A Closer Look

Sitting atop the state, the 26 counties of the Panhandle are rising to the top is other ways as well, with fast-growing leadership in wind energy, for example, adding to a robust portfolio in petroleum production. The Panhandle is also home to the spectacular Palo Duro Canyon.

Counties:
Dallam, Sherman, Hansford, Ochiltree, Lipscomb, Hartley, Moore, Hutchinson, Roberts, Hemphill, Oldham, Potter, Carson Gray, Wheeler, Deaf Smith, Randall, Amarillo.

High Ground cities with populations greater than 10,000:
Amarillo, Borger, Dumas, Hereford, Pampa

City Highlight: Amarillo

Population: 199,924

Once known as the Helium Capital of the World, Amarillo just kept rising even after the helium fields played out. Today, the city’s range of industry is impressive, from meat packing to assembly and dismantlement of nuclear weapons. This is a city that works hard but has a great sense of fun, home of the Cadillac Ranch, a top attraction on historic Route 66.

Transportation

  • Highway: I-40 (also on Route 66)
  • Rail: BNSF and Union Pacific-Southern
  • Air: Rick Husband International Airport, named “Airport of the Year” by the TSA, offering one of the longest runways in the nation, capable of accommodating a space shuttle landing.

Education
Amarillo College, Texas Tech Veterinary School, Texas Tech School of Pharmacy, Wesr Texas A&M

Leading Employers

  • Ben E Keith, a leading food distributor with a record of service over a century.
  • AmeriCold, a logistics company providing one of the nation’s most comprehensive temperature-controlled storage and distributions networks.
  • Owens Corning, the company’s largest North America glass reinforcement facility.
  • Bell Textron, leading American aerospace manufacturer producing military rotorcraft.
  • Pantex, the nation’s primary facility for the final assembly, dismantlement and maintenance of nuclear weapons.

Extending just below the Panhandle, the South Plains region is rich in natural resources making it a powerhouse in energy and agricultural sectors. But the South Plains doesn’t just grow crops—it grows knowledge at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, at South Plains College in Levelland and at Wayland College in Plainview.

Sector strengths:
Technology; Agriculture; Energy; Financial Services; Healthcare/Bioscience; Education; Tourism

Counties:
Baily, Lamb, Hale, Floyd, Motley, Cottle, Cochran, Hockley, Lubbock, Crosby, Dickens, King, Terry, Lynn, Garza, Dawson

High Ground cities with populations greater than 10,000:
Plainview, Levelland, Lubbock

City Highlight: Lubbock

Population: 255,885 

Known as the “hub city,” Lubbock is the place where people, ideas and industry converge, as home to Texas Tech, next-generation industry, oil exploration companies and a vibrant arts scene in the birthplace of Buddy Holly. With a young average age of 30 and a projected growth of 6.2% through 2024, Lubbock is poised for even greater success ahead.

Transportation

  • Highway: I-27
  • Air: Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport

Education
Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences, Covenant Schools of Nursing and Allied Health, Lubbock Christian University

Leading Employers

  • Texas Tech University, a Carnegie R-1 research university with an enrollment of more than 40,000 students.
  • XFAB, manufacturer of CMOS and special SOI and MEMS long lifetime processes for automotive, industrial and medical applications.
  • Bayer CropScience Seeds Innovation Center; operated in conjunction with Texas Tech, the center hosts Bayer’s global cotton business operation as well as state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities.
  • Delek, a downstream energy company operating a retail facility in Lubbock and a refinery in Big Spring.
  • Sysco, a global leader in selling, marketing and distribution of food and non-food products to multiple markets.

The number one oil producer in the U.S., the Permian Basin is also taking flight as a hub for aerospace manufacturing, with both the engineering workforce and aerospace infrastructure for sky-high performance.

Sector strengths:
Aerospace/aviation; energy; warehouse/distribution; medical; manufacturing; technology

Counties:
Yoakum, Gaines, Andrews, Martin, Howard, Mitchell, Winkler, Ector, Ward, Crane, Midland, Upton, Reagan, Glasscock

High Ground cities with populations greater than 10,000:
Andrews, Big Spring, Odessa, Midland

City Highlight: Midland

Population: 135,134 (5th fastest growing city in the U.S.)

Located just 25 minutes from Odessa in the heart of the Permian Basin, Midland is fast-growing for many reasons, not only in the production of oil, but also in the production of great business and personal opportunity. In this knowledge-intensive city (which has nearly twice the national average of engineers in the workforce) personal income is the second highest in the U.S., and it seems the sky is really the limit in the home of an international air and space port.

Transportation

  • Highway: 1-20
  • Air: Midland International Airport; Midland International Air & Space Port

Education
Midland College, which is also home to the physician assistant training program of Texas Tech.

Leading Employers

  • Diamondback, an independent oil and gas company.
  • Apache Corporation, oil and gas exploration
  • Baker-Hughes, oilfield service company

 

City Highlight: Odessa

Population: 123,163

Located in the heart of the Permian Basin, Odessa is a globally leading oil field technology center. While major players in the oil industry are flourishing here thanks to natural resources, the former home of Barbara, George H.W. and George Bush also has a winning way of welcoming all residents.  As former Northeasterner George H.W. Bush noted, “At Odessa, we became Texans and proud of it.”

