Amazon chooses Greater San Marcos region again
By Kristen Meriwether, Editor LPR
On March 3 Amazon announced it will open a new “last mile” delivery station in San Marcos that is expected to open later this year. The new facility is expected to create hundreds of full and part-time jobs with a $15 per hour starting wage, and benefits for full-time employees starting on day one.
The news of another Amazon facility opening is starting to become a broken record. This new project is the fourth Amazon facility in the greater San Marcos region—which includes Lockhart and Caldwell County—joining a sorting facility in San Marcos and Kyle, and a distribution facility in Buda. Amazon is now the region’s largest employer with over 5,000 employees.
Amazon didn’t choose this area by accident. They, and other industrial businesses, are being drawn to the newly dubbed “Innovation Corridor.” It’s one of the fastest growing regions in the nation by boasting a prime location between San Antonio and Austin and offering employers a skilled and diverse workforce. Add in the fact that the State of Texas doesn’t charge a corporate or individual income tax, and businesses are relocating or expanding to the area in record numbers.
“They really see the long-term growth patterns here,” President of the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) Jason Giulietti said in a March 5 phone interview with LPR. “Not just the short-term, but they know that’s going to be sustainable for the foreseeable future.”
GSMP, which was founded in 2010 by regional stakeholders, has helped develop plans that have become a driving force in the region’s strategic economic development. The goal: to make the region a more prosperous, successful, and vibrant place to live, work, and do business.
In early 2020 they released their Vision 2025 plan, the work of a steering committee comprised of public, private, and non-profit leaders in the region. The group will target seven industries for economic development and growth in the region: aerospace, aviation, security and defense; business services and support; materials science; information technology; life sciences; regional Distribution; and destination attraction.
Companies like Amazon may make the biggest headlines, but companies like H.E.B., Berry Aviation, and UPS are also flocking to the region. Lockhart has also seen the benefits of this strategic development, courting robotics farming company Iron Ox in late 2020, and recently closing on a new 75-acre industrial park that is slated to bring more manufacturing to the city. Both the county and the city recently approved incentive agreements to make McElroy Metal the first tenant.
Attracting name brand companies certainly makes splashy headlines, but at the end of the day the only thing residents care about is jobs. Luckily one of the biggest draws for these companies coming to the region is the workforce.
“We have such a diversity in our workforce in age and education that we can offer companies every level of what their needs are,” Giulietti said.
If a company needs employees with entry level experience and a hard work ethic, the region can offer it. If a company is looking for seasoned employees with a college degree, the region can offer it. If a company is looking for managers with tons of experience, the region can offer it. As an added bonus the region has high fertility rates and a young population, meaning the region can not only provide today’s workforce, but tomorrow’s as well.
“It really checks so many boxes when companies are coming here because we can offer them that broad swath that other places might not be able to give,” Giulietti said.
With many of these companies just planting their flag in the region, it’s not too late for residents to get the tools needed to take advantage of new opportunities coming to the region.
Giulietti said they already know what type of industries they are looking to attract, and consequently the types of skills those employers are looking for. Training to fill those jobs with local residents is a top priority.
On March 30 GSMP will host the Spring 2021 Get Hired! Job and Education Fair to aid disproportionately displaced workers from the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors who may have lost their jobs due to COVID. The job fair will focus on matching active employers with those looking for new opportunities in the emerging economy
“If they don’t have the proper skills right now, we have other tools we can bring to help them, whether it’s getting them a certificate, getting them something that will make them more employable,” Giulietti said.
Spring 2021 Get Hired Greater San Marcos Job and Training Fair
Tuesday March 30, 2021
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Embassy Suites by Hilton San Marcos Hotel Conference Center & Spa
1001 East McCarty Lane
San Marcos, TX 78666