COPPERAS COVE — U.S. Congressman Roger Williams, R-Austin, spoke about fixing the economy and extended congressional help to the city for economic development during a Rotary club meeting Thursday.
“I am a small-business guy,” Williams said, introducing himself to local rotary members. “I am unique in Washington, (D.C.), in the fact that I still own my business.”
Williams said the United States needs to continue to create jobs and work for businessmen and women, which is one of the reasons he ran for office in November.
“All I am at the end of the day is a humble job creator,” Williams said. “I think (job creation) is going to be the answer to these (government shortfalls) this time.”
Williams was visiting the Copperas Cove Rotary during a tour of the district, which spans from Travis to Tarrant counties and includes Lampasas and Coryell counties. But he stayed to listen to Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Polo Enriquez speak about Cove’s economic climate.
“I think we have made great strides,” Enriquez said.
There has been some criticism of only bringing entry-level jobs for people with projects like the Five Hills shopping center, Enriquez said. People, however, need to realize the opportunities those jobs present. They teach the foundation of hard work for the youth who can provide for better paying jobs as they move forward.
“The beauty of that is they are going to learn how to work and learn what it feels like to cash that paycheck,” Enriquez said. “These entry-level jobs are (where) we start.”
Much like the youthful workforce, the corporation’s job is not finished. Enriquez said Cove EDC is working with site selectors and marketing several properties that are about to start construction.
Two of those properties include the Narrows, a 72-acre technology and business park, and the Industrial Foundation’s property, a 23-acre professional and business park.
Those sites will hopefully bring higher paying businesses, but will have an added bonus, Enriquez said. Because both properties will be paid for without debt, the EDC and the Industrial Foundation can take their time filling the properties.
Williams said economic development is everything to help a community thrive. “If I can help you from a congressional stand point, please reach out,” he said.