News

XCOR Co-Founders Establish New Company

WASHINGTON — Three co-founders of suborbital vehicle developer XCOR Aerospace who recently left the company have established a new company, one that was inspired by some of the development challenges they faced at XCOR.

West Texas sidesteps oil's dry spell

The worst oil market in decades would be hard to spot in West Texas, where two-lane county roads are still jammed with trucks and energy companies are on the prowl for deals.

The Permian Basin, the biggest of the shale-oil regions that ignited the U.S. energy boom, is also the only one where production is increasing even as drillers idle more than half the rigs in the country during the longest price slump since the 1980s.

Why does Midland Texas Have the Fastest Growing Economy in the US?

Midland’s economy grew by 24.1% last year, more than twice the rate of San Angelo, Texas, the metro area with the next largest economic growth. The exceptional gross domestic product growth rate in Midland and other parts of Texas is largely due to fracking activity over the past five years, which has pumped billions of dollars into the state’s economy. Just 2% of the U.S. employed population worked in the mining sector, which also includes agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. In Midland, 21.5% of the labor force worked in the sector, predominantly in mining.

To Odessa-Midland, and Beyond!

BY COREY PAUL cpaul@oaoa.com

XCOR set to finish move this year, bring business to local companies

The bread-and-butter for Odessa’s M & M Sales and Equipment lies in selling equipment for the city’s dozens of machine shops like lathes and mills.

As sub-$50 oil prices curbed machine shops’ work in the oilfield during the past year, M & M saw a primary chunk of its business plummet by about 40 percent, said Jeremy Kirkpatrick, vice president at M & M Sales and Equipment and the son of the owner, Jewell Kirkpatrick.

Midland unemployment dips to 3.2 percent -- Midland MSA ties for second lowest jobless rate

Desespite a recent swoon in crude prices, Midland’s labor market continued to hold steady, according to August data.

The Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday that its Midland metropolitan statistical area had an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent, down from 3.4 percent in July and up from 2.9 percent last August.

Still, Midland slipped to second place among the state’s MSAs, tied with Austin-Round Rock, just behind Amarillo’s 3.1 percent unemployment rate. Odessa reported a 4.3 percent unemployment rate.

Shaping the Future of STEM

Gail Kellner

When children think of becoming athletes they think of glory, sponsorships, and fame. When they think of STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — they envision difficult equations, confusing lectures, and endless study sessions, according to Dr. Wanda Austin, president and CEO.

Austin turned this quandary into a call for action, citing a need to change the conversation on STEM and develop a more insightful dialogue for STEM education.

XCOR update: half of staff in Midland, ground testing to happen in Mojave Read more: XCOR update: half of staff in Midland, ground testing to happen in Mojave

Rye Druzin 

XCOR Aerospace has moved half of its staff to Midland as it attempts to juggle manufacturing demands back in Mojave, California with its shift to the Tall City.

The space company, which is developing the suborbital aircraft Lynx and orbital rocket engines for the United Launch Alliance project, has brought much of its ULA and administrative staffs to Midland while leaving many Lynx staff back in Mojave.

XCOR Lynx rocket plane to begin flight tests in six to nine months

Virgin Galactic is still recovering from the catastrophic loss of its SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, which killed one of its crew. The company is going ahead with a new business of launching small satellites while it forges ahead with its main business line of taking the well-heeled and adventurous on suborbital jaunts starting on a date yet to be determined.

Midland again posts lowest jobless rate in Texas

By Mella McEwen 
mmcewen@mrt.com

Midland’s labor market showed some unexpected strength in July, according to figures released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Midland County ranks No. 1 for oil, gas jobs in 2014

By Rye Druzin | rdruzin@mrt.com

Midland County ranked first in the nation for oil, gas and mining jobs created in 2014, according to statistics compiled by Headlight Data. The rating was out of 1,100 oil, gas and mining communities across the country.

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