The New Middle East: Oil, Gas Boom in the Coastal Bend - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

The New Middle East: Oil, Gas Boom in the Coastal Bend

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

Eagle Ford Shale continues to pump out jobs for the Coastal Bend, and students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi are being offered positions in the oil and gas industry before they even graduate.

One professor says it is causing the University to rethink the types of classes they offer on campus.

"We're undergoing a new economic boom in South Texas," said Dr. Jim Lee, professor of economics at TAMUCC. "Some would call it a new Middle East."

Lee said, with the impact of Eagle Ford Shale, it is no surprise that more jobs are on the way.

"We are booming at a rate that is faster than San Antonio right now," Lee said.

The latest numbers from Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend back him up. For the month of October, unemployment was at 5.6-percent. This time last year, it was 7.2-percent.

"With the boom, the college of business is preparing students with the next wave of job opportunities in the near future. They will be adding additional courses, tailored to the oil and gas industry," Lee said. "Under the oil and gas related jobs, we are seeing a boom in the business area, accounting, even in legal services; lawyers, attorneys. We also see engineering jobs that are booming right now."

As a result, students are seeing the benefits. Lee said big dollar signs have them forgoing the degree and getting straight to work.

"Obviously making $25 is attractive for a lot of students, because they may not be able to get that much when they graduate," Lee said.

"My roommate, actually, he has a job already. Graduates in the spring. Already has a job," said Louis Njenge, a double major in accounting and finance. "I was pretty surprised, because all you hear is how bad the economy is, but here it seems it's booming."

So how long is this boom expected to last? Dr. Lee said the Coastal Bend has a bright future for at least the next ten years.

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