Leading SA: Greater: SATX

President, CEO Jenna Saucedo-Herrera talks about current state of local economy

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio is growing fast!

We tell you about the growth in education, jobs and the future. Greater: SATX is a private-public nonprofit with a mission to bring in and grow quality jobs in and around our community.

Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president and CEO of Greater: SATX, joined Leading SA to discuss the current state of our local economy and big moves on the horizon, and how the Alamo City is incredibly resilient economically.

“If you think about recent downturn, San Antonio hasn’t been impacted to the extent that communities have with high concentrations in one industry over another here in San Antonio. Our economy and our job creation are spread across seven significant industries and so many more. Now, if you think about the recent pandemic during 2020, San Antonio actually ranked fourth in the country for jobs retained. And again, I would cite our diversity as that strength. We’re only going to grow as a local economy and at Greater: SATX that is our job to make sure that San Antonio grows in an informed and thoughtful way,” Saucedo-Herrera said.

One of the big projects recently is the San Antonio Airport and the regional Air Service Development Fund to attract new nonstop air service to San Antonio International Airport.

“So the airport as an economic development asset, I would say is the most important asset that we have, the most important tool that we have in our toolbox. And we have worked with airport leaders in recent years to determine a path forward to increasing nonstop capacity. Our businesses, our people, locals and tourists alike need the ability to connect to nonstop destinations domestically and internationally. We are, with the help of City Council, investing $2.5 billion into the infrastructure at the airport. And now we need to increase that nonstop service. And this fund allows us to have conversations with airlines about our demand and about our unserved markets. In fact, San Antonio is the largest metro and the fastest growing metro in the country without transatlantic service and we aim to change that,” Saucedo-Herrera said.

Obviously a big part of any city’s growth is education and opportunity.

“The biggest thing that we’ve seen in recent years with regards to academia and education is alignment. You know, we are creating jobs in our local community and we are growing by way of people. What we’ve been focused on with our universities, specifically, is those transferable skill sets, right? We’ve got the demand jobs. How do we get San Antonians into those jobs? And we’ve seen those numbers increase, in fact, again, during the pandemic. San Antonio grew two- and four-year degrees by 3%, when the rest of the country stayed flat, when communities like Austin and Nashville stayed flat. That’s something to be proud of and something that we need to continue to invest. And we know those demand occupations that are growing. We know the local programs that are growing, that level of talent. And we need to connect those dots for San Antonians. And that’s what our SA Works program at Greater SATX does,” Saucedo-Herrera said.

As for the future of the Alamo City, one of our biggest strengths is our diversity.

“If you look at census data, you see that demographically San Antonio represents the future face of the state of Texas and of the country, and that we are predominantly Latino, Hispanic. We’re extremely proud of that. And those are the conversations that we’re having with CEOs around the world about potential investments in San Antonio. I think now is our time, and again I am just so thrilled and enthusiastic about our future,” Saucedo-Herrera said.

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About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.