Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce held their Second Annual Multi-Regional Economic Development Luncheon at Grace Point Fellowship Church on February 23rd. A large group of Chamber members and guests were part of a historic event that marketed the first Regional Economic panel that included Conroe, Woodlands, Tomball and Magnolia!
Presenters Fred Welch, Executive Director of the Greater Conroe EDC; Gil Staley, CEO of Woodlands EDC; Kelly Violette, Executive Director of Tomball EDC and Magnolia City Administrator Paul Mendes share more than 60 years of city economic development experience.
The panel discussed transportation improvements, workforce solutions, and construction projects that will be taking place in the area over the next several years. Welch stated that Conroe is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and in order to resolve transportation issues, several construction sites are underway. According to Welch, the most anticipated one being the expansion of League Line Road that is expected to be completed by June 2016.
Staley mentioned that employment opportunities in the area are on the rise. He explained there is potential for high employment growth in the area over the next few years because of three major growth sectors. These growth sectors include healthcare, education, and retail.
Violette cited one of the most important transportation improvements coming to Tomball is Phase II of the Sam Houston 249 extension. The second phase of the extension includes a Tomball bypass to FM 1774 that will decrease travel time to and from Magnolia. This expansion is expected to be finished by August 2018.
Mendes told the audience that Magnolia will be seeing a lot of activity in the next couple of years. The most important transportation improvement is the expansion of FM 1488 and the construction of the FM 1488/149 Railroad Flyover, which should be completed by the summer of 2017. This expansion will significantly decrease travel time through the city. Following its completion, Lone Star College will be coming to Magnolia in the fall of 2017.
This was the first time all four of these presenters shared the stage. “It was fitting that the Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce would bring the inaugural panel to the table, since we are the Chamber without borders” said Deborah Rose Miller, Chamber Board Member. Miller also stated, “Despite the downturn in energy, our region is still growing. Some areas may be flat, but growth is happening due to businesses taking advantage of the current downturn.”
The Lunch and Learn is a part of a series put on by the Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce. Normal networking luncheons resume in March and take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 11:30am to 1:00pm.