Nearly 500 influential business and community leaders filled the beautiful Texas Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt on Monday to hear Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff deliver his annual State of the County address. Judge Wolff shared exciting news about the local economy, cultural amenities, public safety and the much-anticipated tricentennial celebration in 2018.
Economic development and job creation remain top priorities in Judge Wolff’s bold Bexar County agenda, and he was proud to tout the economic success the city has seen in 2017. “We are on pace to add 30,000 jobs this year,” Wolff said. He highlighted how Bexar County and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation used economic incentives to successfully recruit 13 companies and expansions of local companies.
Judge Wolff touched on the need for continued investment in workforce development and top tier research universities. “We need the private sector to step up and double the number of internships, apprenticeships, job shadowing days, industry certificates, and dual credit programs,” Wolff said. He noted the County’s investment in apprenticeships programs with Code Up and Open Cloud training as well as Bibliotech, the nation’s first all-digital public library. Wolff also mentioned his commitment to helping the University of Texas at San Antonio and Texas A&M University – San Antonio become top tier research universities. San Antonio is the only city in Texas to have both institutions.
Wolff discussed the need to improve air travel and public transit within the region. He said Bexar County – not just the City of San Antonio – has the authority regarding the planning, establishment, and construction of an airport, so he looks forward to working with Mayor Nirenberg and his newly appointed independent airport taskforce in 2018. While Wolff applauded the County’s $262 million dollar investment in Hwy 281, Loop 1604 and IH 10, he noted, “The transportation needs of Bexar County will dramatically change in the next decade.” He emphasized his commitment to working with the city early next year to “develop a first-class transit system” in San Antonio.
Judge Wolff concluded his remarks by highlighting the economic impact the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has had on the country and San Antonio. Last year, the combined NAFTA gross domestic product (GDP) was approximately $22 trillion. Wolff encouraged all business and community leaders to reach out to the President and congressional legislators and show support for NAFTA.
The luncheon was broadcast live on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Click here to access the video.