Texas A&M University-Kingsville

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Statement of Purpose

Local economic conditions have been the focus of the Economic Forum offered by the College of Business Administration.  The Forum, which brings together business managers, educators, and community leaders, was held in the spring of 2012, 2013 and 2014, and the fall of 2014.  At the first three forums, Dr. Keith Philips, Senior Economic and Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas-San Antonio Branch described national economic conditions.  At the Spring 2014 forum, Mr. Vincent Capell, Kingsville’s City Manager, described how his organization is responding to the reported economic conditions.  At the Fall 2014 Forum, Ms. Barbara Canales, Corpus Christi Port Commissioner, shared information about its rapid expansion making it the fifth largest U.S. port by tonnage.  Regional economic conditions have been presented by Tom Krueger, Texas A&M University-Kingsville College of Business Administration Professor of Finance. Kleberg Bank has provided funding for this project.  

In 2012, Kleberg County’s economic conditions were compared to that of two adjacent counties, Brooks County and Jim Wells County.  In 2013, Kleberg County’s economic conditions over the past forty years were examined.  In spring 2014, Kleberg County was compared to two Coastal Bend counties with similar populations, Aransas County and Bee County.  At the recent Fall 2014 forum, an analysis of the impact of oil and natural gas production in the closest county with drilling (Live Oak County), was compared to Kleberg County and the adjacent Jim Wells County.

A highlight of the presentations is the sharing of results from a survey of forum participants, local residents (conducted by the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity), and Texas A&M-Kingsville students.  One finding of the most recent survey was that although each group felt that the local community, local government, and university were supportive of business, there are distinctly different opinions regarding the future.  Forum participants are more confident regarding the U.S., local, and their personal fortunes, while local residents are much more pessimistic. Student attitudes fall between these opposing views.  Despite low inflation and unemployment rates, unemployment is the fifth highest concern among local residents, with border security being the third highest concern.  All groups listed public education as either their top or second-highest concern with health care being in the top three.  However, when it comes to spending additional dollars from external sources, all three surveyed groups ranked street maintenance as their first priority.  Consistent with their leading concern, however, public education did get over 10 percent of the new funds from each group.  Although Live Oak County is not adjacent to Kleberg County, the survey found that many perceive drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale region to be influential to the Kleberg County economy, with the greatest impact on automobile dealerships, banks, and hotels. 

Specific goals of this project include:

  • Support business owners in their decisions by gathering key indicators of local economic vitality. 
  • Identify trends in order to ascertain the current situation in the dynamic nature of the economic condition. 
  • Develop specific economic indicators for the region that are not readily available to decision makers. 
  • Act as a storehouse of these fundamental and trend insights. 
  • Develop tools to assess Kleberg County’s economic progress.  At the outset baseline measures are being developed that will allow comparison with other regions and measure future economic growth of the economy. 
  • Bring academic and government professionals together with business owners for discussion about the local economy and related critical issues. 
  • Create a business recruitment and retention tool by publishing this information. 

By knowing one’s current economic condition, it is possible to gain an understanding regarding what that person's future may hold.  A copy of the booklets distributed at each Economic Forum can be identified by clicking on the respective link. 

Download the 2012 report.

Download the 2013 report.

Download the 2014 report.

Download the Fall 2014 report.

The links below provide access to some of the publicity regarding the event.

Forum touches on economic outlook

Dr. Thomas Krueger, CBA Professor, talks to KIII TV from the Economic Forum

Forum highlights Kleberg County's economic outlook

TAMUK Hosts Second Annual Economic Forum

Economic Forum brings local information to area residents

This page was last updated on: November 14, 2014