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The Greater Conroe Economic Development Council was presented with the Texas Economic Development Council’s Merit Recognition Award on Oct. 20, at the TEDC’s 2016 Annual Conference, for its nomination of the Newpark Drilling Fluids business attraction project to the 2016 Community Economic Development Award in the 40,001-100,000 population category.

Nominations were judged by the TEDC’s CEDA Committee, representing economic development leaders from around the state, based on criteria including innovativeness, transferability, community commitment and leverage, measured objectives and secondary benefits.  According to such criteria, Newpark Drilling was a clear choice for nomination.

A subsidiary of The Woodlands based Newpark Resources Inc., Newpark Drilling provides water-based drilling fluids to thousands of oil and gas wells worldwide.  Its 66,572-square foot facility in Conroe Park North allows space for chemical blending processes, a warehouse and an office building that all occupy a mere 10 acres of Newpark’s 21-acre site, leaving plenty of room for future expansion.

The blending facility features state of the art controls and equipment but Newpark’s innovation doesn’t stop at the facility’s doors.  Newpark is nestled among a recirculating babbling brook and a rainwater pond that serves as landscaping irrigation for beautiful natural trees and grasses.  That attention to detail and creativity in design landed it a spot as a finalist in the 2016 Houston Business Journal Landmark Awards Industrial Category.

The facility was conceptualized during a major contraction within the drilling industry, providing Newpark with a unique environment to work with local contractors, engineers and a network of software designers to develop a fully automated custom filling facility that can serve a global environment.  Everything about Newpark reflects lean manufacturing, and from of the City of Conroe’s perspective, a great deal of innovativeness went into assisting in the planning and construction of a truly “green” campus for Newpark.

The success of the firm and recognition Newpark has achieved with this facility has created a great deal of recognition for Conroe and Conroe Park North as a location for innovation.

Through achieving these objectives, the company has become an ambassador for the City of Conroe.  Newpark proudly assists with tours of the facility and works hand in hand with GCEDC to promote the city as a great place to do business. The plant’s lean and green manufacturing provides an example of how to use Conroe’s resources wisely, and be good stewards to the environment.  The company also offers internships with the community college and a willingness to assist the city in growing its talent pipeline.

The TEDC established the CEDA in 1995 to honor excellence and exceptional contributions of Texas communities in economic development.  The GCEDC is proud of nominating the Newpark Drilling Fluids project and receiving recognition for this promising partnership.