Katy, TX (September 8, 2016) The Texas Governor’s Office of Small Business Assistance (OSBA) announced that it has awarded approximately $100,000 in grant funding to 10 nonprofit organizations from across the state for projects promoting the development and success of small businesses in underserved markets, including $10,000 to the Katy Area Economic Development Council.
“Through the intended services and partnership development, we hope to have a profound impact on the growth of jobs, the continued development of our dynamic manufacturing community and the enhancement of our competitiveness both locally and internationally,” said Katy Area EDC President/CEO Lance LaCour.
The Katy Area EDC has helped created over 16,000 jobs since its inception and is the primary economic development organization for the greater Katy area, which encompasses portions of Fort Bend, Harris and Waller counties as well as the entire City of Katy. The project is intended to establish, strengthen and incentivize industry-driven consortia that address high-priority training and financing challenges impeding the growth of manufacturing in the Katy area. Additionally, the program will be used to fund broad participation across the local value-chain including universities and government agencies along with displaced manufacturing talent from companies of all sizes including participating and targeted firms.
Building upon previous work by the Katy Area EDC Construction and Manufacturing Industry Focus Group, the grant funding accompanied by future activities of the proposed consortium, will seek to improve the coordination of federal, state and local manufacturing development strategies while highlighting Katy area partnering capabilities to deliver value to existing and planned manufacturing and supply chain entities.
Katy Area EDC project goals include:
· Coordination of training and services consortia targeted at local manufacturing companies to help reverse recent negative economic trends and ensure increased growth and profitability
· Targeting underutilized HUB manufacturing firms by providing affordable mini-workshops and training opportunities
· Organizing mini-workshops to raise awareness and provide opportunities to apply for financial assistance
· Informing and promoting regular communication across public and private sectors
“Key small business needs that our target firms face revolve largely around identifying growth opportunities (collaborating on projects), attracting and retaining qualified talent, and accessing appropriate financing to support future development,” stated LaCour. “Most of our small and medium size companies excel within their area of expertise, but may be unaware of state and local resources available to them and do not have personnel in-house to coordinate these assets.”
“We will work with our Manufacturing Extension and Workforce Solutions partners to help identify and reach out to a diverse group of small and medium size manufacturers willing to interact with our network,” added LaCour. “Our primary partner will be Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC.)”
TMAC has six regional primary offices to serve the Texas market, with TEEX as the sponsor for TMAC in this area. Through the partnership developed and managed by the Katy Area EDC, workshops with TEEX will be provided to a maximum of 100 manufacturing companies with a goal of having 10 unique companies per mini-workshop.
Other recipients of the 2016 Governor’s OSBA Service Provider Grant include:
· County of Webb
· East Montgomery County Improvement District
· Galveston Chamber of Commerce
· Plan Empower Grow
· Prairie View A&M University
· San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside
· Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
· Welasco Area Chamber of Commerce
To learn more about the Governor’s Office of Small Business Assistance and the Service Provider Grant Program, visit https://texaswideopenforbusiness.com/small-business/division-services.