John Dugan says that in 2012, a strategic plan for economic development was drawn up – a collaborative effort between the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce, City of San Angelo, Angelo State University, Howard College, Downtown San Angelo, Workforce Solutions of the Concho Valley and the Concho Valley Center for Entrepreneurial Development.
“We are taking economic development seriously. For example, one of the priorities is to establish a one-stop business resource center that all of the strategic partners can use,” says Dugan, the vice president of marketing and recruitment for the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. “Of course, it is always good to attract new companies to San Angelo, but speaking for the chamber, our big push going forward is to formalize a business retention and expansion program. We are doing everything in our capabilities to help our existing companies grow, so they all become bigger success stories.”
Time Clock Solutions
Two examples of established successful companies in San Angelo are Data Management Inc. and Western Towers. Data Management Inc. was established in 1988 to develop “time clock-plus solutions” for employers, to track employee labor production in real time. DMI is a recognized leader in time, attendance, employee labor management technology and has garnered several awards.
“Data Management employees are a combination of sales and technology-savvy individuals, and they celebrate the fact that their workforce is comprised of a diversity of people,” Dugan says. “I recently visited their building and noticed many national flags hanging in the various cubicles, and the company celebrates that aspect of their success.”
Tower of Power
Also successful is Western Towers, a telecommunications tower company that was founded in 1945. The company fabricates, manufactures and distributes towers throughout the United States and globally, as far away as Japan.
“In the U.S., we mostly serve the railroad industry by installing 40- to 80-foot-tall communications towers that are used to keep trains from running into each other due to human error,” says Daniel Anderson, co-owner of Western Towers with his brother, Charles. “Our company is in San Angelo because that's where it was started, and our families still reside here today.”
Western Towers also uses a unique technology called tilt towers, which allows the towers to be tilted to the ground in case maintenance is needed, instead of having to climb the apparatus to fix parts. The company is currently constructing 5,000 tilt towers for three of the major railroads and is close to deals with two other railroad carriers.
“Our overall technology saves lives by allowing outside controllers to operate the locomotives and disable them in case of emergency,” Anderson says. “In addition, at our manufacturing facility, we eventually want to install a robotic assembly line that will allow us to hire disabled veterans for our workforce, which is one of our goals.”
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