Milking The Economy

Milking The Economy

City incentives are paying off for one local business. Lone Star Milk Transport reached new employment growth and retention goals Wednesday, a month before expected.

In November 2014, the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce and city council approved an incentive package that would relocate the business to Wichita Falls and require them to keep a minimum of 49 employees.

The company has been given $301,636 in incentives for cash for jobs, which has allowed the company to continue to grow and hire 55 full-time employees.

This is one of the many times incentive packages have proven both effective and essential to bringing and keeping businesses in Wichita Falls, according to officials with the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce.

 “What we've done, is we've helped save the economic impact of the company being in the region,” said President of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce Henry Florshiem.  “We've helped them grow because now they are right in the middle of their workforce base so they are able to add more employees than ever before.”

Lone Star Milk Transport is a family owned business that started in 1996. The business first started with just one truck, and has now grown to a fleet of 200.

Back in 2014, when the business was looking to expand and move operations from Windthorst commerce officials said they had to act fast in order to keep the business local.

“Economies don't stop at a line on a map,” said Florshiem. “Where they were in Windthorst we were still receiving some economic impact because of the money they would spend and the people that were employed there, but then they started looking for another location much further away.”

 While considering a move to the DFW area business officials said it was cash for jobs incentive that helped make their decision, to move to Wichita Falls, a reality.

 “It just really made it possible for us to move and not suffer an y big losses,” said Felice Baird, Owner of Lone Star Milk Transport.

After making the decision to move to Wichita Falls the business has been able to grow even faster, according to Baird.

“The main difference is in our drivers,” said Baird. “We've been able to hire more drivers here in Wichita Falls.”

With the work crew hard at work, one employee said they don't plan on slowing down.

 “We’ll just continue down the same path we’re going down and double what we’re doing and continue to have a safe record and a good prosperous future,” said Safety Director at Lone Star Milk Transport Brad Darnall.

Lone Star Milk Transport was also holding orientation Wednesday. They hold training days every two weeks.

They've been able to hire 40 to 50 new drivers just in the past eight to nine months, according to officials. The business has two other locations in Lubbock and in Hereford.

 The company works with more than 250 different farms and serves areas in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia and Florida.

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6