections are up.
– Building permits and their valuations are up.
– Real estate prices are up.
 
The biggest negative to all this is that April unemployment was estimated to be a staggering 2.6%.  This is way beyond full employment, and is an issue we’ll have to address if we expect to see continued growth over the long haul.
 
We love all the good news, but we know there’s lots of work still to be done. To create any real sustainable growth, we’ve got to grow our talent pool.
 
Companies won’t move here or expand here in any great numbers if they don’t think they can find a productive workforce.
 
It’s the #1 economic development challenge facing Wichita Falls. Check out fallsfuture.com to see how we plan to tackle the problem.
Let’s build something extraordinary!
 
Henry Florsheim
President & CEO
 
PS – We’ve mentioned one of the ways we plan to grow the talent pool – targeting military spouses for better opportunities within the business community. In the first few weeks following our announcement that Taylor Davis, a military spouse herself, took the job as our talent partnership director, nearly 30 military spouses found jobs in Wichita Falls. It’s working!