Specialty Steel Production
With the opening of both a steel pipe factory and an iron ore plant the area has a makings of a steel making cluster. The region has large sites available with access to rail and a deep water port, the labor base have skills that are similar to the needs of specialty steel making, The availability of high quality briquettes are a high value add for production facilities locating in this area.
Shale Oil/ Natural Gas/ Pipeline Industry/ NGL Production
The region is the closest industrial site to the Eagle Ford Shale. It is already home of 5 refineries, two ethane producers and two splitter plants opening soon. The pipeline infrastructure is already in place and there are large sites available that have access to three Class I railroads and a deep water port. The labor pool is skilled in oil and gas processing. Del Mar College has tripled the size of their process technology program to supply skilled workers for the growth. The industry funded Craft Training Center offers many programs for new students and industry personnel coming back through to renew certificates or to get more training. Through the help of the City Type A funds, Craft Training Center doubled its size in three years.
The region is home to the largest helicopter repair facility in the world. The area Naval aviation bases have large civilian workforce performing maintenance on high tech aircraft. Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi is one of six sites selected by the Federal Aviation Administration as a test site to incorporate drones into the national airspace. The LoneStar UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation is the main focus of companies looking to test and manufacture aircraft in the Coastal Bend. Del Mar College has opened a hangar at the international airport where more hands on training is constructed. They have certification and degree programs leading to an air frame/power plants license.
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth
The region understands the impact of innovative entrepreneurs. Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi opened their Coastal Bend Innovation Center in 2008. Additionally the Del Mar College has the Small Business Development Center that houses small business counselors and even a micro-lender, LiftFund. Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is very active in the community giving advice to small businesses and entrepreneurs.