With a thriving petrochemical industry, strong educational assets, and a vibrant local culture, Pasadena, Texas, is a significant contributor to the Houston metro area economy. The city’s central role in this dynamic region is reinforced by its geographic location (just 15 minutes from downtown Houston) and its status as the metro area’s second largest city in terms of population. However, Pasadena’s essential role in the regional economic landscape has often gone overlooked.
In 2017, the Pasadena Economic Development Corporation (EDC) engaged TIP Strategies (TIP) to produce a strategic plan which was released in July 2018. Achievements in the plan’s initial implementation phase included a website launch, a new business visitation program, and the opening of San Jacinto College (SJC) LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, and Technology (CPET). To build on these successes and continue forward momentum on opportunities that had yet to be realized, TIP was re-engaged in 2022 to prepare a five-year update to the original plan. The plan’s 6X6 framework featured the six areas from the prior plan—marketing and image, business development, workforce, catalyst projects, tourism and retail, and support structures—with six updated recommendations under each goal. This updated framework was designed to maximize changes in Pasadena’s opportunities, priorities, and resources since the 2017–2018 planning process to expand the city’s economic footprint in the region and beyond. While the EDC and its partners have found much common ground—as evidenced by the many accomplishments from the 2018 plan—coalition building and alignment remain important to the community’s future. Just weeks after the plan update was finalized, the Houston metro area’s name was formally changed from the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA to the Houston-Pasadena-The Woodlands MSA, reinforcing the city’s role as a major regional hub and helping inspire the EDC and its partners to capitalize on future opportunities.