Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry's Remarks Regarding Huntsman Expansion

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004  •  Speech

Thank you Peter Huntsman for those kind words, and I want to thank you and Jon Huntsman for making this day possible.  Senator Williams, Representative Eissler, local officials and business leaders, thank you for joining us today for this important announcement. 

Creating jobs, opportunity and prosperity for the people of Texas is among my chief priorities as governor, and I am proud that our state is on the leading edge of economic development.  Over the past 12 months, Texas has gained 123,700 new net jobs because our taxes are low, our workforce is skilled, and we have let the world know that Texas is wide open for business and job creation.  In Texas we recognize that creating jobs means more people have the opportunity to work hard, provide for their families, and live the American dream.  And we also understand that economic growth is about more than paychecks.  An expanding job climate has the additional benefit of providing more resources for education, health care, transportation, clean air initiatives, and other important priorities. 

In recent months, Texas has welcomed dozens of employers that have relocated and expanded their operations in Texas, adding thousands of jobs to our state and millions of dollars to our economy.  Today, we welcome the expansion of Huntsman, the world’s largest privately held chemical company that will create 326 new jobs for Texas families, and make a $227 million capital investment in the Texas economy.  Huntsman’s relocation will bring a total of 730 high-tech, high-paying jobs to The Woodlands over the next four years.

Peter and Jon Huntsman, I want to thank you for your commitment to creating jobs for Texas families.  And I want to thank Ron Bourbeau with the Economic Development Partnership, County Judge Alan Sadler and the commissioners court, who worked with numerous state and local officials to bring this project to fruition. 

The competition for this project was tough.  Huntsman has facilities in more than 30 countries and could have taken this project elsewhere.  But because of our cooperative efforts, The Woodlands and the entire state of Texas will reap tremendous benefits.

Huntsman will build a new research and development campus in The Woodlands that will pay its 730 employees an average salary of over $100,000. 
These jobs are for highly skilled, well-trained workers and will help build South East Texas’ reputation as a leader in the new economy.  But there is even more good news for Texas.  In addition to the $49 million invested in The Woodlands project, Huntsman will spend $178 million to expand its Odessa and Port Neches facilities and invest in environmental, health and safety initiatives.  To secure this project, Texas stepped to the plate with a $2.75 million incentive package from the Texas Enterprise Fund.  When you consider the new jobs created, as well as the benefits to the city, county and state, the return on our investment will be tremendous.

The Huntsman expansion also has the potential to lure related employers to the area because of a new cluster initiative I announced last week.  Texas is developing strategies to grow industry clusters, or groups of high-tech companies located in the same geographic area, that can share ideas, resources and talent to create new wealth and new opportunity.  I believe that the new R&D campus in The Woodlands can help develop such an industry cluster.

We are proud to have many employers in addition to Huntsman that are looking to create new opportunities in Texas.  Yesterday I announced that the Lee Container Corporation would create 105 new jobs in Nacogdoches, and with the recent expansions of companies like Toyota, Texas Instruments and Vought Aircraft, Texas is proving that the right combination of incentives, low taxes, good schools, and a skilled labor force is the best recipe for strong economic growth.

Texas is grateful for the Huntsman commitment, and we are honored to be joined by their leadership, Founder and Chairman Jon Huntsman and President and CEO Peter Huntsman.  Please join me in welcoming them.

And now a few words from Senator Williams and Representative Eissler.

At this time we would be happy to attempt to answer any questions you may have.

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