Governor Rick Perry praised the Texas chemical industry for responding with compassion and generosity to Gulf Coast communities recovering from recent hurricane devastation and for its leadership in helping give Texas the best economic climate in the nation.
Speaking Oct. 16 to a capacity crowd at TCC/ACIT Annual Meeting Luncheon, Perry thanked the state chemical industry for contributing more than $20 million, along with copious material and volunteer assistance, to storm-stricken communities.
"I wanted to come here today and say 'thank you' to those of you in the chemical industry for what you did," the governor told a luncheon audience of more than 250 industry representatives. "You have gone beyond the call of duty to help your fellow citizens."
Perry also praised state chemical companies for their initiative in safely restarting many facilities that had been shut down or damaged by hurricanes Hurricane Ike. "The industry "didn't wait for the federal government to show up down here to clean everything up," he said. "You were back doing that when the sun came up [the next] day, helping your neighbors, compassionately working with folks."
As examples, the governor cited Shell Chemical's Deer Park facility for donating a large generator to a temporary shelter at the Jimmy Burke Activity Center; Kaneka Texas Corporation in Pasadena for opening its contractor parking lot for FEMA and recovery workers; and Puffer Sweiven in La Porte for hosting a blood drive in conjunction with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. "These are great examples of the humanitarian assistance, the corporate citizenship we have in this state,"Perry said.
The governor also lauded the chemical industry for strengthening the Texas economy, which he said has created half of new U.S. jobs over the past 12 months. "The chemical industry makes an extraordinary contribution to the economic health of our state," he said. "You provide 70,000 direct jobs to the state, 400,000 indirect jobs," while injecting $35 billion a year to the state economy.
Although Texas will not escape the impact of the current international credit crisis, Perry said, the state has a fundamentally sound economy and is well positioned to lead an eventual national rebound. State positives include a well-educated workforce, healthy business climate, low taxes and reasonable regulatory environment, he noted.
"Our foundation is strong," Perry said. "When they find the bottom â€¦ and the financial markets get turned around, Texas will be the best suited of any state to lead the economic charge to go forward. We can lead America to its greatest days."
The speech concluded, TCC Chairman Greg Kraft presented Perry with the 2008 TCC Leadership Award and thanked the governor for his support of the chemical industry.
"Gov. Perry is a proven leader and a friend of business and the chemical manufacturing industry," added Hector Rivero, President/CEO of TCC and ACIT.