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AREA ECONOMY Principal economic activities in the district will vary from one area to the other. In the entire district, the highest percentage of workers are involved in government (39.8%) (Figure 18). This includes cities, counties, school districts, etc. The occupation with the next largest number of workers is in trade (21.9%). The lowest percentage of workers are in the construction industry (2.3%). If we look at individual counties, we see the occupations change in importance. Sterling and Menard Counties have a large portion of their population in agriculture. Reagan County has 34.5% of their labor force in mining or petroleum production. Concho County has 32.9% involved in the service industry. Irion County has 18.4% of their workforce in transportation, communication, and public utilities. All of the counties have high percentages of workers in trade, with Kimble, Mason, and Menard Counties having more than 30 percent in this area. Overall, very little manufacturing is evident district. The only counties with an appreciable percentage in this area are: Kimble (15.3%), McCulloch (8.7%), and Tom Green (13.6%). The number of workers in specific occupations has shifted over the past decade. The oil and communications industries have drastically declined in the district. This has caused a major shift from these segments into trades and services. Major industries in the district include: Tom Green County Baptist Memorial Center Community Medical Center Evans Meat Co. Fixture Concepts Goodfellow - Civilian Newsfoto San Angelo Packing Shannon Clinic Shannon Medical Center SITEL, Inc. and West Texas Medical Association Kimble County Kimble County Hospital Leisure Nursing Home Cedar Fiber Co PAKS A.E.R.T., Inc. Ad-Venturous and METCO. McCulloch County Olgeby Norton Sand (60 employees) Borden Sand (55 employees) and Roddie Wool Processing (60 employees). Sterling County Florida Power & Light Airtricity Mission-Edison Cielo. When FPLE completes phase 8 or 9 this will be one of the largest wind farms in the world and possibly the largest
RECENT TRENDS Employment has seen a decline in management and high tech jobs. The reduction in staff of Verizon, petroleum production companies, and others has reduced these occupational opportunities. The jobs to replace these have been somewhat plentiful, but, at lower skill levels. The transition has often required skills training to prepare the labor force for the jobs. The largest increases in employment have  come from telemarketing, wind energy and medical related jobs. All of these require specific training. Business trends have been toward diversification. The large complex of GTE operations is gone from the district. SITEL, Inc. has opened a new operation employing 1,100 in telemarketing. McCulloch County has gained three firms. Two of them are making an end product from the sand in eastern McCulloch County. The other firm, SSI-The Shop, Inc., produces computer related cables. These are deviations from the old standard for industry in the district, but, business as usual is not holding strength throughout the state. Construction in the district has been confined mostly to 3 areas. One is the sand companies of McCulloch County, secondly in Sterling City is Wind Energy and the last being in the City of San Angelo. Building in San Angelo peaked in 1993 for both single family housing and business construction. The decline appears to have reversed in 1996 with totals below the 1993 level for total permits, but dollar volume was above the 1993 level (Figure 21). ECONOMIC TIES TO SURROUNDING AREAS AND STATES The Concho Valley district is tied strongly to the surrounding areas. San Antonio is a secondary center for education, medical facilities, and transportation. The same is true of Midland/Odessa. Reagan County provides a number of workers in the Midland/Odessa area. McCulloch and Tom Green Counties draw workers from Runnels County. Many of the counties rely on neighboring counties for workers and jobs. The sheep and wool industries look to Colorado and New England for processing and manufacturing of products from these raw materials. Also, there is a building relationship between the district and Mexico. As NAFTA becomes more and more operational, additional ties will develop between our countries. INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES COMMUNITY FACILITIES AND SERVICES HOUSING Housing is a problem in many of our counties. Coke and Concho Counties have had a need for moderately priced homes for the past few years due to the development of detention centers and Sterling County due to influx of personnel from the Wind Energy segment.  Housing also is needed in all of the remaining counties due to lack of homes that meet basic standards. Many vacant homes throughout the area are in need of major repairs or replacement. San Angelo and Tom Green County is experiencing an expansion in the amount of multiple resident housing. Most of this housing is targeted at the retired or those approaching retirement. Some of these units provide assisted living. Some of the cities and counties are beginning to address housing needs through several actions. Cities such as Melvin are passing new ordinances concerning substandard housing. Cities throughout the district are involved with code enforcement to assure safe adequate housing. HOME funding is being used in several cities and counties to fund housing improvement. The Concho Valley Council of Governments has developed a Housing Finance Corporation to provide assistance to low to moderate income families in purchasing their first home. This program is available throughout the district. Programs are available for low interest loans and down payment assistance. Housing is a need that must be addressed for the future growth in the district and in some cases may be the single most pressing need that is inhibiting growth.  CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT Each city of the district has a central business district with problems. These areas must be addressed in a way to revitalize them. Concerns are for renovation of buildings, streets, water, sewer, electrical, etc. Some of the communities have attempted to help the central business district through programs to encourage development.