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San Antonio City Council to consider five-year economic development plan

Katie Haugland Bowen (CC BY 2.0) Flickr http://bit.ly/2niNeOC

The San Antonio City Council on Wednesday heard a briefing on a five-year economic development plan that attempts to address some of the city's most challenging issues.

It will be presented to the council for formal consideration at a later meeting.

The plan developed by a public-private partnership points out the city's median household income, at little more than $53,000, is the lowest among peer cities.

Austin has twice the number of high-income households of San Antonio and ethnic disparities in local paychecks have worsened.

San Antonio is also one of the least educated cities in the country with only 26% of residents over the age of 25 having earned a bachelor's degree.

Contributors to the plan say the city still does not fully embrace density, mixed-use, and urban real estate development in key districts and major corridors.

The plan also serves to reminds city leaders San Antonio has lost major corporate headquarters, like AT&T, and struggles to attract large private employers that offer good-paying jobs.

The plan has four major goals to help turn around those problems.

The first goal is to retain, expand, and attract business, provide more effective small business support and facilitate innovative entrepreneurship.

The second goal is to accelerate real estate development in specific neighborhoods that will create jobs and investment.

The third goal is to make sure San Antonians have accessible pathways to well-paid jobs while employers have access to a pipeline to qualified job seekers.

The fourth goal is to align the city's different economic development tools and agencies to accomplish goals that benefit the city as a whole.

The city's economic development department is seeking approval of the plan to focus future strategy for the department.

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