Greater San Marcos Partnership Chairman Jason Giulietti told a crowd gathered for the 2021 Texas Innovation Corridor Economic Outlook that the Hays and Caldwell County region is enjoying unprecedented success.
Giulietti highlighted the region’s rapid growth, citing Hays County as the fastest growing county in the country, along with an educated workforce and low unemployment rate for the region’s success during of Thursday’s event at the Embassy Suites / San Marcos Conference Center.
“Those [unemployment] the numbers only get stronger with new job opportunities coming to our community through new investments in businesses that call central texas, and not just those counties, home, ”said Giulietti. “And what it does is provide the ingredients for sustainability… You find an incredible amount of opportunities to advance your career in the food chain and as you grow with the new opportunities that present themselves here. ”
The GSMP achieved 14 record-breaking economic development agreements in the Texas Innovation Corridor, which encompasses Hays and Caldwell counties, in its 2021 fiscal year, Giulietti said. At the start of its new fiscal year, GSMP already announced the expansion of CED Greentech in Buda and Chem-Energy in Caldwell County.
“During fiscal year 21, the [GSMP] has been able to deliver over $ 75 million in new revenue to our communities in Hays and Caldwell counties, ”said Giulietti. “Think about what it does for you as residents, as taxpayers, that alleviates that burden which allows them to build the necessary fire stations, the necessary schools and the opportunities to develop these communities and meet the demand. . We are therefore proud to share this figure, we are proud to share that this trade growth makes our economy stronger.
Thursday’s economic outlook also featured a roundtable examining the national economy as well as the region. Alan Adelman, senior fund manager and senior research analyst for Frost Bank, moderated the panel comprised of Thomas Bergeron, senior fund manager and senior research analyst for Frost Bank; Jonathan Waite, senior research analyst for Frost Bank; and Belinda Román, professor of economics at St. Mary’s University and senior economist for Román Economics.
Bergeron and Walte provided a macro overview of the country’s economy, discussing the impact of COVID-19, labor shortages and inflation. Román spoke about the region’s economy, highlighting the presence of Texas State University, increases in payrolls, natural features like the San Marcos River and the increase in patent activity in the region.
“In terms of growth, from 2010 to 2015 this particular area, the Texas Innovation Corridor, was one of the fastest growing in the country and I think it will continue to be a high growth area – a 44% increase. of the population since the last census, ”said Román. “… And then an educated workforce, and again, the state of Texas – this is the key – the state of Texas is really helping to build here.” You see 89% of the population has a high school diploma, so that’s good news. And then 30-35% obtain a baccalaureate [degrees] and you keep increasing that and you keep increasing the opportunity for a more skilled and better paid workforce and I think that’s important.
Following the economic outlook, Giulietti led a roundtable with local experts who shared their views on the impact of the current environment on their approach to thrive in today’s economy. The panel included Donny Hirsch, director of corporate manufacturing at Thermon Industries; Jessica Rudman, Branch Manager at Priority Personnel; and Shilpa Amin, owner of Stonebridge Hotels, LLC.
The panel first shared their thoughts on businesses during the pandemic.
“As you’ve all known for a year, or two years now, the environment has been tough for doing business and we are manufacturing here in San Marcos, our company has been here since 1970 and the past two years have been a very tough environment. Hirsch said.
“In 2020, for us, the really big task was how to outsource your operation to kind of keep things running, not to stop it,” Amin added. “We have managed to keep our properties open by closing certain departments: restaurants, bars, we have closed.”
Above, a panel discussion during Thursday’s 2021 Texas Innovation Corridor Economic Outlook featured moderator Jason Giulietti, chair of the GSMP; and panelists Donny Hirsch, director of corporate manufacturing at Thermon Industries; Jessica Rudman, Branch Manager at Priority Personnel; and Shilpa Amin, owner of Stonebridge Hotels, LLC. Daily recording photo by Lance Winter
The panel also shared their thoughts on what the future holds for their respective businesses in 2022.
Amin said that with the return, Stonebridge Hotels exceeds its 2018 and 2019 numbers during weekends.
“My understanding is that about 75% of business travel is returned nationwide,” Amin said. “Through [quarter two] and [quarter three] next year it should be back to pre-COVID levels… I don’t think even with variants, I don’t think travel is going to be something that’s just going to explode over the next few years.
Hirsch said he expects Thermon Industries to have a good year in 2022.
“We’re going back to levels that were pre-COVID and well beyond, so we’re seeing continued growth,” Hirsch said. “The economy is very strong and we expect it to continue to do well over the next year. ”
Rudman, who said Priority Personnel employs companies across the region, said a pocket of the workforce is still missing.
“We have to find a way to find these people and why they aren’t working,” Rudman said. “At some point we have to find that pocket of labor that we have lost and try to get it, because as production needs increase and demand increases, we have to be able to find These persons. So, this is one thing that we are focusing on.