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Modular building manufacturer expands into Central Texas

Z Modular, a division of Zekelman Industries, which manufactures steel-framed building modules is expanding into Central Texas, bringing 250 jobs to the area.

The company has purchased a 230,000-square-foot building at 710 Swanner Loop in the Killeen Industrial Park.

Full Story | Story Credit: KWTX

Retail Leakage Analysis Shows a Gain in Local Sales

Every two years the economic development division of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce commissions a report that shows retail leakage. The purpose of the report is to analyze the types of products and services that are being purchased outside of our retail trade area (see map). The report covers 14 major retail categories that range from food to auto sales, and the results are shared with retailers and brokers to influence their site location decisions towards this market.

Full Story

Demographic Study

RKG Associates, the firm hired by the 14 Forward Foundation to conduct an economic analysis of the City of Killeen and the KISD service area, was in town in early August to conduct interviews and perform field work. Their study is expected to be completed this fall and will be made available to 14 Forward investors before the general public.
Texas A&M University-Central Texas Update

14 Forward staff and board members and TAMUCT and Workforce Solutions of Central Texas staff recently visited Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, AL to learn about park governance and meet with local leaders and park tenants. The provided invaluable information about the role the City of Huntsville, Huntsville Madison County Chamber, University of Alabama Huntsville, Redstone Arsenal and the local community have played in the development of the research park.

The group will visit the University of Central Florida Research Park in Orlando, FL next week. The goal is to help determine best practices and next steps towards the formation of a research park at TAMUCT. A detailed report on both visits will be provided upon completion of the Orlando trip.

Housing Report for Killeen-Temple

Economic News
September MSA jobs decreased from 147,600 to 145,200, according to the latest figures published by the Texas Workforce Commission. This marks a 1.63% year-over-year (YoY) decrease compared with September 2017, a net decrease of 2,400 existing jobs. Over the past five years, the job growth rate has increased at an average annual rate of 2.00%.

In addition, the unemployment rate for September increased to 4.00% from 3.80% in 2017.

View all housing data for September 2018 here

Source: Texas A&M University Real Estate Center

Secretary Mark Esper and the future of the U.S. Army

Broadband – An Economic Imperative

High-speed data transmission may be the most significant innovation of the late 20th century. Its anticipated benefits in telemedicine, education, home-based businesses, military and defense systems
and entertainment are profound. For these reasons and others, the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce’s 14 Forward initiative has placed broadband at the top of its objectives. 

According to national broadband internet rating system BroadbandNow, Killeen’s download speed currently ranks 722nd out of 1,214 Texas municipalities with an average speed of 41.56 Megabytes per second (Mbps) behind Belton, Harker Heights
and Nolanville. Killeen is 16.1% slower than the Texas average of 49.54 Mbps and only 3% faster than the national average. In Bell County, 19,000 people do not have access to 25 Mbps wired broadband. 

Full Story

Texas Bullet Train named top North American infrastructure project

The proposed Texas Bullet Train has been named one of the top North American infrastructure projects by a national infrastructure advocacy group that called the high-speed rail venture a "game changer."

The project will create jobs, spur business growth and provide a reliable transportation option, according to the group, CG/LA, which recognized the train in its Strategic 100 North American Infrastructure Report released last week at a leadership forum in Dallas.

Story & Photo Credit: Bill Hethcock, Dallas Business Journal | Full Story

Caucus formed to push interstate through central Louisiana

Nine congressmen have formed a caucus was formed on Capitol Hill to work on extending Interstate 14 from Texas through central Louisiana and Mississippi, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham announced Monday.

“Expanding I-14 would give many communities throughout central Louisiana with direct interstate access, which will lead to more economic growth,” Abraham said in a press release. He is working with Texas Congressman Brian Babin, R-Woodville.

Story Credit: The Advocate | Full Story

Other Program Updates
Board of Directors Meetings
The 14 Forward Board of Directors met October 23 and approved the FY 18-19 budget. The future meeting schedule is listed below. 
  • January 22, 2019 - Annual Meeting (all investors, more info to follow)
  • April 23, 2019 (Directors only)

14 Forward Presentation

14 Forward board members are available to give presentations about the 14 Forward initiative to area groups. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation for your group, email
Communications Committee Update
The 14 Forward Communications Committee met and has begun work on a series of videos to communicate the 14 Forward program to current and future investors and the public, as well as a video highlighting the talent in our region. The committee is also updating the 14 Forward website with relevant program information and a current investor list.

Be sure to follow 14 Forward on the social media channels listed below!
Copyright © 2018 Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, All rights reserved.

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