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Better days ahead for UTMB

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is not only coming back, it’s growing.

Although the UT Board of Regents authorized 3,800 layoffs, UTMB officials announced that about 3,000 jobs would be cut. The actual number turned out to be about 2,400, but it was widely interpreted as a step toward dismantling Texas’ oldest medical school. The Legislature forced the regents to reverse policy, a stunning change of fortune that is slowly beginning to benefit the local economy.

UTMB has already filled more than half of the jobs left vacant by the layoffs and eventually will have nearly 1,000 more employees than before the storm, said Cindy Stanton, UTMB director of recruitment services.

The UTMB expansion offers economic hope to a city whose population shrank an estimated 20 percent after the Sept. 13, 2008, hurricane. “Galveston will benefit from the economic impact of more workers crossing the causeway,” Galveston spokeswoman Alicia Cahill said. “We will likely see gains in sales tax, hotel-motel tax, and possibly property tax,” Cahill said.

That’s just great to hear. May there be a lot more good news like this to come.

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