Diversification of the economy is seen as an important area to the continued prosperity of Lubbock. Currently educational, health care, and government institutions dominate the list of Lubbock’s largest employers but these areas are particularly vulnerable.
Together with agriculture
, another key element of the local economy, education, healthcare
, and governmental services
are heavily subsidized, and the US Congress’s mandate to cut spending and reduce budget deficits could mean fewer future subsidies for these important cornerstones of Lubbock’s economy.
Strategic planning efforts by organizations across the city have prevented Lubbock from feeling the same economic pressures most of the United States felt during the recession. Hardest hit during the housing market collapse of 2011, Lubbock’s unemployment rate was over 6% in January of that year—today the city’s unemployment rate is at a very low 3%.
So now, while many parts of the country are fighting to restore economic stability, Lubbock is strengthening its economy
. Lubbock is ideal for businesses as it has a low cost of living, productive workforce, is an ideal transportation location, local and state incentive packages, sustainable industries and economic indicators.
With all things considered, there is no doubt that Lubbock’s greatest strength is its educated, diverse and skilled workforce. West Texans are known for their strong work ethic, innovative processes and entrepreneurial spirit.
And, we grow our own. The Lubbock labor pool is refreshed annually with 10,000 college graduates. More than 53,000 college students are currently enrolled in higher education institutions in Lubbock. Approximately 30% of area residents over 25 years of age have a college degree or higher.
Working with the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance
, Imagine Lubbock Together is encouraging trade and industry within the city.
Partially modeled after Imagine Lubbock Together’s vision for economic development, LEDA created a strategic plan around the goals the community set out in the early stages of the ILT process.
Imagine Lubbock Together will continue to encourage economic development and support LEDA’s efforts to complete priority projects, including:
- Launch a talent management system on the national stage
- Enhance Lubbock’s economic development program to prioritize the development, retention, and attraction of talent in the same way that business development has been emphasized. LEDA should leverage the reach of the components of the Texas Tech University System along with individual and business relationships throughout the country to showcase opportunities in Lubbock.
- Attract major R&D catalyst projects leveraging the components of the Texas Tech University System with city and business leadership
- Business and community leaders should work closely with the components of the Texas Tech University System to identify and pursue significant publicly and privately funded R&D projects that will draw in talent, capital, and technology to the city
- Advance Lubbock as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship
- Partner with the components of the Texas Tech University System to play an active role in the ongoing development of the Three Day Start Up Weekends, Double Time, the Accelerator, and the Research and Technology Park, and prioritize other efforts to strengthen Lubbock’s entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem.
- Establish a community college campus in Lubbock
- Create a community college campus in an under served area of Lubbock to support the growth plans of each of Lubbock’s universities, offer more educational opportunities for local residents, and provide local employers with a strong pipeline of talent.