Economic Development Orange County TX

Jessica Hill Orange County EDC

Jessica Hill Orange County EDC

Economic Development Orange County TX – Interview with Jessica Hill, Executive Director of the Orange County EDC.

Orange County is actively working to foster economic growth in their region.

Jessica Hill began the interview by discussing the way Orange is set up to be an excellent partner for its neighbors, Jefferson County, and Southwest Louisiana, “Orange County does not have any refineries – what we do have is Chemical Row, with a strong base of companies that make chemicals and plastics many using petroleum products that are refined by our neighbors. We are not in competition with Jefferson County or Southwest Louisiana – rather, we are ideal growth partners for our neighbors”.

Growth through cooperation, rather than competition.

The Orange County EDC reaches out to companies who would benefit fromthe region’s unique infrastructure. Companies can find bimodal and multimodal tracks of land allowing them access to any combination of the I-10 corridor, the Sabine Neches Waterway (and Port of Orange), and the rail system. For many companies, the transportation options combined with being right in the middle between the hot industrial projects in the Jefferson County / Baytown / East Houston / and Southwest Louisiana is ideal.

The EDC has had success in attracting businesses due to these factors. Hallwood Modular Buildings recently relocated their operation from Shreveport to Orange County. The company manufactures blast resistant buildings for industrial and petrochemical facilities. They were selling a lot of buildings to facilities in Pasadena, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sulfur, and Lake Charles. It made strong financial sense for them to make a move to Orange which is right in between two very hot markets for their blast proof modular buildings.


The Orange County EDC is working with the community to get input on what they would like to see in terms of commercial and industrial development in Orange County. High on the list for the public is a new hospital, perhaps a “boutique” hospital with about 25 beds. A hospital like that would give local overnight care to mothers having babies and others who would benefit from not having to drive to Beaumont or Houston for medical care.

image courtesy of Internet Medicine Digital Healthcare

Orange is a community that is heavily weighted towards an aging population. This provides two great opportunities – one for those who serve senior citizens and one for companies that can assist the community in retaining young workers.

  1. The community is ideal for new skilled nursing facilities, senior apartments, and other senior housing options.
  2. The community is interested in minimizing loss of young adults by keeping more of their graduating students employed in the community. They will be aggressive in attracting companies that can put local young people to work in good paying, career path jobs.


Are you a growing company that develops senior housing, skilled nursing facilities, or that provides in home care (home care, home health, hospice)? The Orange County EDC would love to assist you in expanding into Orange County.

Are you a company with higher paying jobs for young adults? Lamar State College Orange and local highschools can partner with you to ensure their graduates are trained for your exact skill set.

The Orange County community is proactively addressing ways to keep young adults engaged in the community. Lamar State College Orange has several programs that can provide higher paying jobs within Orange County. For many students, the certificates and degrees available in Lamar Orange’s process operator and industrial technology programs are ideal – they can offer starting salaries in the $35,000 to $55,000. Lamar Orange also has a strong nursing program which is another profession that can give young adults higher paying jobs without leaving the community.

The newest program to assist in filling the need to provide valuable job skills to young adults in Orange County is the Lamar State College Maritime Program.


The project is being spearheaded by Captain Michael Miller. Captain Miller has taught at Texas A&M Galveston and he set up the Maritime Program at TCU. There are very high paying jobs available locally on tugboats, pilot boats, rig runners, and other commercial vessels. Many of the experienced crewmen are retiring and there have not been enough qualified new recruits to replace them. Lamar Orange’s program will help people receive their Merchant Marine Credentials, which will provide entry into the profession. The program will also assist experienced sailors by providing a local resource for continuing education and certification renewal for skills like radar – the program will have a state of the art radar simulator. The maritime program will also have a full mission bridge simulator that can be used in training and can actually generate revenue for the program by renting the facility to the Coast Guard, oil companies, or other maritime companies who are reviewing how accidents happened. The program will evolve to assist sailors in reaching higher level certifications including pilot licenses and captain’s licenses. One of the most exciting aspects of the program is that it is capable of partnering with local maritime companies to give them the real world training they need. For example, if your company has five tugboats, the Lamar Orange Maritime program can provide you with entry level employees who have recently received their Merchant Mariner’s Credentials, assist your experienced sailors with keeping their certifications up to date, and can help you develop talent internally to replace retiring pilots or captains.


For more information about the Lamar State College Orange Maritime program, contact:

  • Captain Michael Milleredclogo
  • Office Phone: (409) 882-3032
  • Cell Phone: (979) 299-4623

A plan for providing a steady influx of skilled workers into the Orange County economy is on track.

For additional information about doing business in Orange County, please contact:

  • Jessica Hill
  • Executive Director, Orange County Economic Development Corporation
  • (409) 883-7770

The Orange County EDC often partners with The City of Orange and the other cities that make up Orange County on local economic development initiatives. They also work closely with The Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce and Lamar State College Orange.

We hope you have enjoyed today’s feature, Economic Development Orange County TX – Interview with Jessica Hill, Executive Director of the Orange County EDC.


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