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LAKE HOUSTON AREA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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PRI RITY ONNE An Economic Development Plan that is the right direction for the Lake Houston Area

“An Economic Development Program for the betterment of our communities!” A Project of the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce

Humble • Kingwood • Atascocita • Fall Creek • Summerwood


The Case for a Lake Houston Area Economic Development Program – Priority One The Lake Houston area is located in Northeast Harris County and South Montgomery County and composed primarily of the entire Humble Independent School District boundaries and portions of New Caney ISD, Spring ISD, and Aldine ISD. The area encompasses the entire City of Humble, a portion of the City of Houston (Kingwood), and the The region grew at a compound rate

unincorporated area of Northeast Harris County.

of 3.5% per year from 138,871 in 2000 While this area has grown significantly in population and in

to 219,849 in 2010. This compares

consumer related services, primary job growth has not kept up

favorably to the State of Texas rate of

with the population growth in the area. We have a great story

1.7% and the U.S. rate of 0.9% over

to tell but we have not had an organized economic development

the same period.

effort to market our region for primary jobs and capital investment. Because of the complexity of our jurisdictions, the

Approximately 70% of our households

lack of a unified political voice for the region and the need for

have an income of more than $50,000

growth management, there is a strong need to develop a public/

per year compared to the State of

private partnership to provide a leadership role in this region’s

Texas at 51%.

economic development. Almost 37% of Households earn over The Lake Houston Area Economic Development

$100,000 per year compared to the

Partnership (LHAEDP) is an organization that

State of Texas at 21%.

can be the entity to unite area leaders, attract quality development and job creation to our

Our age profile reflects the area’s

region and help our existing businesses grow

attractiveness to families with 32% of

and prosper. We have the opportunity to

our population is in the 18-34 year

market the region and control our destiny

age range and 43% in the 35-64 year

through a new economic development effort

age range.

called Priority One. The population of over 25 years of Several factors play into the area’s potential economic benefits. The Lake

age is highly educated. 32% of the

Houston Area is strategically located at the crossroads between major

population 25 years and older has at

transportation corridors, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and the

least a Bachelor’s degree, which is

Houston Ship Channel. This access to multimodal transportation

25% higher than the state average. In

represents one of the primary economic development assets and

fact, only 12% of the population lacks

opportunities in the area.

high school equivalency.

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Priority One Target Markets

However, our tax base is heavily weighted towards residential property.

Because of our location, demographics,

In the Humble ISD, 79% of the property tax base is residential, the highest

existing businesses, and the economic

in the Houston area. Even though our commercial property tax base has

activities of the Houston Region, we

increased primarily due to retail growth, it is still only 16% of the total

know we can be competitive in the

tax base.

following markets for attracting jobs and capital investment to our sub-region:

While the bulk of our employment is related to George Bush Intercontinental Airport, only three private employers employ

Office/Corporate Locations –

more than 800 employees – Memorial Hermann, Kingwood

The Lake Houston Area is a natural

Medical Center, and Insperity.

destination for office-based

industries, professional service firms

Despite great transportation access,

and other similar organizations.

particularly to downtown Houston, a

Logistics/Airport Dependent Companies – This is a strong growth sector for the area due to our close proximity to George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

our residents commute to work daily from our area. Wouldn’t it be great if they could work, live, play, and

International Trade – Capitalize on our location and the fact that Houston has become a hub for international trade.

significant number of

Healthcare Related Developments –

shop here? A higher daytime population in our area will help reduce retail and service leakage and allow more residents to work near their homes. This would be welcome news for our citizens and area businesses.

The expansion and development of medical service facilities will

We can’t expect someone to discover our area. We’ve got to tell our story

be a growth sector in the Lake

– market the Lake Houston region. We have so many attributes, but the

Houston Area. 

Energy Related Companies – Once

competition is keen and if we want to control our destiny, it is up to us to make it happen. We have to make economic development Priority One.

again, capitalize on our location in the Houston Region and its strong growth in the energy sector. 

Retail/Hotel/Entertainment Developments – The Lake Houston area demographics give us the opportunity to develop facilities tailored to the surrounding neighborhoods.

