INC. BRANDED CONTENT / AMARILLO
When most people think of Amarillo, Texas, images of prairies, oil wells, cows, and
tumbleweed come to mind.
How they ought to be thinking of
Amarillo – now Texas’ 14th-largest city –
is as a place where innovation, creativity,
and business thrive.
Amarillo’s business leaders are
breaking new ground every day by
attracting – and retaining – industries as
diverse as aerospace, defense, the arts,
food technology, and medical research.
It’s all part of their ambitious plan
to reposition the city as the Texas
Panhandle’s premier technology-driven
hub for emerging and established
businesses ready to fast-track their
growth, while also becoming an even
more desirable place to live.
AND IT’S WORKING.
Take it from Bell Helicopter’s Vice President
of Assembly Operations Shannon Massey,
a 21-year veteran with the company, who
oversees three of the company’s operation
facilities, including Amarillo.
Bell Helicopter must be prepared in
Amarillo and will be, thanks in great part
to the city’s commitment to equipping
its workforce with the technical and
leadership competencies required for
Bell’s sophisticated work, including the
next generation tilt-rotor, the V-280, one
of the biggest opportunities for Bell and
Textron. Bell V-280 Valor is an aircraft
that will provide unmatched speed,
range, payload, agility, survivability, and
endurance and at an afordable cost
“There’s a spirit of collaboration and
“can do” attitude here that sets Amarillo
apart. The city asks businesses like ours
what we need in our workforce, and
then uses that knowledge to invest in its
people, through training and education.”
Ginger Nelson, recently elected
mayor of Amarillo, attributes much
of its growth to the great educational
institutions in the city and region.
“I’m convinced that no one can
out-work or out-think the people of the
Texas Panhandle,” she says.
“So as long as we focus on training
them towards problem-solving and
innovating, there is tremendous
opportunity for (the local workforce)
to become a signifcant reason for
businesses to relocate here, as well
as for existing businesses – and by
extension, Amarillo – to grow.”
Despite its growth, Nelson believes
Amarillo’s supportive, close-knit
community will continue to be a draw
for families wanting an afordable and
attractive quality of life.
“We’re a city of 200,000 that feels
like a town of 20,000. That’s because of
our vast open spaces, but also because
as a people, we value small-town
values and the small-town work ethic.”
Massey, of Bell Helicopter, sees a
bright future for Amarillo. “The city
realizes the importance of helping
niche businesses drive innovation and
technology to support businesses like
Bell Helicopter. And to keep and
attract talent, you also have to invest
in the community, to make it appealing
to live there. That’s investing in the
Barry Albrecht, president & CEO of
the Amarillo Economic Development
Corporation, agrees. “I’ve lived all
over the country and never seen such
a sincere friendliness that is ingrained
in the culture here — it’s truly special.”
Still thinking about those cows?
At the Intersection of Tradition & Inspiration
Ì Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is home to some of the most
cutting-edge research being undertaken in the country, from how to best treat
pediatric leukemia, to drug use safety for pregnant and lactating women.
Ì Already heavily invested in the city, Bell Helicopter continues to expand its
Amarillo Military Aircraft Assembly Center, where approximately 1,000 employees
build, among others, the revolutionary V- 22 Osprey, the world’s frst production tilt-
rotor aircraft, lending itself to uses ranging from defense to disaster relief.
Ì Downtown Amarillo hums with the sounds of construction, including a state-of-the-art multipurpose event center slated to open in 2019. Among other venues, this
will house a minor league baseball stadium certain to bring professional baseball
back to Amarillo.