Model partnership: Shell and UTSA collaborate to support Eagle Ford growth

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(Feb. 25, 2013) -- Shell and The University of Texas at San Antonio have announced they will collaborate to create new opportunities for the Carrizo Springs community by establishing an Eagle Ford Shale municipal training and project series. With more anticipated growth on the horizon, Shell and UTSA hope to promote business growth and sustainability by helping communities and small business owners prepare for future needs, as well as identify potential opportunities.

"In working collaboratively with our neighbors and academia, we aim to develop new and innovative pathways for continuing the growth of the Carrizo Springs community that will benefit generations for many years to come," said Jan Sherman, general manager of Shell South Texas. "Shell is focused not only on the business, but the people who make our business possible. This is just one way we can say 'thank you' to our neighbors."

The UTSA Institute for Economic Development (IED) Rural Business Program and the UTSA College of Public Policy will conduct the training and project series targeting community leaders, elected officials, local government employees and small business owners. The program is focused on enhancing basic knowledge, skills and resources in order to significantly upgrade both structural and substantive capacity in these rural communities, while also identifying their needs and developing projects/plans to address them.

"I would like to thank Shell for the confidence they have in the UTSA Rural Business Program - College of Public Policy Municipal Training Partnership," said Gil Gonzalez, Rural Business Program director. "This model partnership will allow municipalities in the Eagle Ford Shale region to more effectively manage and support current and future development needs, increase economic prosperity and improve the quality of life for citizens living in those communities."

The training will consist of monthly Lunch and Learn sessions as well as the municipal training program. The Lunch and Learn workshops will be separated into three tracks. They will be based on the existing teaching model of the UTSA IED Small Business Development Center Network, which offers small business workshops on topics such as business essentials, business planning, government contracting, marketing and QuickBooks with specialty programs for minority businesses, women-owned small businesses and veterans.

The municipal training will focus on topics such as municipal structures, regional planning, social capacity, land use planning, building and leveraging resources, and trends and leadership.

The first Municipal Training Program will start in March and will focus on the rural communities close to Shell's Eagle Ford operations. UTSA will plan additional Municipal Training sessions after the first program is complete.

The Lunch and Learn workshops will be at the Middle Rio Grande Development Workforce Solutions Office, 307 West Nopal St. in Carrizo Springs. To reserve a seat at a workshop, email andrew.denzer@utsa.edu or call 210-458-2479.

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About the Institute for Economic Development

The UTSA Institute for Economic Development is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses and fostering economic development. Its 12 centers and programs provide professional business advising, technical training, research and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders.

The programs serve San Antonio and the Texas-Mexico border area as well as regional, national and international stakeholders. Together with federal, state and local governments, and private businesses, the IED fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA's community engagement mission.