Greater Conroe (TX) Economic Development Council – Economic Development Strategic Plan

ChallengeConroe sits at the heart of Montgomery County, one of the fastest growing counties in the country. In addition, the city is located on the northern edge of one of the nation’s most populous metropolitan regions — Houston. Moreover, just minutes to the south of Conroe sits one of the region’s most prosperous suburbs, The Woodlands. In other words, Conroe is ideally situated to attract new investment and development thanks to its location on the growing Interstate 45 corridor. The availability of large tracts of developable industrial properties within Conroe Park North and planned expansions at the Lone Star Executive Airport afford the area with unique attributes for attracting interest from firms seeking new locations in the Houston area. The community also has opportunities for the development of a strategic site at the intersection I-45 and FM 3083, as well as the potential development of a technology business park along the northern perimeter of the city. Recognizing these opportunities, the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council hired TIP Strategies to assist in updating its economic development strategy.

ApproachRecognizing these opportunities, the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council (GCEDC) — with assistance from the Conroe Industrial Development Corporation (CIDC) — hired TIP to prioritize area economic development opportunities. To complete this project, TIP performed the following work steps: an assessment of sites and local economic and demographic data; facilitation of workshops with the GCEDC and CIDC; and interviews with community leaders, major employers, and regional economic development professionals.

OutcomeThe result was an update of the GCEDC’s previous target industry list (compiled by TIP in 2005), as well as the development of strategies to leverage Conroe’s greatest economic development assets. Based on national and regional trends, as well as the area’s existing economic base, TIP selected the following targets: energy equipment manufacturing; medical devices and equipment; aviation-related activities; healthcare and related services; and professional, technical, and scientific services. To support these targets, TIP identified three sites within the Conroe area on which the GCEDC should focus improvement and recruitment efforts. Finally, the plan provided specific marketing recommendations for GCEDC, strategies for leveraging higher education and workforce training assets, and instructions for the supporting and expanding small business and entrepreneurs.

TIP Contact Tom Stellman

Photo credit Tim Samoff

Photo credit David Grant