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Group organizes in support of proposed ExxonMobil plant - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Group organizes in support of proposed ExxonMobil plant

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A group called 'United For Growth' supports the proposed ExxonMobil plant coming to San Patricio county. A group called 'United For Growth' supports the proposed ExxonMobil plant coming to San Patricio county.
The plant is expected to create 11,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs. The plant is expected to create 11,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs.
Supporters believe the plant will lead to long-lasting economic growth and job opportunities for future generations. Supporters believe the plant will lead to long-lasting economic growth and job opportunities for future generations.
GREGORY -

ExxonMobil is considering San Patricio county as the location for a new plant. The 1,300-acre site would be located on US Highway 181 and Wildcat drive, two miles from Gregory-Portland High School and Junior High. 

The location is the reason why some Portland and Gregory residents have been protesting in the last few weeks. However, another group has formed called "United For Growth," made up of residents who support the plant coming to the area because they believe it will bring many needed jobs. 

"Just like everybody, a lot of people in this area, I'm looking for a good job," said Blaine Saunders.

Saunders is one of many Ingleside residents who has been at a career crossroads since the Sherwin Alumina plant shut down.

"Since then it's been hard to find a good paying job like that," he said. 

In Gregory, Jessica Ortiz also lost her job when oil prices dropped. She is now juggling two lower-paying jobs to make ends meet. 

"We've been struggling for a long time because of the downturn," Ortiz said. 

Job opportunities are the main reason both Saunders and Ortiz support the proposed ExxonMobil plant in San Patricio County. 

"A lot of people are not working in the oil field anymore, and this is something for them to get back on their feet," Ortiz said. 

Not everyone feels the same. Since the ExxonMobil plant would be located near several schools, and because of environmental concerns, many parents and nearby residents are protesting it. So far they have held two protests this month. 

The group United For Growth organized in response. Saunders and Ortiz are both part of that movement. To them, the benefits of the plant outweigh the concerns.

"Eleven-thousand jobs just to build it, plus 600 jobs afterwards. And they're good paying jobs. That's what we all need," Saunders said. 

Many of the plant's supporters believe bringing more industry to the area will benefit future generations.

"My daughter, she'll graduate in the summer with a degree in chemistry," Ortiz said. "So she's not going to have to leave. If this plant comes here, I don't have to watch her go. She can be here."

Supporters also see the planting bringing long-term economic growth.  

"I can see a lot of houses being built, a lot of businesses opening up, the businesses that are already here would do better," Saunders said. "It would help the whole area."

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