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Why Hire a Veteran?




With 500-1,000 Soldiers exiting the military from Fort Hood and entering the civilian workforce each month, Killeen is home to an abundance of talent. These men and women are equipped with a wealth of skills and experience that makes them highly sought after by employers in a variety of industries. Killeen is a prime location for businesses looking for quality talent. To learn more about the skills vets are bringing to the workforce and why employers are hiring them, watch the video above.

Local Updates

Killeen, Texas Business Park Opportunity



 
The Killeen Economic Development Corporation currently has a vacant building with office and warehouse space in the Killeen Business Park. Click here for more information about the facility, or contact Phyllis Gogue, phyllis@killeenchamber.com or 254.526.9551.

Killeen Among Best Cities for Millennial Veteran Home Buyers

 

A new study from the United States' largest VA lender finds that Killeen is among the top 30 cities in our nation for millennial veterans looking to settle down.

Chris Birk with Veterans United Home Loans shared the results earlier this month. Killeen ranked 11th overall in terms of VA purchase loan growth over the past three years, as well as average purchase price. In fact, Killeen-Fort Hood had the lowest average purchase price in the U.S.

The only Texas city to outrank us was San Antonio, which came in at 3rd.


Full Story | Story Credit: Aaron Savage, KTEM

Bandwidth infrastructure improving for some Killeen businesses, residents

 

 
A privately funded initiative to improve the economic infrastructure of Killeen revamped the local internet system allowing for faster speeds for businesses and many residents.

In one year, improvements made possible by the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce’s 14 Forward campaign have elevated Killeen’s download speed to 624th from 722nd place, according to Bandwidth Now, a national bandwidth Internet rating system.
 
Story & Photo Credit: Jacob Brooks, Killeen Daily Herald | Full Story

State Updates

Texas best state to start a business


Texas is 2019's best state in which to start a business, according to WalletHub.

​The Lone Star State was first in business environment and 11th in ​access to resources. It also ranked:​
  • fourth in longest ​average length​ of work week in hours;
  • fourth in average growth in number of small businesses;
  • fifth in highest total spending on incentives as a percentage of gross domestic product;
  • 13th in industry variety;
  • 20th in cost of living; and 
  • 30th in labor costs.
More Info | Story Credit: Texas A&M Real Estate Center RECON

The Economic Forecast for Texas' Small and Mid-Sized Metropolitan Areas

 
Communities across Texas are contributing to economic growth. Although the state’s largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are where the lion’s share of economic activity occurs, most of the smaller population centers are also performing well. For example, the Midland, Amarillo, Lubbock, and Odessa MSAs have been ranking among the lowest unemployment rates in the state. My latest forecast calls for notable growth in each of these important regional centers of business activity. 

Full Story | Story Credit: Dr. M. Ray Perryman, The Perryman Group
 

Texas economy 12th-strongest nationally


The Texas economy ranked 12th nationally on WalletHub's list of the best and worst state economies in 2019.

The Lone Star State ​​was​​ seventh in economic health, tenth in economic activity, and 20th in innovation potential.

According to Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Ali Anari, Texas' economy benefited from higher oil prices, higher growth rate of the U.S. economy, and lower interest rates.

More Info | Story Credit: Texas A&M Real Estate Center RECON

Texas 12th-best state for job hunters

 
According to a WalletHub study, Texas is the 12th-best state in the nation for jobs. ​

The Lone Star State ​took the top spot in monthly average starting salary. It also ranked:
  • 14th in median annual income (adjusted for cost of living);
  • 26th in unemployment;
  • 27th in job opportunities;
  • 28th in employment growth;
  • 33rd in job satisfaction;
  • 37th in average commute time; and 
  • 47th in average workweek length. 
More Info | Story Credit: Texas A&M Real Estate Center RECON

Future of Retail Trade

Local Retail and Business Updates



The success of retail in a community doesn’t always have to be driven by national brand names. Entrepreneurs and small businesses continue to introduce new options for dining, shopping, professional services and programs. Most notably are a few businesses in downtown Killeen.

