Skip to main content

METRO Begins Public Campaign for Latest Plan This Weekend

Published Jan 23, 2019 by Tess Cook

Carrin Patman at State of Metro

America's 4th largest city added nearly a million residents to its population in the last seven years, so if you're feeling a bit cramped, chances are you are not alone. And because growth seems to show no signs of slowing down, aggressive investment in infrastructure and public transportation is essential for our region.

This weekend METRO Houston begins meeting with the public on their newly released METRONEXT Moving Forward Plan. These meetings precede an expected November bond election where voters will be asked to approve bonding to help fund projects spanning 20 years. The bond amount is still to be determined by METRO's Board. A portion of the funding is anticipated to come from federal sources. The total price of the current draft transit plan is $7.5 billion.

The plan is "aggressive but feasible" said Chairwoman Carrin Patman to local lawmakers and engineers at the Partnership's State of Metro event in December. The new transit plan will be presented to Houstonians in 17 public meetings before the proposal is voted on in November 2019 alongside the mayoral election. 

Highlights from the plan include upgrades for those traveling to the airport. One out of four new light rail extensions will connect to Hobby Airport, and one of the five new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems will expedite trips to Bush International Airport. The proposal also prioritizes the creation of two-way HOV lanes to increase Park and Ride efficiencies and limit stoppage time caused by HOV lane accidents. To learn more about how this plan affects you or your community, attend one of the 17 planned public meetings or visit http://metronext.org for more information.

METRO Houston revealed the METRONEXT Moving Forward Plan at the recent State of Metro event following two years of stakeholder meetings and revisions.

Related News

Economic Development

Houston Expected to Create 75,000+ Jobs in '22 as Region Works to Regain Pandemic Losses

12/1/21
HOUSTON (December 1,2021) – The Greater Houston Partnership forecasts the Houston region will create 75,500 net new jobs in 2022. As the region’s economic recovery continues, employment gains are expected in every sector, with the greatest increases anticipated in administrative support and waste management; government; health care and social assistance; and professional, scientific and technical services.  Five factors will support job growth in the region next year: the ongoing U.S. expansion, robust global trade, energy consumption returning to pre-crisis levels, pent-up consumer demand, and local population growth. The dynamics affecting each are broken down in the report. The forecast warns that the recovery will continue to face headwinds, including elevated inflation, supply chain challenges and worker shortages, but these won’t be enough to halt growth.  As of September 2021, Metro Houston had recouped 245,600 jobs, or roughly 68 percent of the 361,400 lost in the early stages of the pandemic. The sectors most impacted by social distancing are near full recovery. Restaurants and bars have recouped 90.1 percent of their losses, retail 86.5 percent, other services (i.e., personal services), 94.0 percent. However, for the industries that were struggling prior to the pandemic—including energy, manufacturing, construction, and wholesale trade—COVID-19 made their situations worse. Those sectors began to shed jobs before COVID-19 arrived and continued to shed them after the economy reopened. Collectively, these struggling Houston industries account for over half the jobs needed to close the gap and recapture Houston’s pre-pandemic employment peak. Partnership Senior Vice President of Research Patrick Jankowski said the good news is that the outlook for the four sectors has improved in recent months and they’re taking small steps toward recouping their losses.  “Only eight times in the past 21 years has annual growth exceeded 75,500 jobs, which is our forecast for 2022,” Jankowski said. “Those eight years tend to coincide with rising oil prices or prices at an unsustainably high level. Factor out the booms (and the busts), and metro Houston typically creates 65,000 to 70,000 jobs in a ‘normal’ year. Measured against that, 2022 looks to be one of the better years for job growth in Houston.”  Metro Houston Jobs Forecast by Sector (December 2021 to December 2022)  Administrative Support/Waste Management: +9,000 jobs  Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: +8,700 jobs  Health Care and Social Assistance: +8,400 jobs  Restaurants and Bars: +7,200 jobs  Government: +7,100 jobs  Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities: +6,500 jobs  Manufacturing: +5,000 jobs  Energy: +4,000 jobs  Wholesale Trade: +3,000 jobs  Construction: +2,700 jobs  Other Services: +2,100 jobs  Finance and Insurance: +2,100 jobs  Educational Services: +2,000 jobs  Retail Trade: +2,000 jobs  Real Estate and Equipment Rentals: +2,000 jobs  Arts, Entertainment and Recreation: +1,600 jobs  Hotels: +1,200 jobs  Information: +700 jobs  Click here to see the full report, including a sector-by-sector examination of the factors that will prompt growth in the year ahead.  The mission of the Partnership is to make Houston one of the world’s best places to live, work and build a business. To that end, the Partnership provides this forecast to help the Houston business community and those involved in economic development in the region understand trends influencing the region’s economy and driving industry gains or losses. The forecast is designed to help businesses make better investment, staffing and purchase decisions in the coming year. ### Greater Houston Partnership The Greater Houston Partnership works to make Houston one of the best places to live, work and build a business. As the principal business organization in the Houston region, the Partnership advances growth across 12 counties by bringing together business and civic-minded leaders who are dedicated to the area’s long-term success. Representing more than 900 member organizations who employ approximately one-fifth of the region’s workforce, the Partnership is the place business leaders come together to make an impact. Learn more at Houston.org. A.J. Mistretta Vice President, Communications          (c) 504-450-3516 | amistretta@houston.org  
Read More
Economic Development

