Implementing Region’s Economic Development Strategy Will Be Community-Led Effort
Vision 2025, as I will continue to share, is the region’s ambitious economic development strategic plan, developed by community stakeholders from across Hays and Caldwell counties for our communities across the two counties. As we move into the next phase of the strategy — implementation — community leadership and participation will continue to be paramount to its success.
Just as the creation of the Vision 2025 plan was guided by the community-based Steering Committee, a group of dedicated volunteers will form several workgroups to carry out the important work to accomplish the year-one goals. Each workgroup will be led by two co-chairs and supporting vice chairs. I’m pleased to introduce you to the leadership team for each workgroup now.
For goal one, Support Quality Employment Growth, our co-chairs are Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden and Dr. Gene Bourgeois, provost of Texas State. They will be assisted by City of San Marcos City Manager Bert Lumbreras, Don Tracy of Austin Community College and Thomas McKinney of Christus Health Santa Rosa Hospital as vice chairs. Among this workgroup’s tasks will include further maximizing our local and regional business retention and expansion efforts, executing and leveraging a new familiarization tour model and regional engagements, and institutionalizing our strategies for showcasing our region to site consultants.
For goal two, Optimize the Local Talent Base, our co-chairs are two school superintendents: Erin Warren of Luling ISD and Michael Cardona of San Marcos CISD. Assisting them will be San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson, Lorraine Lane of Gary Job Corps, and Alfonso Sifuentes of Central Texas Refuse as vice chairs. Together, they will be developing a catalog of resources to create a one stop shop for business attraction, retention and expansion workforce. They will also be creating new programs for the region including a new Education and Workforce Summit, a workforce development council, and resources for the “at-risk” workforce population most impacted by COVID-19.
For goal three, Accommodate and Manage Quality Growth, our co-chairs will be Megan Shannon of Momark Developers and Jim Wimberley of Texas Aviation Partners. Kyle City Manager Scott Sellers, Caldwell Commissioner Ed Theriot, and Laura Dupont of Corridor Title who will assist as vice chairs. Transportation will be a major focus of this group. They will work to maximize development opportunities at the San Marcos Airport, alongside confronting the current and future transportation challenges of our region. They will also guide the improvement of databases that feature available property inventory to expanding and relocating businesses.
Finally, goal four, Enhance Community Appeal, will be under the leadership of co-chairs Pat Fernandez of Hart Properties and Meagan McCoy Jones of McCoy’s Building Supply. Assisting as vice chairs are Hays County Commissioner Lon Shell, and Tabitha Black of Brookfield Properties. Among their tasks will be exploring new and existing opportunities to support downtown vitality in each GSMP community, as well as engaging and partnering with Chambers of Commerce, EDCs and other stakeholders to unify marketing messages about the region.
Leadership has been established for our year-one workgroups, but there is plenty of room remaining. GSMP and its partners are actively seeking interested members of the community and business volunteers to get involved with participation in order to help deliver on these goals. If you or your company wants to get involved in this community leadership, please email me at [email protected]. We want to ensure a diverse array of perspectives help us achieve the best possible outcomes for our region and individual communities.
Each one of these workgroups will have critical work to make sure Vision 2025 is a success and I plan to share updates and progress throughout the year in this column. I also encourage you to consistently visit our website where we will share progress and plans for our next year goals.
I also would like to extend much gratitude to the leadership team and all those who have volunteered to take on these ambitious goals. Their work will be for the betterment of the Greater San Marcos region and ultimately facilitate the creation of new, good-paying jobs for Hays and Caldwell Counties.
If you have questions about Vision 2025, I am always available on Twitter at @JasonGiulietti. All of our Vision 2025 documents, including all of the community stakeholders who led on its creation and implementation, are available on our website at greatersanmarcostx.com/vision2025.