ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA) had cause to celebrate Friday, when the city was named eighth in the nation for economic development among cities with populations of 200,000 people or fewer.

“Abilene’s being noticed for the top notch community that we are, and it represents real opportunity,” said DCOA President and CEO, Misty Mayo.

Mayo attributed this recognition to being the result of a functional relationship between the city and incoming projects; such as Great Lakes Cheese, Primal Pet Group, and the downtown hotel.

“Those legacy projects are leading to the future Abilene that’s being created today,” Mayo boasted.

The real trade secret, according to the DCOA, is in the quality care continually being provided to projects already in place.

“If a company is going to make a commitment to Abilene, Abilene has also made a commitment to the company and we want to ensure company success,” Mayo said. “So that’s why you hear local existing companies, as well.”

Abilene’s Mayor Anthony Williams acknowledged this achievement with a proclamation, recognizing the week of May ninth as Economic Development Week citywide.

Both he and Mayo agreed that this is a win. Not just for the city and DCOA, but for all of Abilene and its residents. It’s the same residents who set the city up for success 32 years ago with the creation of the DCOA says Mayo.

“The residents of Abilene said, ‘we want to build a future for our kids and our grand kids,'” Mayo said. “And that’s what the citizens did when they created an opportunity for the Development Corporation to exist.”

In the last year, the DCOA secured more than $3.2 billion in capital investment, created more than 8,000 jobs and retained 9,000+ jobs, according to Mayor Williams address.

“To have a community like Abilene, Texas be represented in a National arena, and to be top 10, is one that my hope would be that all residents can stand behind and be very proud of,” Mayo added.