Levelland's Economic Drivers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Live Community Coverage Tour 2003

Levelland's Economic Drivers

Levelland is your typical West Texas town. It's not unusual to see pump jacks in the middle of a neighborhood or cotton fields in a neighboring field. Who would mind if the industries are bringing in millions to a town's economy? A town that was once suffering during the depression era.

Sycily Lattimore would know, she's lived here 72 years.

"I think as agriculture grew into a bigger industry, we saw a change. About that time, the oil development occurred in county. That was helpful because that brought more families in, brought new money, production, technology. It gave us a forward look," said Lattimore.

Ag is the second largest industry Levelland has. Every year, Ag Extension Agent Chris Edens says 250,000 acres of cotton are planted in Hockley county.

"Historically, we've been one of the top producing counties in this area," said Edens.

Edens says it's because of generations of strong ag producers. And today, Edens says Levelland is fortunate cotton crops have continuously done so well.

"It's estimated that ag alone brings in $100 million into the Hockley County economy in one year," said Edens.

But the largest economic driver? Oil and gas. According to Texas Railroad Commission records last year, the oil and gas industry generated $650 million for Hockley County.

And because there's such a strong economic foundation in Levelland, people say it's a reason to move here. If not for the economy, but for the schools. These five teachers will vouch for that.

"To me, it feels like home, and I think it does for those kids. We have kids from all ages and come by at the end of the day, the older kids do, to give us a hug and keep us updated," said Kay Schreier.

From schools to oil and gas to agriculture. One thing is certain. The people who work here call Levelland home. And to them, there's no other place.

"There's a spirit of giving in our community. That is outstanding," said Lattimore.

"I like the area. You can't beat the people here. My wife works at South Plains College. It's just a good lifestyle," said Edens.

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