A new business could be coming to Kerrville, bringing roughly 200 new jobs with it.
During the economic improvement corporation's meeting on Monday, Kerr Economic Development Corporation Chief Operating Officer Gil Salinas presented a plan named Sky Master, a project that involves an aeronautic and robotics business potentially coming to Kerrville.
Salinas said that he cannot release the name of the business because it has not yet decided if it will move to Kerrville, but the KEDC is in communication with it to see what it would take to get the business to town. The KEDC approves of the project, Salinas said.
In aeronautics, Skymaster is a plane manufactured by Cessna, but it’s also a plane that made headlines last year when a Los Angeles-based startup replaced the plane’s gas-powered engines with a hybrid-electric engine to conduct a successful test of the engine system.
No one is willing to confirm the specifics of that company but Salinas said a business they are trying to attract would potentially be for aviation and aerospace manufacturing as well as robotics manufacturing, which would require employees with a high skill set.
If the business decides to come here, it aims to be in full operation by this fall, hiring people in the third quarter of 2020. The first year would bring 50-60 employees, which by the third year would grow to 200.
When it comes to potential incentives that the city or local economic organizations could provide to convince the business to move to Kerrville, Salinas said it's still unclear. He doesn't know exactly what they're looking for.
"They were not very forthcoming," Salinas said. "We have to come back and say, 'This is what we can do within our parameters,' and I suspect that they would come back and say yes or no or, 'How else can you help us?'"
The KEDC is in the process of meeting with stakeholders around the area to present information about the project and see if there are any ways to help the project along, such as getting State Representative Andrew Murr to write a letter of support to the owner of the business.
One thing that Salinas said the business has its eye on is the Vintage Heights project, a 510-home development that will be considered by the Kerrville City Council tonight.
"'They have said, 'Look, that particular development is where our future employees are going to live and where they're going to raise their families,'" Salinas said. "They are going to inquire about the result (of council's meeting) sometime this week."
The economic improvement corporation's meeting also included a monthly financial update and updates on projects around town, such as the Olympic Drive extension, the Kerrville River Trail extension and the Arcadia Theater renovation.