The Woodlands reports job growth for 2009
Despite a lagging economy, top companies in The Woodlands netted 230 new jobs in 2009 with growth in health care and education.
Most of the job growth was attributed to new facilities opened by St. Luke's The Woodlands Hospital and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital and a significant jump in enrollment at the Lone Star College System, including the Montgomery campus.
Overall, its seems a little more hopeful," said Karen Hoylman, executive director of the South Montgomery The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce. We are seeing bookings in large office buildings, and membership continues to be stable. We're lucky."
While The Woodlands reported overall job growth among its 100 top employers between January 2009 and January 2010, it also saw a significant decline in jobs in the energy and hospitality sectors in the community. Both were attributed to a national or even international downturn in those industry sectors in 2009.
Energy is a global market, and we have exploration, production and manufacturing services here," said Gil Staley, chief executive officer of the Economic Development Partnership.
Between January 2009 and January 2010, energy sector jobs went from 6,450 to 6,201, a loss of 249 workers. During the same period, hospitality jobs declined from 700 to 591, a drop of 109 positions.
The report from the South Montgomery County Woodlands Economic Development Partnership is based on an annual survey of about 50 top companies in the area that each employ more than 100 people. The Woodlands has about 23,000 jobs and about 75,000 people work in South Montgomery County, according to DemographicsNow.
The biggest area of growth was in the health care industry, with the addition of Lakeside Hospital and a free-standing emergency room for Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital in Sterling Ridge. Lakeside Hospital added 143 new jobs, bringing the total number of employees at St. Lukes to 1,123 in the community.
The health care industry continues to grow because of the aging of the community and the world," Hoylman said. You need health care no matter what the economy."
Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital also opened a free-standing emergency room in Sterling Ridge in 2009, adding to an increase of 50 new jobs for their facilities in the community. Memorial Hermann has 1,381 employees in the area.
In 2010, the hospital plans to break ground on a new seven story patient tower.
While new employment was flat at the Conroe Independent School District, the single largest employers in the county, the Lone Star College System added 167 new workers in 2009, including 90 jobs for the systemwide offices and 77 positions at Lone Star College Montgomery, Staley said.
People who are without job are going back for retraining," Hoylman said. The other part of that is many families are not sending their kids out to college because of the expense, but are keeping them closer to home."
The new job growth is in response to a rise in enrollment in the community college system, which has five campuses and six satellite centers in the Montgomery and Harris County areas. The district reported a 25 percent increase in enrollment between the spring of 2009 and the spring of 2010.
The college is in the middle of a major expansion plan, which includes one million square feet of new space over the next several years throughout the area.
For Montgomery County, this includes three new facilities, including a health science hall, new academic building and a music hall at the campus in The Woodlands and a new satellite facility in Conroe. The college is also building a parking garage at its Woodlands campus.
The report includes new full and part time josb in the non-retail sectir and does not capture seasonal and construction workers. For example, in addition to new employees at St. Luke's, there were about 300 construction jobs which are not counted in the survey, Staley said.
Top Employers in South Montgomery County
The South Montgomery County The Woodlands Economic Development Partnerhship reported an overall job growth of 230 positions in The Woodlands between Jan. 2009 and Jan. 2010. Following are the top non-retail employers and number of workers in Montgomery County:
Conroe Independent School District, 3,303
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, 2,532
Hewitt Associates 1,500
Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, 1,381
St. Luke's The Woodlands Hospital, 1,123
Huntsman Company 750
Woodforest National Bank 721
Chevron Phillips Chemical Company 651
US Oncology 630
Baker Hughes 600
Source: South Montgomery County The Woodlands Economic Development Partnership
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