• 68°

Vendors, suppliers pack Motiva summit – “We are looking to drive others to invest here”

More than 600 vendors and suppliers answered Motiva’s “supplier summit” call Wednesday, a first, company-initiated meeting to boost links between the energy giant and local companies.

“This was a venue where businesses in the community could hear about opportunities now or in the future,” company spokeswoman Verna Rutherford said.

The intention was two-fold: To find out more about vendors and suppliers with whom Motiva works now and to find out more about how the company might connect with additional local businesses.

The mission, Rutherford said, is to “help grow local business.”

Motiva called for those who might supply the company in more than 80 categories of needs. That includes caring for the grounds, janitorial services, heating and cooling and equipment rental, as well as suppliers of materials.

Rutherford said even if the company is compelled to look outside the area — if no one here provides such specific needs for Motiva — it would attempt to convince those outside companies to work with people here.

“We are looking to drive others to invest here,” she said, describing Motiva as “highly energized” and “passionate” about local commitment.

District 3 Commissioner Michael Shane Sinegal said Motiva’s “top administrators” have shown commitment to the area and he hopes that commitment extends to middle managers and executives, as well. He said the Jefferson County Commissioners’ Court has “been receptive” to industry.

He also encouraged hiring and contracting with local, qualified minority people.

Pat Avery, president and CEO of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, said Motiva “has integrity” and would do its best to contract with local people and companies.

“Yes, I do,” she said when asked if she believed local people would get a fair shake with the company.