Transportation

  • Highway: I-20; U.S. Highway 385
  • Rail: Union Pacific
  • Air: Midland International Airport

Education
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (home to the Small Business Development Center) and Odessa College.

Leading employers

  • Haliburton, providing products and services for the oilfield industry.
  • Champion X/Chemical Technologies, providing products and services for oilfield operations.
  • Medical Center Health Systems, a 402-bed hospital providing satellite services and clinics across the area.

As the name evokes, Big Country is the place for pioneers. Some of them are celebrated in Abilene’s Frontier Texas!, the museum and visitors center for the historic Texas Forts Trail. The high-flying pioneers of WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) were the first women to fly U.S. military aircraft; their exhilarating history is celebrated in Sweetwater, where they trained, now home of the National WASP WWII Museum.

Sector strengths:
Oil/gas; wind; health care; education; manufacturing, aviation/aerospace

Counties:
Borden, Stonewall, Kent, Scurry, Fisher, Nolan, Coke, Taylor, Sterling, Irion, Tom Green 

High Ground cities with populations greater than 10,000:
Snyder, Sweetwater, Abilene

City Highlight: Abilene

Population: 122,999

Located in the Permian Basin, Abilene has a rich archetypal Texas history in cattle and oil production and as the home to Dyess Air Force Base. Today the city’s growth is booming across multiple sectors including manufacturing and food processing. And the growth isn’t just multi-sectored: in this multitalented city, exciting rodeos share top billing with culturally significant museums.

Transportation

  • Highway: I-20; U.S. Highways 83, 84 and 277
  • Rail: Union Pacific and Southern Switching Company
  • Air: Abilene Regional Airport, offering 16 daily commercial flights to Dallas/Fort Worth

Education
Three private universities, including McMurray University, Abilene Christian University and Hardin-Simmons University; Texas State Technical College and Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.

Leading employers

  • Dyess Air Force Base, employing more than 5,000 people and adding more than 13,000 military and civilians to the workforce.
  • Tigé Boats, operating the world’s most advanced inboard manufacturing facility
  • Hendrick Medical Center, a non-profit system recently expanded with the purchase of the for-profit Abilene Regional Medical Center, renamed Hendrick Medical Center South.
  • Abimar Foods, makers of Lil’ Dutch Maid, Sun Valley and Tru-Blu brand cookies.

PANHANDLE:

Sitting atop the state, the 26 counties of the Panhandle are rising to the top is other ways as well, with fast-growing leadership in wind energy, for example, adding to a robust portfolio in petroleum production. The Panhandle is also home to the spectacular Palo Duro Canyon.

Counties:
Dallam, Sherman, Hansford, Ochiltree, Lipscomb, Hartley, Moore, Hutchinson, Roberts, Hemphill, Oldham, Potter, Carson Gray, Wheeler, Deaf Smith, Randall, Amarillo.

High Ground cities with populations greater than 10,000:
Amarillo, Borger, Dumas, Hereford, Pampa

City Highlight: Amarillo

Population: 199,924

Once known as the Helium Capital of the World, Amarillo just kept rising even after the helium fields played out. Today, the city’s range of industry is impressive, from meat packing to assembly and dismantlement of nuclear weapons. This is a city that works hard but has a great sense of fun, home of the Cadillac Ranch, a top attraction on historic Route 66.

Transportation

  • Highway: I-40 (also on Route 66)
  • Rail: BNSF and Union Pacific-Southern
  • Air: Rick Husband International Airport, named “Airport of the Year” by the TSA, offering one of the longest runways in the nation, capable of accommodating a space shuttle landing.

Education
Amarillo College, Texas Tech Veterinary School, Texas Tech School of Pharmacy, Wesr Texas A&M

Leading Employers

  • Ben E Keith, a leading food distributor with a record of service over a century.
  • AmeriCold, a logistics company providing one of the nation’s most comprehensive temperature-controlled storage and distributions networks.
  • Owens Corning, the company’s largest North America glass reinforcement facility.
  • Bell Textron, leading American aerospace manufacturer producing military rotorcraft.
  • Pantex, the nation’s primary facility for the final assembly, dismantlement and maintenance of nuclear weapons.

SOUTH PLAINS:

Extending just below the Panhandle, the South Plains region is rich in natural resources making it a powerhouse in energy and agricultural sectors. But the South Plains doesn’t just grow crops—it grows knowledge at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, at South Plains College in Levelland and at Wayland College in Plainview.

Sector strengths:
Technology; Agriculture; Energy; Financial Services; Healthcare/Bioscience; Education; Tourism

Counties:
Baily, Lamb, Hale, Floyd, Motley, Cottle, Cochran, Hockley, Lubbock, Crosby, Dickens, King, Terry, Lynn, Garza, Dawson

High Ground cities with populations greater than 10,000:
Plainview, Levelland, Lubbock

City Highlight: Lubbock

Population: 255,885 

Known as the “hub city,” Lubbock is the place where people, ideas and industry converge, as home to Texas Tech, next-generation industry, oil exploration companies and a vibrant arts scene in the birthplace of Buddy Holly. With a young average age of 30 and a projected growth of 6.2% through 2024, Lubbock is poised for even greater success ahead.