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Priority One Business Retention & Expansion

Priority One Information Services

While attracting new businesses is the most glamorous aspect of economic development, we cannot forget about our existing businesses. The majority of the job growth and capital investment that occurs in any

If we want our area to grow in quality and orderly manner, we must be the

given community comes from companies already located there.

clearinghouse for information on the An urban/suburban community will average 76% of their growth from

Lake Houston region.

existing employers. The philosophy of Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) is that existing businesses are the core of economic prosperity. Businesses that stay competitive are more likely to remain in the community and expand. We will plan visits to existing industries to develop and cultivate relationships, and learn how the Partnership and Chamber can assist them. This could be as simple as introducing existing businesses to local resources they may not be aware of including workforce programs and incentives. Stable businesses play vital roles in their communities. Locally owned businesses usually have a long-term commitment to their community, relate to their community’s lifestyle, and have a vested interest in their community’s quality of life. They want to be located in the community.

We must provide potential clients with timely and useful demographic, real estate, and mapping data through publications, a comprehensive

Equally important, existing businesses are major contributors to

website, and other technological

the community’s economy, local organizations, and tax base.

methods in order to be competitive.

In economic development efforts, existing, successful business owners are precious resources. Their presence as community ambassadors also makes a very positive statement in new

By providing quality information services we will not only become the

business recruitment.

leader in economic development in We cannot forget about the potential expansion of our small businesses, minority and women owned businesses, and the entrepreneurship in the area since these are potential larger employers.

the Lake Houston region, but we will enhance our marketing capabilities and potential growth opportunities for the area.

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Business Retention and Expansion will be a baseline activity for Priority One.

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The Base Plan for Priority One

Priority One Operations

Our six-point strategic direction for

The LHAEDP will be a separate organization with its own Board of

the Lake Houston Economic

Directors operating under the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce’s

Development Partnership consists

501c (6) tax code. The LHAEDP Board of Directors will determine the

of the following goals:

strategic direction and the budget for the organization. The funds raised through the LHAEDP will go specifically for Economic Development and will

1.

2.

Create an Economic Development

be accounted for through a separate bank account and financial statement.

Partnership between the city, county,

Economic Development contributions will not be co-mingled with Chamber

and private businesses/stakeholders.

funds.

Develop and update economic development information services to provide potential clients with timely and useful data

3.

Market the Lake Houston Area as a great place to do business.

4.

5.

Establish a formal Business Retention and Expansion program for the Lake

The LHAEDP will be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of a

Houston Area.

representative from each of the top level contributors (Pacesetter Investor

Provide support and assistance to

and Pacesetter PLUS Investor) and three representatives of the Principal

the expansion of small businesses,

Investor level. The Board of Directors will set the policies, procedures,

minority and women owned

budget, business plan, and goals of the LHAEDP as well as elect their own

businesses and the development of entrepreneurship in the area. 6.

Recruit primary jobs to the Lake Houston Area.

officers. Initially, the Board of Directors will contract with the Lake Houston Chamber of Commerce for staffing services and any employees hired by the LHAEDP will be LHACC employees, but will only be utilized for economic development activities. An Executive Committee will also be

For each of the points above, there is a

formed to act on behalf of the organization when the Board is not in

task list of items to accomplish to that

session.

particular goal. All investors will receive consistent and detailed updates concerning *See the LHAEDP Strategic Plan for

program benchmarks, milestones, accomplishments, and financial

more detailed information.

statements on the economic development program. Every dollar invested will go toward the implementation of the Lake Houston Economic Development strategic plan.

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Lake Houston Area Economic Development Partnership Economic Development Strategic Plan 2012-2014 Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce STRATEGY A: Create an Economic Development Partnership between the city, county, and private businesses/stakeholders. 1. Host a series of meetings of potential stakeholders to discuss formation

Lake Houston Area by the Numbers*

of the Lake Houston Area Economic Development Partnership. 2. Develop a collective mission and vision statement for the organization.

2011 Residential Population ..............

3. Determine the method of operation of the Partnership and go about

..............................................229,875

the process of establishing the organization and governing board.

