Woodlands chamber to host Economic Outlook Conference

February 7, 2018 GMT

Hundreds of people are expected to attend what’s being described as the premier business event in The Woodlands area.

The annual Economic Outlook Conference, created and produced by The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, is set for Feb. 16. at the The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.

The conference, which the chamber will be hosting for the 32nd consecutive year, is expected to provide valuable insights into the local and state economy.

“This event brings together nationally recognized speakers, industry leaders and the business community to look at what is ahead,” said J.J. Hollie, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

The theme of this year’s gathering is being termed “Resilient Community/Innovative Future,” with numerous speakers at the event, including U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, expected to talk about the financial impact of Hurricane Harvey on The Woodlands, as well as the overall economy.

Aside from Brady, local civic and business leaders scheduled to speak to the expected 800 or so attendees include Gordy Bunch, the chair of The Woodlands Township Board of Directors. Also speaking will be the owner and founder of Gallery Furniture, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, officials from The Woodlands Development Co., a handful of corporate CEOs and others.

“We have a very rich slate of speakers and people are going to leave this conference knowing something they didn’t know before they came,” Hollie promised.

The conference will include discussions about job growth-a key component of the local economy that showed improvement throughout all of 2017.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the state agency that tracks jobs and unemployment, a record level of jobs were created across Texas last year, pushing the unemployment rate down across the state and locally.

Separate numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor show the unemployment rate in Montgomery County in December, 2017, the most recent month posted, had dropped to 3.7 percent. That’s better than the state rate of 3.9 percent and the national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent.

“I think if you want to get a good picture of what the economy is doing, you need to come to this conference,” Hollie said.

The conference, set for Feb. 16 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. and run until 1 p.m.