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Brazos Valley Business Continues to Grow, Needs Skilled Workers

 

BRIAN, Texas (KBTX). Community members and city officials gathered on Wednesday to learn more about the local economy. Despite the growth of the economy, one local business owner told KBTX that they are still struggling with one particular area.

Rain Knight is the founder of CR Systems Inc. and Aggieland Roofing. Knight is a proud Aggie who hasn’t left since she graduated.

“We opened 26 years ago. At that time we were only commercial. But then friends kept asking, “Can you make our house?” and then we started living,” Knight said. “I just thought it might actually be something, so I decided to go into business and it was great.”

Although, as with any local business, Knight said the success of her business depends on the economy.

“The best thing about Aggiland is that it’s in some kind of isolated bubble. So even last year we were able to achieve some growth, despite the fact that the world was and is going through COVID-19. I’m not saying we didn’t fight. We had a lot more planning and bringing in more inventory than usual. It took a lot longer to get the product, and on top of all that, costs increased,” she said.

Another problem Knight’s local business continues to experience is the need for more skilled workers.

“We are still hiring and actively trying. We’re trying to recruit new workers in the spring and fall so we can acclimate them before the summer,” Knight said. “You know, we’re trying to recruit people from high school and generally from anywhere we can. Now we have 76 workers. We could always use more. One thing I learned from today’s meeting is housing problems for my workers. His interest rates and food prices. The city of Bryan told us that the median household income is $44,771. The average cost of a house is about $200,000.”

During the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook conference on Wednesday, business leaders released data for 2022 that showed we had more record openings, historically low unemployment and low labor force participation.

Natalie Ruiz, director of development for the City of College Station, told KBTX that the private sector in the Brazos Valley has made history despite economic struggles.

“Historically, because we are home to Texas A&M, a large number and majority of our jobs are in the public sector. Whether it’s Texas A&M, the school district, College Station, or Brazos County, Ruiz said. “But in 2022 we did reach a tipping point where private jobs started to move, which have now surpassed those private numbers. This has never been done before in the city of College Station. This is 50.8% private and 49.2% public.”

For more information about CR Systems Inc. and Aggieland Roofing click here.

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