Total # Businesses .....................5,875

4. Once the partnership is established, develop a fundraising strategy and a targeted list to solicit funding from private and public entities. 5. Review and revise preliminary ED plan and develop a preliminary budget to begin the implementation of the ED plan. Consider staffing scenarios. 6. Utilizing the ED plan and budget as a basis, develop marketing materials to be utilized implementing an economic development

Total # Employees ...................64,353 Total # Households..................77,638 Median Age .................................32.5 Average Household Income ............... ..............................................$93,995 Median Household Income ................ ..............................................$74,761 Per Capita Income .................$32,093

funding campaign. 7. Publicize the start-up of the Partnership and the funding campaign through available media and organization resources.

Labor Force 2011: Civilian Population 16+..........170,264 Population 16+ in labor force .............

STRATEGY B: Develop and update economic development information

..............................................133,138

services to provide potential clients with timely and useful data.

Employed Civilian Population 16+

1. Develop an easily navigable economic development specific website and other technological innovations to provide potential users with the best possible data.

..............................................125,914 Unemployment Population 16+ ......... ..................................................5,847 2011 Unemployment Rate ......... 4.9%

2. Develop relevant, comprehensive demographic data sources into the website and publications such as the production of collateral materials. 3. Provide mapping and GIS services for the Lake Houston area.

*Source: Alteryx and DemographicsNow.com

4. Identify and maintain an inventory of available sites and buildings for the Lake Houston area and incorporate into economic development website. 5. Develop and produce informational publications such as a Community Profile and An Overview of Economic Activities. Others as needed. 6. Develop a regular e-mail newsletter and press releases to update investors, stakeholders, and the public of economic development activities, metrics, etc.

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STRATEGY C: Market the Lake Houston area as a great place to do business. 1. Establish the professionally developed website and accompanying marketing collateral materials as the most comprehensive information source for the Lake Houston Area. 2. Develop an event to host Developers, Brokers, Site Selection Consultants, and Economic Development Allies to provide and orientation on the Lake Houston Area and to showcase community offerings and potential.

“There is not a firm or individual who lives, works, or does business in the Lake Houston Area that does not gain or lose, in a very tangible way, with the rise and fall of the Lake Houston Area regional economy.

3. Develop a current inventory of corporate executives that live in the Lake Houston Area and establish contact and a relationship with them. 4. Participate in regional marketing opportunities through the Houston Regional Economic Development Alliance of the Greater Houston Z Partnership and regional commercial real estate organizations. 5. Utilize emerging and alternative media in marketing efforts (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). 6. Develop and maintain relationships with broker/ developers who have listings in the Lake Houston Area, regional brokers in the Houston area, site selection consultants, and representatives of the Houston Airport System. STRATEGY D: Establish a formal Business Retention and Expansion program for the Lake Houston Area. 1. Conduct personal visits to local industries to learn of any expansion

Priority One will gear all of its efforts toward developing a healthy economic climate for our citizens and the businesses that operate in the Lake Houston region.”

plans or any impediments to expansion/retention of the business and identify prospective vendors /suppliers that might be candidates to locate in the area. 2. Communicate issues that arise in the industry interviews and trends observed from the regional visits/reporting to the appropriate entities. 3. Provide expansion/retention assistance, information, and governmental contacts to existing businesses to assist with expansion activities. 4. Host an annual existing industry appreciation event and consider establishing an occasional meeting where businesses talk about the issues they encounter in the Lake Houston Area. 5. Communicate post-secondary education/ training needs of area companies identified during existing industry visits and encourage development of appropriate programs by area educational institutions,



which support local business and employment opportunities.

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STRATEGY E: Provide support and assistance to the expansion of small businesses, minority and women owned businesses and the development of entrepreneurship in the area. 1. Establish a Small Business Council that addresses the issues affecting small businesses and develops the programs that are needed by small businesses. 2. Continue to enhance the development of minority and women owned businesses through partnerships with the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council (HMSDC) and Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance (WBEA). 3. Develop a menu of education opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs to be offered in a variety of methods to enhance skills and capabilities. 4. Refer businesses to SCORE and the Lone Star College Small Business Development Center for support in preparation of business plans, financing, and consulting/ business education programs. STRATEGY F: Recruit primary jobs to the Lake Houston Area. 1. Develop marketing and recruitment strategies to focus on the following target markets: a. Office/Corporate Location b. Logistics/Airport Dependent Companies c. International Trade d. Healthcare Related Developments e. Energy Related Companies f. Retail/Hotel/Entertainment Developments 2. Work with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Greater Houston Partnership to receive state economic development project leads 3. Work with regional partners in participation at trade shows and events that are focused on our target markets. 4. Work closely and partner with surrounding area economic development organizations to identify target business clusters and collaborate on marketing to those clusters. 5. Develop information on and knowledge of federal, state and local incentive/capital tools available. 6. Secure information on state and local permit requirements and permitting/regulatory processes. Begin to build information/system for regulatory/permitting assistance program. 7. Monitor statewide legislative issues that could impact economic development and job creation in the state and local area.

