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Workforce Development Trends and Best Practices Highlight of 2017 Greater San Marcos Economic Outlook

San Marcos, Tex. - Shabaka Gibson, senior vice president of Ady Advantage, will be the Keynote Speaker for the 2017 Greater San Marcos Economic Outlook luncheon on May 18. Gibson’s talk will highlight current trends in workforce readiness for economic development and will look at best practices for attracting primary jobs from a talent perspective. 

“In the past, the rule in business was ‘If you build it they will come,’’ said Gibson. “With the advancements in communication technology, businesses now settle on the areas that have the right talent. Today, successful economic development rests partially on a community’s ability to strengthen and sell its talent assets.”

The Greater San Marcos Partnership’s (GSMP) luncheon will take place at the Embassy Suites San Marcos Conference Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ady Advantage is a comprehensive and integrated site selection and marketing consulting firm with a focus on helping manufacturers, utilities and other sectors grow their businesses through an integrated solution set that includes research, competitive positioning, marketing strategy, integrated communications, and facility expansion.

Gibson’s passion is building vibrant economies and strong communities. As senior vice president at Ady Advantage, he leads initiatives for a wide range of organizations. Gibson works to position communities for successful futures, as well as, help retain, attract and expand businesses. In addition, he consults and speaks nationally on talent issues and strategies.

Gibson’s background is in community and corporate interactions. Prior to joining Ady Advantage, Gibson spent nine years with ExxonMobil working in corporate affairs. There, he focused on brownfield remediation and site redevelopment, public policy, socio-economic development and corporate social responsibility, business and municipal tax policy, and workforce development with an emphasis on education reform. Gibson has also worked as a municipal manager in southwest Michigan and in economic development for Berrien County, Michigan.

A former US Army military intelligence officer, Gibson served for 10 years with an extended tour as a joint operations company commander in Iraq.

“An area’s workforce must have the skill sets needed to fill the jobs offered by today’s employers or they will be left behind,” said GSMP president Adriana Cruz. “We wanted to bring in a speaker who works with employers and communities to solve talent issues. Mr. Gibson’s experience is going to provide a valuable perspective for business, community, and workforce development leaders in the Greater San Marcos region.”

In addition to Shabaka Gibson, the program will feature a panel of workforce development leaders from the Austin-San Antonio Corridor. The panel will look at what local efforts are being made today to prepare the corridor’s talent pool for jobs of tomorrow. Panelists include:

  • Aaron Demerson, Director, Employer Initiatives, Texas Workforce Commission (Moderator);
  • Dr. Daniel Brown, Dean of University College, Texas State University;
  • Dr. Charles Cook, Chief Academic Officer, Austin Community College;
  • Chester Jenke, Manager, Central Texas Technology Center;
  • Lonnie Hall, Director, Gary Job Corps; and
  • Commissioner Ruth Hughs, Texas Workforce Commission

San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides, GSMP president Adriana Cruz and, on behalf of the event’s Title Sponsor, Wells Fargo vice president of Business Banking David Case will provide opening remarks. 

“Wells Fargo understands the important role businesses play in the success of our communities,” said Case. “As we all strive to help the city thrive, it’s imperative that we utilize partnerships between the business community and workforce institutions to strengthen our social and economic footprints. Together, we can leverage talent and resources to build a stronger economy in San Marcos.”

In addition to Mayor Thomaides, confirmed elected officials attending the event include Hays County Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe of Precinct 1 and Hays County Commissioner Will Conley of Precinct 3, and representing U.S. Senator John Cornyn’s office will be Ms. Sandy Edwards

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at greatersmtxeconomicoutlook17.splashthat.com. This event is open to the media.



Ashley Gossen

Director of Communications & Community Engagement

(T): 512.660.0808

(E): ashleyg@greatersanmarcostx.com

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