Prochazka named director of Planning & Development Services

Prochazka

Jennifer Prochazka will be the next director of College Station’s Planning & Development Services Department, Interim City Manager Jeff Capps announced Friday.

Prochazka has been with the City of College Station for 18 years. She has served as the city’s economic development manager since 2016, but held a variety of positions in long-range planning and development prior to that:

  • 2011-2016:    Principal Planner
  • 2005-2011:    Senior Planner
  • 2002-2005:   Staff Planner
  • 2000-2002:  Planning Intern

In addition to her work with the city, Prochazka has been an adjunct economic development specialist for Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, or TEEX, since 2015.

“Jennifer has a wealth of experience in municipal planning and economic development, and she’s done a phenomenal job in every role she’s served with the city,” Capps said.

Prochazka earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental design and a master’s degree in urban planning from Texas A&M University, and holds numerous certifications and professional affiliations. She begins her new role on Oct. 1.

The College Station Planning & Development Service Department is currently comprised of more than 40 employees, including the city engineer, building officials, greenways, transportation, land development and long-range planners. The department has a Fiscal Year 2018 budget of $4.3 million.

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Local unemployment rate falls to 2.7 percent in April

May 18, 2018

AUSTIN ⎯ The Texas economy added 39,600 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in April, which marked 22 consecutive months of employment growth. Over the year, Texas added 332,300 jobs for an annual employment growth rate of 2.7 percent in April. Private sector employers added 37,900 positions over the month. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in April, up slightly from 4.0 percent in March.

Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.1 percent, followed by the Amarillo MSA, which had the second lowest with a rate of 2.6 percent. The College Station-Bryan MSA recorded the third lowest rate of 2.7 percent for April.

“Texas employers continue to boost the impressive Texas economy by adding 39,600 jobs in April and 332,300 jobs over the year,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Our state’s ongoing trajectory of success is linked to the innovation and competitiveness of employers in a range of industries providing workers more opportunities to demonstrate their world-class skills.”

The Manufacturing Industry recorded the largest private-industry employment gain over the month with 8,600 jobs added. Professional and Business Services employment grew by 7,500 jobs in April, followed by Education and Health Services with 6,200 jobs.

“Texas employers added 327,500 jobs over the past year, making our state’s annual private-sector employment growth 3.2 percent for April, up from 2.9 percent in March,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “It’s no surprise that CEOs ranked the Lone Star State as the Best State for Business for the 14th consecutive year in a row. These numbers are a testament to the perseverance and resilience of our Texas employers and the diversity of our Texas economy.”

“The Texas labor force is now approaching 14 million and has continued to provide employers with the skills and expertise needed to keep the Texas economy growing,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “TWC and the 28 local workforce development boards are committed to connecting Texas workers with available jobs.”

Audio downloads with comments from Commissioner Hughs on the latest labor market data are available on the TWC website press release page. Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit tracer2.com.

 

CSU cited as reliable public power provider

College Station Utilities has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Diamond designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service. The designations were presented Monday in Raleigh, N.C.

In the program’s 13-year history, CSU and Denton Municipal Electric have received five RP3 designations, the most among Texas utilities. The designation lasts for three years and recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity.

The APPA reserves the Diamond designation for utilities that meet at least 98 percent of the program’s criteria. Other levels are Platinum (90-97 percent) and Gold (80-89 percent). College Station Utilities joins more than 92 public power utilities nationwide that have the RP3 Diamond designation, including only four in Texas. The others are Austin Energy, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, and Bryan Texas Utilities.

“This is a great honor,” CSU Electric Director Timothy Crabb said. “We take a lot of pride in the work we do to power our community. We’re very happy to get this recognition for our initiative and hard work.”

The APPA represents more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state-owned electric utilities.

 

CS primed for bright 2018 – but don’t take our word for it

No one is surprised these days when College Station gets ranked among the nation’s top college towns, as a great place for business, or as one of the best places to live.

The criteria publications and financial websites use to compile those rankings are usually based on data from the past year. The lists are usually divided into population categories, too.

A website called CardRates.com is different. This week it was bold enough to make predictions about what’s ahead by publishing a list of “10 cities Primed for Economic Growth and Opportunity in 2018.” It included cities as small as 5,178 people (Evansville, Wisc.) to as large as 947,897 (Austin).

By now, you’ve probably guessed that College Station made the list. Why else would we be blogging about it? But you may be surprised that we are ranked No. 1.

That’s right. CardRates says College Station’s economy could be as good as it gets in the entire country in 2018. In developing the list, CardRates took factors such as pay, cost of living and unemployment rates into consideration.

Here’s what they had to say about us:

College Station is located roughly equidistant from Houston and Austin. Although the city has seen a population increase of about 25 percent over the last 10 years, College Station, with fewer than 120,000 residents, is large enough to offer city amenities, while still being small enough to maintain that hometown feel.

College Station’s unemployment rate is well below the national average at 2.7 percent, the lowest among the cities on our list, and the median household income has grown more than 80 percent since 2000. The city’s largest employer is Texas A&M University, which has its main campus in College Station, and is nationally recognized as a Land-, Sea-, and Space-Grant Institution.

Here’s the full list:

We already knew we were doing pretty well, but it’s nice – and a bit exciting – to know others feel the same way.