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Chevron to expand in Houston, creating 1,752 jobs

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Chevron Corp. said Wednesday it will invest millions of dollars to expand its Houston facilities, creating 1,752 new jobs and building a new 50-story downtown office tower in the world's energy capital.

California-based Chevron's investment is due in part to $12 million it will be receiving from the Texas Enterprise Fund, according to Gov. Rick Perry's office. The fund is a pot of money meant to attract outside firms and businesses to the state.

"Employers looking to expand or relocate their businesses continue to choose Texas' strong job creation climate, low taxes, smart regulations, fair courts and skilled workforce," Perry said in a statement.

Chevron's new investment will include a 1.7 million-square-foot tower that will house professional, technical and administrative workers to accommodate the oil company's growth in Houston to support its global operations.

The new building will join two others in downtown Houston that Chevron already occupies. The company said all three buildings will create an urban campus with indoor and outdoor common areas, enhanced dining facilities, a fitness center, training and conference facilities, and additional parking.

Chevron currently has about 9,000 employees and contractors in Houston, where nine of its businesses are headquartered.

"The Lone Star State and its largest city play a vital and growing role in Chevron's global business," said Bereket Haregot, president of Chevron's Business and Real Estate Services group.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker said the city is excited by Chevron's new investment.

"The company's expansion, supported by the Texas Enterprise Fund grant, will broaden its local presence even more, boosting the local economy with hundreds of new jobs while also fostering synergy and collaboration with their existing business units and other Houston businesses," Parker said.

The Texas Enterprise Fund, overseen by Perry's office, was created in 2003 by the Legislature and has been used to persuade various firms to expand in Texas. Projects financed by the fund have to be approved by the governor, lieutenant governor and the Texas House speaker.

The governor said the fund has now invested more than $498 million and helped close the deal on projects generating more than 69,000 new jobs and $20.8-plus billion in capital investment statewide.