Transportation

  • Highway: I-27
  • Air: Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport

Education
Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences, Covenant Schools of Nursing and Allied Health, Lubbock Christian University

Leading Employers

  • Texas Tech University, a Carnegie R-1 research university with an enrollment of more than 40,000 students.
  • XFAB, manufacturer of CMOS and special SOI and MEMS long lifetime processes for automotive, industrial and medical applications.
  • Bayer CropScience Seeds Innovation Center; operated in conjunction with Texas Tech, the center hosts Bayer’s global cotton business operation as well as state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities.
  • Delek, a downstream energy company operating a retail facility in Lubbock and a refinery in Big Spring.
  • Sysco, a global leader in selling, marketing and distribution of food and non-food products to multiple markets.

PERMIAN BASIN:

The number one oil producer in the U.S., the Permian Basin is also taking flight as a hub for aerospace manufacturing, with both the engineering workforce and aerospace infrastructure for sky-high performance.

Sector strengths:
Aerospace/aviation; energy; warehouse/distribution; medical; manufacturing; technology

Counties:
Yoakum, Gaines, Andrews, Martin, Howard, Mitchell, Winkler, Ector, Ward, Crane, Midland, Upton, Reagan, Glasscock

High Ground cities with populations greater than 10,000:
Andrews, Big Spring, Odessa, Midland

City Highlight: Midland

Population: 135,134 (5th fastest growing city in the U.S.)

Located just 25 minutes from Odessa in the heart of the Permian Basin, Midland is fast-growing for many reasons, not only in the production of oil, but also in the production of great business and personal opportunity. In this knowledge-intensive city (which has nearly twice the national average of engineers in the workforce) personal income is the second highest in the U.S., and it seems the sky is really the limit in the home of an international air and space port.

Transportation

  • Highway: 1-20
  • Air: Midland International Airport; Midland International Air & Space Port

Education
Midland College, which is also home to the physician assistant training program of Texas Tech.

Leading Employers

  • Diamondback, an independent oil and gas company.
  • Apache Corporation, oil and gas exploration
  • Baker-Hughes, oilfield service company

 

City Highlight: Odessa

Population: 123,163

Located in the heart of the Permian Basin, Odessa is a globally leading oil field technology center. While major players in the oil industry are flourishing here thanks to natural resources, the former home of Barbara, George H.W. and George Bush also has a winning way of welcoming all residents.  As former Northeasterner George H.W. Bush noted, “At Odessa, we became Texans and proud of it.”

Transportation

  • Highway: I-20; U.S. Highway 385
  • Rail: Union Pacific
  • Air: Midland International Airport

Education
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (home to the Small Business Development Center) and Odessa College.

Leading employers

  • Haliburton, providing products and services for the oilfield industry.
  • Champion X/Chemical Technologies, providing products and services for oilfield operations.
  • Medical Center Health Systems, a 402-bed hospital providing satellite services and clinics across the area.

BIG COUNTRY:

As the name evokes, Big Country is the place for pioneers. Some of them are celebrated in Abilene’s Frontier Texas!, the museum and visitors center for the historic Texas Forts Trail. The high-flying pioneers of WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) were the first women to fly U.S. military aircraft; their exhilarating history is celebrated in Sweetwater, where they trained, now home of the National WASP WWII Museum.

Sector strengths:
Oil/gas; wind; health care; education; manufacturing, aviation/aerospace

Counties:
Borden, Stonewall, Kent, Scurry, Fisher, Nolan, Coke, Taylor, Sterling, Irion, Tom Green 

High Ground cities with populations greater than 10,000:
Snyder, Sweetwater, Abilene

City Highlight: Abilene

Population: 122,999

Located in the Permian Basin, Abilene has a rich archetypal Texas history in cattle and oil production and as the home to Dyess Air Force Base. Today the city’s growth is booming across multiple sectors including manufacturing and food processing. And the growth isn’t just multi-sectored: in this multitalented city, exciting rodeos share top billing with culturally significant museums.

Transportation

  • Highway: I-20; U.S. Highways 83, 84 and 277
  • Rail: Union Pacific and Southern Switching Company
  • Air: Abilene Regional Airport, offering 16 daily commercial flights to Dallas/Fort Worth

Education
Three private universities, including McMurray University, Abilene Christian University and Hardin-Simmons University; Texas State Technical College and Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.

Leading employers

  • Dyess Air Force Base, employing more than 5,000 people and adding more than 13,000 military and civilians to the workforce.
  • Tigé Boats, operating the world’s most advanced inboard manufacturing facility
  • Hendrick Medical Center, a non-profit system recently expanded with the purchase of the for-profit Abilene Regional Medical Center, renamed Hendrick Medical Center South.
  • Abimar Foods, makers of Lil’ Dutch Maid, Sun Valley and Tru-Blu brand cookies.


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