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Permian Strategic Partnership reports $93 million in investments over three years

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Investors would be green with envy at the returns the Permian Strategic Partnership has enjoyed.

The partnership announced Monday that it has transformed $93 million in investments received from the 17 companies that comprise its membership, into $950 million in community support. That $93 million is over the three-year life of the partnership.

“We’re pretty proud of the numbers,” Tracee Bentley, the partnership’s president and chief executive officer, told the Reporter-Telegram in a telephone interview. “The rate of return is pretty remarkable.”

She explained that partnerships with other entities helped leverage that $93 million in PSP funding into $950 million. As an example, Bentley said the Abell-Hanger Foundation, Henry Foundation and Scharbauer Foundations joined PSP in raising $55 million to bring 14 IDEA schools – including IDEA Travis and a second Midland school being built – to Midland and Odessa. Other partners joined PSP in funding Midland College’s Pre-K Academy and Center for Teaching Excellence. Yet another partnership, with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation will give 134 elementary schools in 22 Permian Basin counties fully equipped science, technology and math (STEM) centers serving more than 60,000 students and 2,000 teachers.

Partnerships have extended beyond education to partnership with, among others, the University of Texas Permian Basin, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and Midland and Odessa colleges to expand health care training and access. 

Those include new or expanded nursing and pre-med training facilities at the schools and working with Texas Tech to create a new surgical and subspecialty program.

“We’ve made a lot of investments that the community will start to see and feel in a year or two,” she said of the investments in medical training programs.

The partnership also worked to bring $600 million in state funding to address Permian Basin roads, and Bentley said the PSP will continue to serve as the Permian Basin’s voice in Austin. Investments have also been made in veterans’ programs and supporting first responders.

Over the past year PSP has made substantial investments to support critical community needs, including:

•    $34.075 million in education investments benefiting more than 100,000 students.
•    $41 million in health care investments to improve access to the region’s 2 million residents.
•    $14.7 million to train and upskill the region’s 800,000 strong workforce.

“I would say we’ve exceeded expectations. When we formed in 2019, we set lofty goals to be transformative,” she said. “We had a great 2019 and then 2020 hit.”

The organization was challenged to get back on track and make up lost ground, she said, adding that she and the PSP team are thrilled at how PSP performed last year. The partnership has already made substantial investments to date this year, she noted.

“The other thing that exceeded my expectations is we didn’t lose a single member in 2020 to economic conditions,” she added. “We lost some members to mergers and acquisitions.” She cited founding members Concho Resources and Shell Energy, both now part of ConocoPhillips, Anadarko, now part of Occidental Petroleum, and Parsley Energy, now part of Pioneer Natural Resources.

Residents throughout the Permian Basin – including West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico – can see PSP elevate its investments in education in order to support the young families moving into the region and looking for quality schools, she said.

There will also continue to be a laser focus on health care, she added, and on workforce development.

“I would say the PSP is going to be around for the foreseeable future,” said Bentley. “I feel we’ve only just begun. We have years and years of investments to make.”