Cures...and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

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Government and non-government jobs will have big impacts on our economy.

In the coming years, Research Park will be the place deadly diseases are cured. It's also the place jobs will be created...lots of them.

"This is, by far, the biggest announcement that Brazos County and our seven county region has experienced as far as a one-time growth," said Tom Wilkinson with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments.

The Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine was announced July 16 in Houston. Half of TIGM will call the Bayou City home, while College Station will be home to estimates of 2,000 jobs which fall under the government heading. Currently in the Twin Cities, upwards of 40 percent of jobs are governmental.

"The larger job creators are government-related somehow," said Royce Hickman with the local Chamber of Commerce. "They're the university. They're the school districts, the cities and so forth."

"When it's a private industry coming in and they build a building, it goes on the tax rolls and supports the cities and the county and the school district tax rate because that's how we pay for those things is with those types of property taxes. A government, if they need to build a building, it doesn't go on the tax rolls. So you lose that income to those entities."

But Hickman notes an upside to government jobs. "When economy turns south, it's entities that have a base of government-related jobs that tend to fare a little bit better, and certainly after 9/11, our community fared better than others."

But what lies in the future for this region as a result of TIGM is the possibility of spinoff, non-government industries calling the region home.

"We've had estimates on the ultimate job creation from this project that, on the low side, 31,000 jobs total, up to numbers that would stagger you, into six figures," Hickman said.

And while those jobs would not all come to College Station, just a fraction of them could pump millions into the region.

In the next two years, a facility for the entire institute will be built. In the meantime portions of TIGM will be housed in some of the Research Park facilities.