(KTRE) – Aggressive plans to expand high-tech industry in Lufkin get a kick-start. Eighty new jobs are being created with the completion of the Lufkin business park's first tenant along Highway 103 east.
"We manufacture hardware components for the aerospace, military, or nuclear market," said Vice President of business development Wesley Armstrong.
"You'll have up to 80 high paying jobs with full benefits in Lufkin. They are going to be an exporter of their product outside the states. They'll bring a lot of revenue into the community," said Lufkin director of economic development Jim Wehmeier.
Innovative Metal Components is the first tenant setting up shop in the Lufkin business park. Owners are planning for the operation to more than double in size within three years. They'll need space for that. Already I.N.C. is leasing 12 of the park's 160 acres of land.
"I couldn't think of a better business or industry to be the first one here and set the pace for the rest of what will happen here," said Lufkin mayor Jack Gorden.
Director of economic development Jim Wehmeier says there is no hurry.
Four million dollars in federal grant money, along with sales tax revenue is helping to complete the park.
"We don't expect to fill it this year. We don't expect to fill it next year. But we'll have some incredible opportunities to put some quality employers in this park in the future," said Wehmeier.
Wehmeier says he's constantly in talks with other businesses expressing interest.
"The business park's not complete yet and we're opening our first industry. That normally doesn't happen and we're blessed," said Wehmeier.
With a high tech facility leading the way-- it's only a matter of time before new tenants will open their doors.
I.N.C. will start operations in about three weeks. At the same time crews are working on all corners of the site. This includes road repairs, installing park entrances and signs. Wehmeier expects the entire park to be completed by the end of the year.