Report: Texas Among States Leading on Talent Attraction and Retention

11/29/21
A new survey suggests Texas is one of several states leading the nation in talent attraction and retention strategy.  Respondents to a survey from the Site Selectors Guild, an association of leading professional site selection consultants, said that Texas was one of six states that have successfully implemented talent strategies that are making them more attractive to companies. Besides Texas, the other states cited by the consultants were Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.  Survey respondents said companies weighing relocation or expansion options are looking for strong labor supply, robust workforce development programs, and proximity to higher education institutions or access to certificate programs. And in some cases, they said, companies will overlook other, less favorable operating conditions if the right mix of workforce attributes is present. Eighty-five percent of site selectors specializing in office projects said availability and quality of talent is the single-most important factor in office location decisions.  The survey provides insight on some of the issues weighing on site selectors and the clients they serve. Forty-one percent of respondents said they believe skills shortages are the new normal, with manufacturing and transportation/warehousing among the industries most directly affected by the talent crisis.  “Guild members are hearing from their clients about tight labor markets, unprecedented wage increases, and renewed interest in workforce training programs and recruitment tools – all of which are impacting corporate location choices,” said Chris Lloyd, Chairman of the Site Selectors Guild and Senior Vice President and Director of Infrastructure and Economic Development at McGuireWoods Consulting. Lloyd said he and other members of the guild “are working hard with our partners in economic development organizations to identify best in class talent attraction and retention initiatives to help companies meet their needs as the economy recovers from the COVID pandemic.” When asked which industries they expect will be most impacted by talent and/or skill shortages over the next five years, survey respondents selected the following industries: Manufacturing (83%) Transportation/Warehousing (68%) Construction (61%) Healthcare (61%) Hospitality (Accommodations/Food Service) (59%)  In addition, 68% of consultants said in a tightening labor market, companies will put an increasing emphasis on training for necessary skills rather than seeking to hire individuals with those skills.  The survey respondents reported that corporate clients are reacting to the skill and workforce shortages in a variety of ways – the top one being raising wages or salaries – with 83% indicating this as a client response. Consultants said companies are taking other actions, including introducing efficiencies such as purchasing automated equipment to produce goods, improving logistics, and/or implementing LEAN manufacturing methodologies (61%); improving benefits or worker “perks” (56%); offering retention/attraction bonuses (44%) and upskilling/retraining their existing workforce (44%).  Learn more about what makes Houston a great place to expand or relocate a business. 
Read More

Related Events

COVID-19 Business Forums

UpSkill Works Forum: New Mission, Transferable Talent: What Employers Need to Know About Hiring and Retaining Veterans

With more than 250,000 veterans in residence, Houston has the country's second highest veteran population. Veterans are a diverse, highly skilled talent population that can bring valuable experience to a workplace…

Learn More
Learn More