Levelland's economy is driven by cotton, oil, and peanuts. But city leaders say there's more to the economic growth than just good business, they say Levelland is the perfect place to grow because they've got the small town feel with a big city heart.
Levelland brings a new meaning to the song "buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks." Robbie Blount from the Western Peanut Growers says, "they add a tremendous amount of money to the economy and this area is beginning to produce more peanuts and growing rapidly in production."
The South Plains produces 280,000 tons of peanuts. That's enough to fill 20 warehouses. Bill Rogers from Levelland's bi-point plant says, "by having a peanut handling plant in Levelland which is the first in Levelland, we're able to provide some jobs to the local economy."
Levelland's economic director and peanut lover, David Quinn says Levelland's economy has done a 360 in the last five years. "The oil economy is up, we had a good year in agriculture. People realize there's something happening and they want to be a part of it."
And it's thanks to oil, cotton, and peanut industries that keep money coming into Levelland, but community members tell us it's the people that are the driving force behind the economy.
John Hartin, a musician and business owner in the city even has a theme song for Levelland..."well, you see a smile on every face cause you're living in the greatest place, living in Levelland and loving it." Hartin's music store has been in business nearly five years and John says. "the main thing is we like the small town atmosphere, we like to know our customers, we think we can get better service."
David Quinn adds, "everyone says they see a brighter future for Levelland, we worked hard to capture opportunity to search out opportunity and once we find one, we take advantage."
Opportunity knocked at Tony Malouf's door 34 years ago, and has continued to knock to this day. He says, "it's on the move, that's why they call it lively Levelland." Lively Levelland is moving forward, and whether its through nuts, guitars or cowboy hats, this is one town that's going places. Quinn says, "they want to be in a place that's bigger than themselves, and that's what we're offering."
Levelland has a lot of new growth planned for the city like two new hotels and an ethanol plant expected to generate hundreds of new jobs.
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