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Plan set up to bring more business, millennials to Abilene

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ABILENE, Texas - Abilene city leaders are working on a new strategic plan to help grow Abilene's manufacturing industry and attract millennial workers.

Development Corporation of Abilene CEO Kent Sharp says to grow economically, the city of Abilene has to hold onto the college graduates that come out of the area's universities.

"We don't want our biggest export to be our students -- our educated people that are trained and learned their skills in Abilene only to go to another city to get a job and spend the money there," Sharp said.

This is one of the main objectives in a 10-step strategic plan the city, chamber of commerce and DCOA recently unveiled.

The plan was crafted by the Austin-based consulting firm TIP Strategies.

Sharp says the plan calls for the DCOA to narrow down the type of manufacturing companies it seeks out by focusing on industries with higher pay rates.

"We could probably chase any company we wanted to but there are some that make a lot more sense for Abilene -- number one is the those companies which would pay higher," Sharp said.

To make this happen, Sharp says they have to be able to sell both millennials and companies on what Abilene has to offer.

"The product we're selling is the community, so there is going to be emphasis now on making Abilene attractive to a skilled talent base, attracting younger workers," Sharp said.

The strategic plan is stretched out over a five to ten-year period with adjustment check points along the way.

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