Wolff talks job creation, Amazon, transportation issues at State of County Address

San Antonio expected to add 30,000 jobs in 2017

SAN ANTONIO – The city San Antonio is on pace to add 30,000 jobs by the end of this year, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said Monday.

That was part of the message Wolff delivered during his State of the County Address.

Wolff said right now is not the time to lose momentum, and through the Economic Development Foundation, they need to continue to be aggressive in seeking companies to come to San Antonio.

Wolff said this year, they have used incentives to successfully recruit 13 companies and to expand other local companies.

"There's a lot of internal growth that we're seeing, which is a best way to grow an economy," Wolff said. "Companies that are here now and continue to grow, Whataburger for example, with their headquarters here in San Antonio."

Wolff said with the transportation needs of Bexar County rapidly changing, they're looking at ways to improve the traffic situation that might include light rail, car sharing and driverless cars. But he said he is also hoping to develop better air transportation service.

"Seventeen percent of our passengers that should be going to our airport are instead driving to Houston and driving to Austin because of cheaper flights and more frequent flights," Wolff said.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg has appointed an independent air task force and he noted that the county already has three great assets with San Antonio International Airport, Stinson Municipal Airport and Port San Antonio.

"We got Port San Antonio," said Wolff. "People don't realize that there's a 12,000-foot runway there. It can land international jets, cargo and it's a good compliment to the airport that we have today."

Wolff said these investments, along with putting money into things like road infrastructure, public safety, top-tier research and culture amenities will make San Antonio a better city.

Wolff also said while the city may not be "throwing money at Amazon" to entice the company to build its second headquarters here, that doesn't mean San Antonio is completely out of the running.

"I wouldn't be totally surprised if they decided they really wanted to look at San Antonio," Wolff said. "(San Antonio is) an emerging, international city. I don't know how they'll come down, whether they will look at cash. We'll have to wait and see."

Amazon is not expected to announce where its second headquarters will be built until next year.

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