Over 400 people joined the Partners for Progress, a regional economic development public-private partnership in Hays-Caldwell Counties, as they launched a five-year comprehensive economic development strategy and celebrated early results from a $4 million campaign at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Spa and Conference Center 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 for a wider diversity of quality jobs with higher wages and to create a better standard of living for all area residents. In July 2010, the Partners for Progress formed the Greater San Marcos Economic Development Corporation (EDC), a 501c6 nonprofit organization, to oversee the economic development plan and by mid-August this year, began a $4 million campaign to fund implementation of the plan over the next five years.
Keynote speaker Esperanza “Hope” Andrade, Texas Secretary of State, recognized the organization for their efforts to work together and 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.
To date, the Partners have raised $541,000 annually from the public sector, according to Perry Moore, Chair of Partners for Progress and Provost at Texas State University. The effort, he says, is now 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,” Moore said.
Amy Madison, President and CEO, announced 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. She 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. We need their time and talent, as well as their treasure,” Madison said.
In an awards ceremony, Phyllis Snodgrass, Chief Administration Officer, Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) presented the Economic Development Program of the Year to the Greater San Marcos EDC for having Texas’ top new innovative economic development program. The Partners for Progress recognized Susan Narvaiz, former mayor of San Marcos, with the Public Service Award, recognizing her significant contributions to economic development during the eight years she served the City of San Marcos. Narvaiz has served a two-year term on city council and three two-year terms as mayor since 2004.Email | Print