Tuesday Rotary meetings

Speaker Larry McMannis, Economic Development

Posted by on Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 in Blog

Reported by Jacqueline Sinex

President Dale Lowe called the meeting to order. Glenn West led members in pledges and Jim Bryce gave the invocation. Pauline Gubbels greeted guests and Karen Collins announced guests and visitors to the club.

Volunteer Opportunities

Mary Reynolds explained upcoming volunteer opportunities in literacy efforts. She also highlighted Mike O’Krent as “King of Book Collections” for his outstanding contributions in the Half Price Books Committee. Upcoming opportunities to volunteer include an incredible giveaway for new shoes for all students at Pecan Springs Elementary, Fall Festival Literacy Booth, Fall Bookfest, and “Books for Me” event.

Special Events and Announcements

Tillery Castillo reminded members of the member wine tasting event on Friday September 23rd.

Dale Lowe shared announcements, including a reminder that hosts were wanted for upcoming fall cluster meetings, and reminders about meetings for Red Badge, Executive Committee and Scholarship Committee.

Several members received recognition as Paul Harris Fellows after contributing toward The Rotary Foundation. Pauline Gubbels, Steve Stearns, and Hannah Walker each received recognitions and pins. Hannah Walker was also previously a knight with the Early Act First Night program and earned her “Black Knight” award.

Michael Portman led the Thank Goodness Basket. Roger Williamson shared his interesting visit to the control center for major space missions, including a mission that has been monitored for over 39 years! Mark Johnson shared that his son is still thankfully employed despite his company’s recent lay offs.

Larry McMannis, Economic Development and Tourism, Office of the Governor

Past President Harold Ingersoll introduced the featured speaker Larry McManus with the Governor’s Office Economic Development and Tourism department.

Mr. McManus recognized member Russell Gallahan as a contributor to their efforts, including an upcoming workshop they would conduct together.

Mr. McManus went on to explain the make up of the department and how it evolved. Before 2003, the Economic Development efforts were originally independently run and not part of the Governor’s office. After their efforts in 2003 to attract a Toyota plant in San Antonio, it was recommended they combine forces with the Governor’s resources. Since then, the department has grown into various divisions including the recent inclusion of the Texas Music Office and Women’s Commission.

Texas performs at the top in many statistics, as Mr. McManus demonstrated. Texas is the 10th largest economy in the world, it is #1 in foreign and direct investment, it is a top exporter in the US, it is the 2nd largest civilian work force, and it includes 9 of the top 10 growing cities in America.

Important factors that attract business to Texas include the logistics of available transportation, including ample roads, railroads, seaports and airports.

Economic development is a coordinated effort between multiple parties – including government, companies, workers and the community. The programs focus not only on recruiting companies to Texas, but also on retention and expansion. Availability of skilled and trained workers are a key factor that companies consider when they are interested in relocating to Texas; if the types of candidates in the area do not appear to be employable with proper training or education, the work site will be less likely to suit their needs.

Learn more at the Office of the Governor website.

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