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GSMP takes part in Economic Development Week

Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Greater San Marcos Partnership spent the past week highlighting economic development going on throughout the Texas Innovation Corridor.

GSMP — a nonprofit that works as the regional economic development organization for the City of San Marcos and Hays and Caldwell counties — took part in Economic Development Week by posting a series of videos highlighting industries throughout the region.

“The partnership put together a different approach in trying to kind of bring together information about what economic development is. What does it mean to your community? What are the facets that make up economic development? What are the key ingredients? And then ultimately, what does it mean for your community?” GSMP President Jason Giulietti said. “We did that this year through a series of videos … talking about the various assets and various facets of economic development, everything from quality of life, to the importance of our educational institutions, from [school districts] through our four-year institutions and community college, to looking at important things around the workforce, and infrastructure, and all the things that go into economic development.”

Economic Development Week was created in 2016 by the International Economic Development Council to “increase awareness of local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities, and improve the quality of life in communities everywhere.”

Giulietti said GSMP chose to focus on five “critical pillars” in economic development: transportation, utilities, workforce, quality of place and regionalism with each video highlighting companies in the region.

In its first video, GSMP showcased Iron Ox, a California-based robotic farming company, and State Highway 130 to discuss the importance of transportation in the region.

“When a company is considering relocating to a certain part of the country, one of the key things that they’re worried about is, ‘can I get my goods, my raw materials in and my finished goods out, and is it easy and efficient for my employees to come from where they live to where they need to work?” said Doug Wilson, SH-130 CEO. “SH130 accomplishes all of those things.”

GSMP continued its series by discussing utility infrastructure in the region, including the necessity for utilities in the growing areas in Kyle and Buda.

“We’re still at a part of growth in [Kyle], where we’re thinking about what it’s going to look like in the future for the entire region,” said Dianna Torres, Director of Economic Development for the City of Kyle. “Kyle has become a catalyst for this region for industrial growth and we know that anything that lands here is going to benefit the region. Anything that lands in Buda is going to benefit us. There’s great spinoff potential and the electric providers realize that, the utility providers for the city of Kyle realize that.”

GSMP’s Economic Development Week continued with a video on the region’s workforce.

“We are a labor supply chain,” Gary Job Corps Executive Director Lorraine Lane said of the center’s role in providing workforce to the region. “The cost of living here is good here. The innovation is good here, and more importantly, the training of the workforce is right here.

GSMP’s penultimate video discussed the quality of place, or simply the quality of living, in the Texas Innovation Corridor, showcasing Wimberley and Dripping Springs.

“This area is attracting all sorts of the top talent from around the country and that’s a huge advantageous thing when you’re trying to hire people,” said Ryan Campbell, CEO and Co-Founder of Desert Door, a distillery in Dripping Springs. “I have my colleagues of mine across the country who have real difficulties when it comes to hiring, and we’ve been able to attract some of the best and the brightest to come and work for our company.”

GSMP concluded Economic Development Week by discussing regionalism by highlighting investments made by AW Texas, a factory in Cibolo, and Amazon.

“Really, at the end of the day, this region is growing so quickly and it’s where our customers want to be, so it’s where Amazon wants to be,” said Cassie Frow, Amazon Fulfillment Center San Marcos General Manager. “There are so many resources here between transportation, and land, and education opportunities that we can grow really fast here. We can accelerate here really fast. This fulfillment center in particular is a very favorable location for a lot of really cool technological developments that Amazon is investing in and it’s because of the population that’s here to help support us with that, and because of how central San Marcos is to the rest of North America.”

Giulietti said the companies chosen for the five videos displayed the region’s business diversity.

“I think it was more of us showing off the diversity of those that people may or may not realize exist in our community,” Giulietti said. “Sharing the story of IronOx and the company that recently relocated here from California, doing robotic farming … Alongside that highlighting the assets of Gary Job Corps, or looking at State Highway 130, and kind of why that’s so important to our region … It was really just trying to show the diversity, trying to show the variations and put some faces behind some of these companies or organizations that people may have heard of but not really know the people that are there, frontlines for these organizations, and honestly, frontline for economic development.”

Giulietti said GSMP’s participation in Economic Development Week 2022 provided an opportunity to reflect on the growth in the Texas Innovation Corridor.

“Every time, whether it’s an upturn or downturn, economic development plays a critical role in ensuring that we have the stability, we have the opportunities, and we have the jobs for our residents,” Giulietti said. “We’re committed 100% to doing all we can to make sure you know, our region, sees the opportunities, and ultimately the benefit to our residents. [This week] was an excuse to stop and reflect on it, and then show off all that goes into this work, at least once a year.”


San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666