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GSMP: Attracting jobs, investors to innovation corridor

GSMP group
Adriana Cruz (left) stands with San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides and Texas State University President Denise Trauth.

Greater San Marcos Partnership: Attracting jobs, investors to Innovation Corridor

by Adriana Cruz

For nearly a decade, the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) has worked to attract quality job growth in the fastest growing region in the country, what has been dubbed “America’s next great metropolis.”

The GSMP’s role as the economic development organization for Hays and Caldwell counties is to promote the region to a variety of outside entities including site section consultants and corporate decision makers, and to assist existing local businesses in their growth. Currently, Hays County is ranked as the fastest-growing county in the nation with a population over 150,000.

The GSMP extensively promotes the region’s growth, citing the central location between Austin, the nation’s 11th largest city, and San Antonio, its seventh largest city.  The region also provides access to a diverse transportation infrastructure and major interstate highways. San Marcos has a regional airport and is situated between two international airports. This strategic location provides businesses excellent access to major population and industry centers with a labor pool of more than 1.5 million.

Due to the affordability and the high quality of life, more and more Texas State graduates are choosing to stay and live in the region, providing a highly educated workforce pipeline.  In fall 2017, Texas State was ranked fourth in undergraduate headcount enrollment among Texas public universities. Since its 2012 designation as an Emerging Research Institution, the university has also dramatically increased its volume of researchers and graduate programs. This is also reflected in patent data. There were 40.55 utility patents per 10,000 people in Hays County in 2015, compared 7.09 for Travis County and 4.45 for the nation.

Top-notch research and patent density, as well as faculty and student startups and advanced manufacturing firms, are a few reasons the region has grown into its Texas Innovation Corridor name. The high-quality talent pool and available workforce coming out of Texas State is attracting new companies in target industries to the region. For example, the region’s robust advanced manufacturing and engineering sector includes companies such as CFAN, Mensor, Thermon, Epic Piping, and Urban Mining.

The GSMP is working hard to diversify and strengthen the regional economy, providing economic opportunity for all through the implementation of a sustainable and data-driven economic development strategy. Texas State is a member of the GSMP, and Dr. Denise Trauth chairs the board of directors.  The Vision 2020 plan will continue to direct future growth and position the region for a wider diversity of quality jobs with higher wages, in the heart of the Texas Innovation Corridor. ✪

Adriana Cruz is the president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership.