AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials from the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that this week serves as the 2022 Economic Development Week throughout the state.

According to the release from Abbott’s office, this week aims to help recognize the role local, regional and statewide economic development teams have in job creation, business expansion as well as business retention throughout the state. Officials said that Texas has been named the Best State for Business 18 years in a row and the state has received the Governor’s Cup for the most job-creating corporate relocation and expansion projects for the last 10 years.

“The Texas economy is the economic engine of America, and we take pride in our diverse, highly skilled workforce and the endless business opportunities that exist right here in the Lone Star State,” Abbott said in the release. “These economic achievements would not be possible without the many economic development organizations across the state that are committed to creating jobs, spurring innovation, and investing in our great communities. Our state and our economy continue to reach new heights thanks to your efforts. It is clear that the Lone Star State is the best state for business, and by working together, we will continue to keep Texas the best state to live, to work and to raise a family.”

President and CEO of the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation Kevin Carter said it’s an exciting time and there is a lot happening in the city when it comes to economic development.

“That’s what we want. We want businesses that know how great it is in Amarillo and how great it is to do business in Amarillo for them to expand, it’s huge. But people like the new shining penny as well. We will have a couple of new announcements as well in the next couple of months,” said Carter.

He said whether that’s new projects on the horizon or expansion of old businesses already located in the city, this is showing the state of Texas, Amarillo is a place to be.

Carter added one thing he wants people to take away from the Economic Development Corporation and projects coming to the city is that everyone is united.

“We have everyone working on the same page together. Whether that’s the city, the county, Amarillo College, all of our school districts. We are working really well, also with Amarillo College, we have a unique symmetry going on right now or synergy of all those organizations working together for one common goal to grow our workforce and to grow the tax base here,” said Carter.

Carter added the number one goal right now for the AEDC is to retain a local workforce.

“That is going to start with what ISDs are doing with their technical education programs, with what AISD has done with AmTech, that’s huge. And growing our workforce from within, those folks already know what Amarillo is like and if we can retain that workforce, it’s going to be huge,” said Carter.

Carter said another big game-changer for the city of Amarillo is I-40 and I-27 as it allows people to stop into the city to shop and eat.

“Having I-27 is important, but having I-40 is just so important as it is that big east-west highway from North Carolina to California, with us being right there in the middle. One of the slogans we use is ‘we are in the middle of everywhere,’ and that is,” said Carter.

Abbott also said in the proclamation that the 2022 Economic Development Week also helps recognize individuals who want to help grow the state’s economic impact.

“At this time, I encourage all Texans to actively support local businesses and recognize the crucial role they play in improving the quality of life in communities across the state,” the proclamation reads. “Together, we will continue to build a better and more prosperous future for all Texans.”

Carter also provided an update on the projects of Amazon and Cacique that are coming to Amarillo and where they stand. Saying Amazon’s first day of operation is on May 11th and they are continuing to hire and he said Cacique is still on time for a late fourth-quarter opening such as mid-November or early December.