Q&A with Katy Area EDC President Lance LaCour
Wednesday, July 07, 2021
By: R. Hans Miller - Katy Times, News Editor
The Katy Area Economic Development Council’s motto is “energy grows here” and KEDC President Lance LaCour and his team are working on several projects to make that motto a reality. LaCour says the goal is to continue to build the economy of the area and bring good jobs for area residents as Katy continues to grow.
Over the past year, the EDC has advocated on multiple occasions for assistance for local businesses as they faced the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and continued to work on projects to build the region from an economic perspective.
LaCour agreed to answer questions related to the current goals for the EDC and talked about why he’s decided to stick around instead of retiring as was announced a few months ago.
Q: How many projects does the EDC currently have in the works and what are some highlights of those projects?
Lacour: Currently, Katy Area EDC is working on 43 projects. The present number of projects in the pipeline is one of the highest I remember in my time with the organization.
Manufacturing and industrial sectors comprise a majority of the prospects. With the Katy area’s access to affordable acreage and transportation infrastructure, we are well positioned for continued growth in both sectors.
Q: As the EDC moves forward with these projects, what sort of jobs are you trying to bring to the area and what sorts of wages are you hoping workers will receive?
LaCour: Our goal is always to bring a diverse set of employment opportunities to our community. We have a strong talent pool with a variety of skillsets. From skilled trades to corporate jobs, we work to ensure the Katy area has a broad range of available jobs.
With that, wages vary depending on the job. However, we strive to attract well-paying jobs and continue to grow income levels in the Katy area.
Q: What sort of economic recovery are you seeing in the Katy area after the last year? What specific signs of hope are you seeing?
LaCour: Across industry sectors, we are seeing a strong bounce back from the impacts of COVID-19. In comparison to other areas, we were not initially impacted as strongly due to our highly diversified workforce. Many of our employers had the ability to pivot operations and move employees to remote work without enacting workforce reductions.
For me, the biggest thing I am excited to see is our restaurants and entertainment venues full again. The Katy area is well-recognized for its high quality of life, and the ability for our residents to get out and enjoy what our community has to offer is a great thing. With this, we see people spending in our local communities and generating tax revenue.
Q: We had previously heard that you’d planned to retire, but have now decided to stay with the EDC for a while longer. Can you tell us what happened and what you hope to accomplish at the EDC over the next few years?
LaCour: Following my announcement that I would be leaving the organization in 2022, I had further discussions with our Board and we began succession planning. Through these discussions, and as our economic recovery from COVID-19 began to accelerate, we agreed that the best path forward was for me to continue in my role.
The Katy area community, and Katy Area EDC and its members, have given so much to me and my family. When the time does come for me to leave this role, I want to make sure the organization and our community is positioned as well as possible for continued success. To that point, I felt now, during the economic recovery, was not the right time to exit my role.
I look forward to continuing in my role and serving the Katy area community.