Partners for Progress, a regional economic development public-private partnership in Hays and Caldwell Counties, launched a five-year comprehensive economic development strategy this week.
The regional economic development plan was facilitated last year by Market Street Services, a community and economic development Atlanta-based firm, to position the two-county region to direct and stimulate economic development.
In July, the Partners for Progress formed the Greater San Marcos Economic Development Corporation (EDC), a 501c6 nonprofit organization, to oversee the economic development plan. By mid-August the EDC, began a $4 million campaign to fund implementation of the plan during the next five years.
Texas Secretary of State Esperanza “Hope” Andrade, the keynote speaker at this week’s launch, recognized the organization for its effor to consolidate resources in an economic downturn.
“Through the dedication and hard work of many in attendance here today, the Greater San Marcos Economic Development Corporation is fast becoming a strong economic development player in the state,” said Andrade.
The Partners have raised $541,000 annually from the public sector, according to Texas State Provost Perry Moore, chair of Partners for Progress. Moore said the effort now is focused on matching public dollars with private investment to reach the $800,000 needed each year to provide additional capacity and resources for the region.
“This comprehensive partnership will provide the necessary infrastructure to market our region and recruit businesses, as well as provide a forum to develop a comprehensive approach to area wide concerns,” said Moore.
Amy Madison, the initiative’s president and CEO, announced that several new companies who were recruited to the region by Greater San Marcos EDC including the San Marcos–Hays Solar Project, a $74 million solar array planned by International Power in southeast San Marcos. Madison also emphasized the role that private investors will have in the organization.
“Private partners bring more than funding to the table – they bring a variety of skill sets and business savvy,” Madison said. “We need their time and talent, as well as their treasure.”
In an awards ceremony, Former San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce President Phyllis Snodgrass, now chief administration officer for the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE), presented the Economic Development Program of the Year to the Greater San Marcos EDC.
The Partners for Progress also gave former San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz their public service award, recognizing her contributions to economic development.