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Metal Fabrication in Kilgore

 
Increasingly, companies are taking a long, hard look at the quality and quantity of a workforce in deciding where to do business.  A corner of Texas east of Dallas is quietly outperforming the state in a number of important ways.
 
After healthcare, the largest employment by industry in Kilgore is manufacturing. More than 20% of the workforce is employed in the goods producing sector, and employment is concentrated in four industries: fabricated metal products, primary metals, machinery and chemicals.  A look at occupational strengths shows an advantageous numbers of skilled welders, machinists and production workers as well as machine operators.
 
‘Kilgore’s history as a major energy center has produced a skill set that transfers well into other metal fabrication applications,’ said Bo Steding, managing partner for DRILLTOOLs, which manufactures machinery for heavy civil construction. 
 
Other companies in Kilgore in the metal fabrication business include General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies that manufactures satellite antennae for the defense industry and Skeeter Products, a division of Yamaha Marine, that manufactures not only upscale fiberglass fishing boats but also the trailers that haul them.
 
The Global Supply Chain Laboratory of Texas A&M University conducted a case study survey to compare local profitability to the top ten companies nationally in the same industries of those employers.
In addition to the stable labor pool, employers cited the following as major reasons Kilgore compares favorably:
  • A geographically advantageous location and accessibility to major traffic arteries.
  • Low cost of utilities, especially electricity.
American Electric Power serves Kilgore with regulated industrial electric rates at an average of 6.5¢/kWh.
  • Local support and partnership with Kilgore EDC and the city of Kilgore.
In addition to direct incentives, Kilgore leaders have adopted several beneficial tax policies such as property tax abatements and a triple Freeport tax exemption on inventory along with sales and use tax refunds and exemptions.