The Marshall Economic Development Corporation is working towards growing local industry and providing job opportunities for the community.
In December 2019 MEDCO unveiled the completed Gateway Park project, showcasing 45 acres of shovel ready land located conveniently within 1/3 of mile from I-20 on US Hwy 59.
“Businesses want a site that is ready to go. Which means all the infrastructure is in place,” Donna Maisel, MEDCO director said.
The project began in 2009, and was worked on in phases. Maisel said that over the 10 year period there were a number of interested groups that looked at the land, but none would be willing to build there until the property was shovel ready.
“The property was marketed on a national level as a prime location. It became evident after several years that the property was not going to gain serious attention until the terrain issues were addressed. An engineer was hired to come up with a dirt movement plan for the park,” Maisel said.
The project celebrated a ribbon cutting ceremony in 2019.
Gateway Park is not the only piece of property that MEDCO is hoping to make industry ready. Since the completion of the Gateway Park project, Maisel said MEDCO is looking at the Marshall Business Park.
She said that shovel ready land, such as what is available at Gateway Park, is crucial for attracting larger industry based businesses to the area.
“The next focus for development is in the investigative stage for dirt movement in the Marshall Business Park. The park has all the necessary infrastructure available and over 250 acres yet to be developed. The last remaining challenge has to do with the elevations of those acres,” Maisel said.
Similarly to the Gateway Park Project, issues with the elevation of the land at the Marshall Business Park is the main aspect of the park that has prevented larger industry from moving onto the property.
Maisel said the group plans to seek approval in a few months to address this problem.
“Marshall EDC focuses on the recruitment of business and industries in manufacturing, fabrication, natural gas industry, distribution and high tech. Both parks, Gateway Business Park and the Marshall Business Park are well suited for all the areas excluding high tech,” Maisel said.
However, the Center for Applied Technology on Texas State Technical College was created in 1999 specifically for the tech industry, and Maisel said that one of MEDCO’s long term goals was to bring that building back to it’s original use.
“While the center is currently used as a hybrid of office space and business incubation, Marshall Economic Development Corporation is actively recruiting high tech companies in hopes of returning the facility back to its original intent,” Maisel said.
To help create this change improvements have been made to the existing equipment and additional fiber has been added. A second generator was also added for dual redundancy, which Maisel said is a requirement of most high tech companies.
Maisel said that all of these factors play together to create an attractive environment in the Marshall area for new business and industry.
“These businesses are not in competition with our private owners at all. These businesses are industry focused and require much more space,” Maisel said.
She said that bringing more industry to the area allows the whole area to thrive, by bringing in more jobs and encouraging growth in the local economy.
To prepare the Marshall community for the growing job opportunities, MEDCO also focuses on workforce development and training.
“The number one key factor to any new business is available workforce. Having a training institution in Marshall is a strength of the community,” Maisel said.
She said that in the last two years alone a number of workforce training projects have been supported by MEDCO including equipment for the re-opening of the Wiley College radio station, ETBU School of Nursing training equipment at the Marshall Grand, and Diesel Training equipment at TSTC and more.
“What we do is we take this money, and we make sure it stays in the area. It is reinvested back into the community,” Maisel said.