This week (May 9-13) marks international Economic Development Week sponsored by the International Economic Development Council. As Chairman of the Board of the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation, I’d like to highlight the impact the work of economic development has had on our local community.
In the past 12 years, our region has seen over $55 billion in new capital expenditure. This investment represents thousands of new jobs and $7 billion dollars in new tax revenues for our local cities, counties, and school districts over the next 20 years net of any incentive.
This investment and job creation has also increased our median household income from $34,000 a year in 2000 to $55,000 today as well as added 18,000 new residents to our community.
Growth is necessary for a region to survive, but smart growth focused on the strengths and unique opportunities of a particular place is how a region thrives.
Economic development is the key to smart growth and growth management. Economic development professionals capitalize on opportunities for a region by targeting key industries that will both diversify the local economy and build on existing industry to keep the economic structure strong. They, and their key individuals are important advocates for the business community, assisting local, state and federal entities in understanding what they need to do to encourage growth in their jurisdictions. They are very valuable sources of information for the economic data that enables government and business leaders alike to make important decisions.
Here in our region, CCREDC has been instrumental in working to recruit the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, Cheniere Energy, and Steel Dynamics projects, which support thousands of families in the Coastal Bend.
I have been fortunate to serve on the board of directors for CCREDC for several years. In that time, it has been an honor and a privilege to assist the corporation in its transformative work for our region, from recruiting major companies here to exploring new opportunities in small manufacturing for the technology sector. As a local engineer, and, in a prior life, the owner of a local engineering and construction company, I have been blessed to enjoy working in the region for decades. I have never been so excited about what’s next for the Coastal Bend thanks in no small part to the work of our local economic development professionals.
William Goldston, PE, is the Chairman of the Board of the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation.
This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corp. brings big impact