New energy corridor in The Woodlands


It's easy to see the growth that continues to define The Woodlands and south Montgomery County. What's harder to see is that so much of that growth is directly related to the energy industry.

"Energy is our newest and most growing area of business. We are becoming another energy corridor here," said Karen Hoyleman with The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce.

For the first time in its 28 years, the Chamber's Economic Forum, later this week, is dedicated to energy.

"Energy is rapidly becoming the most prevalent part of our community," Hoyleman said.

Anadarko is The Woodlands largest employer and it recently finished adding its second large tower. Just a couple of miles south, Exxon-Mobil is constructing its new campus-like facility, bringing thousands of new jobs to the area. The company is also building two additional facilities in The Woodlands at the new Hughes Landing.

"Business is very good. We've been incredibly blessed," said Steve Pate with Strike USA.

Pate is CEO of Strike, an energy services company also moving into Hughes Landing. Strike is a presenting sponsor of the forum and has called The Woodlands home for 11 years.

"Just being in The Woodlands is a huge recruiting tool. The Woodlands is just such a great place to live," said Pate.

Gil Staley, whose job it is to recruit business here, says it's easier than it's ever been because of multi-faceted growth.

"Certainly there are other sectors that are growing besides energy, healthcare is one of them, professional services is another. But energy is certainly leading the way," Staley said.

The Woodlands believes this is just the beginning too and that soon this will truly be another energy corridor in southeast Texas.

"We run the woodlands, it's a city that's run like a business, very limited government, low taxes, low regulation, economic incentives to the businesses that have come," said Bruce Tough with The Woodlands Township.

The economic forum will be held Friday and it is sold out. More than 600 executives are expected to talk about energy in Montgomery County.

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