Strayer University recently celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting. They are located at 218 E. Avenue D. The accredited university, established in 1892, has 10 locations in Texas. Strayer offers over 440 courses, certificate programs, undergrad and graduate degrees. Click here for more information about Strayer University's Downtown Killeen location.

Solix Inc. expanded in downtown Killeen. Their second facility located at 201 E. Avenue D is projected to have 180 jobs within three years. Click here for employment opportunities.

Kay’s Candy Shop is located at 309 N. 8th Street. The sweets found in Kay’s Candy Shop include exclusive flavors, such as chamoy and tamarindo, gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free candies, and other items including Rap Snacks and Kool-Aid Pickles. Upcoming events at Kay’s Candy Shop involve cupcake decorations, bubble painting, and different weekend crafts. Space is also available for birthday parties. Visit Kay’s Candy Shop or call 254-415-1335 for more information. 

Let’s Cook Texas is located on Avenue D and renovations are underway. This type of commercial business will help bring residents and visitors to downtown for a different experience. Learn more about this new business here.

Tyku Bistro & Catering recently reopened in downtown Killeen at 224 E. Avenue D. The bistro is under new management and features comfort food and their Tyku Bistro Signature Lemonade. To view the menu and hours of operation, click here.

For more information about downtown opportunities, contact Deirdre Kirk, City of Killeen Revitalization Planner, at 254-501-7641 or via email at DKirk@killeentexas.gov.

Downtown Killeen

Economic Vitality Through History



Historic downtown of Killeen houses a history that stretches back 137 years ago to 1882 when the Santa Fe Railroad company decided to build track through the area. In 1942 Fort Hood established itself, taking the 780 residents to a population of 1,300 with incoming soldiers. The original residents of Killeen were made to display their strong resiliency during this intense change. With the same characteristic likeness, the historic buildings have shown similar resiliency through harsh weather, fires, everchanging inhabitants, and neglect. Today, many portions of historic downtown buildings still exhibit original architectural features that we vigilantly work to protect. The buildings of this unique area present a reminder of a different way of life and a connection to Killeen’s history.

Fort Hood

New initiatives to cut cost, time for spouses to continue careers

 
The Army recently enacted measures to reduce the financial burden for spouses who wish to continue their professional careers after they move to a new duty station. 

The revised policy allows spouses to be reimbursed up to $500 for qualified relicensing costs that result from a permanent change of station or assignment to a different state.
 
Story Credit: Sean Kimmons, Army News Service | Full Story

Academic credentialing program could boost Soldier retention, says SMA

 
The Army could add to its record retention numbers by providing more incentive for Soldiers to stay on duty, the service's top enlisted leader said Wednesday. 

The Army has been testing a pilot program for academic credentialing at Fort Hood, Texas, and plans to extend the program to several major installations by the end of 2019, said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey. The Army plans to spread the program to all installations in fiscal year 2020. 

Story Credit: Joe Lacdan, U.S. Army| Full Story

Credentialing Assistance Program


As the doors opened at Club Hood July 18, Mike Engen, education services officer with the Fort Hood Soldier Service Center, said he was happy as hundreds of Soldiers flooded into the facility for the Credentialing Assistance Fair. 

“When I saw that first surge of Soldiers, I had goosebumps – this is outstanding,” Engen said about the successful turnout.

Nearly 1,000 Soldiers attended the CA Fair to find out more information about all the credentials currently covered by credentialing assistance – which now covers more than 1,600 different credentials.

Story Credit: Sean Kimmons, Army News Service | Full Story

Army petroleum specialists display pipeline of talent

 
Every year, thousands of men and women raise their right hand and pledge to defend this nation. Though not all these service members stay until retirement, setting them up for success after life in the military is always a priority.

Petroleum specialists from First Army Division West, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, along with the Fort Hood Soldier for Life - Transition Assistance Program, hosted eight petroleum companies from Houston and San Antonio, Texas and other partner cities of Fort Hood June 21.

Story Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin Ringold, DVIDS | Full Story

Economic Indicators

Want more Killeen-area data?
Visit killeenedc.com/data, or contact Phyllis Gogue at 254.526.9551 or phyllis@killeenchamber.com.
Copyright © 2019 Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, All rights reserved.


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