FORT WORTH, Texas — BNSF Railway Co.’s 2008 economic development efforts were instrumental in the location of 127 new or expanded facilities in communities along BNSF. The development of these facilities resulted in about $4 billion in investments and the creation of more than 4,000 new jobs.For example BNSF’s economic development team assisted a local volunteer business group in Weston County, WY. To revitalize the area, the Weston County Development Board created a plan to build a regional industrial park, the Upton Regional Industrial Site. The 600-acre site is attracting new businesses to the area and will become home to a variety of industries. The site will also serve as a BNSF premier rail transloading site.
“During the planning and construction phases of this project, we worked closely with BNSF’s economic development team,” said Tom Barritt, a member of the Weston County Development Board. “BNSF helped us coordinate with the correct public and private organizations to implement our plans smoothly and in a timely manner.”
“We take great pride in working to enhance business for everyone in the BNSF system,” said Vann Cunningham, BNSF assistant vice president, Economic Development. “In the case of Upton, Wyoming, the creation of the new industrial park not only brought in new businesses but also spurred the development of new housing in the area for the first time in 20 years.”
BNSF also helped to locate ethanol plants in Texas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and California; agriculture producers and processors in North and South Dakota, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oregon; and steel industries in New Mexico, Texas, Minnesota, Oregon and Illinois. Other industry expansions included companies dealing in lumber, construction materials, plastics, paper, machinery and scrap.