Top 12 Reasons for Locating in the Lake Houston Area: 1.

Close proximity to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). 2. Location in the Houston Metro Area. 3. Excellent access to major transportation corridors (Beltway 8 and US 59). 4. Convenient access to the Port of Houston. 5. Multimodal Transportation Access (ground, air, water, rail). 6. Highly skilled and educated workforce. 7. Mild year round climate particularly suited for outdoor living. 8. Access to quality healthcare locally and regionally. 9. Quality K-12 schools and higher education opportunities. 10. High quality of life with a wide array of housing choices. 11. Fast growth area with a 3.96% compound growth rate between 2000 and 2010. 12. Excellent availability of sites for office, commercial, and industrial development projects.

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Priority One Annual Levels of Investment Establishing a formal, organized economic development program for the Lake Houston area will not be easy and does not come without the need for financial resources. By developing and implementing strategic directions, we can guide the growth of the Lake Houston region. A true public/private partnership will be the key to success. A budget of between $150,000 and $250,000 per year will be needed to operate a program of this magnitude. The levels below reflect a four-year commitment is to provide the necessary focus of making economic development for the Lake Houston region Priority One. Partner Investor $1,000 annually ($4,000 over four years) Investment at the Partner level entitles the investor to be published on all promotional collateral as an economic development supporter and used on websites, press releases, etc. to promote the organization and its activities. This also entitles the investor to participate on any LHAEDP committee and in specific events and activities for LHAEDP investors only. Principal Investor $2,500 annually ($10,000 over four years) Investment at the Principal level entitles the investor to be published on all promotional collateral as an economic development supporter and used on websites, press releases, etc. to promote the organization and its activities. The Principal level also entitles the investor to participate on any LHAEDP committee and in specific events and activities for LHAEDP members only and to be eligible for one of three Director-at-Large voting Board positions as selected by the Board of Directors. Pacesetter Investor $5,000 annually ($20,000 over four years) Investment at the Pacesetter level entitles the investor to be published on all promotional collateral as an economic development supporter and used on websites, press releases, etc. to promote the organization and its activities. The Pacesetter level also entitles the investor to participate on any LHAEDP committee and in specific events and activities for LHAEDP members only and be eligible for one voting Board position on the Board of Directors. Recognition as a Pacesetter will also be provided. Pacesetter PLUS Investor $10,000 and above annually ($40,000 or more over four years) Investment at the Pacesetter PLUS level entitles the investor to be published on all promotional collateral as an economic development supporter and used on websites, press releases, etc. to promote the organization and its activities. The Pacesetter PLUS level also entitles the investor to participate on any LHAEDP committee and in specific events and activities for LHAEDP members only and be eligible for one voting Board position on the Board of Directors. Special recognition as a Pacesetter PLUS will also be provided. PLUS investors will have an automatic seat on the Executive Committee of LHAEDP. There is not a firm or individual who lives, works, or does business in the Lake Houston Area that does not gain or lose, in a very tangible way, with the rise and fall of the Lake Houston Area regional economy. Priority One will gear all of its efforts toward developing a healthy economic climate for our citizens and the businesses that operate in the Lake Houston region.

A Project of the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce 110 West Main Street | Humble, Texas 77338 | Phone: (281) 446-2128 Email: President@LakeHoustonEDP.org | Website: www.LakeHoustonEDP.org

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Photo Credits: Bill Beard, Scott Meyer, and Ernie Silva Graphic Design: Carmen Wisenbaker

An Economic Development Plan that is the right direction for the Lake Houston Area


Priority One, an Economic Development Program for the betterment of our communities