Posts tagged “city accolades

CS primed for bright 2018 – but don’t take our word

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

No one is surprised these days when College Station gets ranked among the nation’s top college towns, as a great place for business, or as one of the best places to live.

The criteria publications and financial websites use to compile those rankings are usually based on data from the past year. The lists are usually divided into population categories, too.

A website called CardRates.com is different. This week it was bold enough to make predictions about what’s ahead by publishing a list of “10 cities Primed for Economic Growth and Opportunity in 2018.” It included cities as small as 5,178 people (Evansville, Wisc.) to as large as 947,897 (Austin).

By now, you’ve probably guessed that College Station made the list. Why else would we be blogging about it? But you may be surprised that we are ranked No. 1.

That’s right. CardRates says College Station’s economy could be as good as it gets in the entire country in 2018. In developing the list, CardRates took factors such as pay, cost of living and unemployment rates into consideration.

Here’s what they had to say about us:

College Station is located roughly equidistant from Houston and Austin. Although the city has seen a population increase of about 25 percent over the last 10 years, College Station, with fewer than 120,000 residents, is large enough to offer city amenities, while still being small enough to maintain that hometown feel.

College Station’s unemployment rate is well below the national average at 2.7 percent, the lowest among the cities on our list, and the median household income has grown more than 80 percent since 2000. The city’s largest employer is Texas A&M University, which has its main campus in College Station, and is nationally recognized as a Land-, Sea-, and Space-Grant Institution.

Here’s the full list:

We already knew we were doing pretty well, but it’s nice – and a bit exciting – to know others feel the same way.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Guess who’s the fastest-growing non-suburb in Texas?

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that College Station was the 18th fastest-growing city in the country from 2014 to 2015 when our population grew by 4.1 percent.

In that period, the Census says we added 4,253 new residents for a current population of 107,889. Texas cities dominate the list, with seven growing even faster than College Station. Georgetown led the nation with 7.8 percent growth, followed by New Braunfels at 6.6 percent.

College Station is the only non-suburb to rank among the state’s 10 fastest-growing cities.

Here’s the chart:

10 Fastest-Growing Texas Cities (2014-15)

  City (national rank) New
Residents
Growth
Pct.
1. Georgetown (1) 4,611 7.8%
2. New Braunfels (2) 4,339 6.6%
3. Frisco (4) 9,218 6.3%
4. Pearland (7) 5,473 5.3%
5. Pflugerville (11) 2,450 4.5%
6. Allen (16) 3,881 4.1%
7. League City (17) 3,877 4.1%
8. College Station (18) 4,253 4.1%
9. Conroe (19) 2,693 4.1%
10. McKinney (21) 6,000 3.8%

 


Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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International accreditation meaningful for CSFD, citizens

(L-R): CFAI Peer Team Leader Scott Avery, Driver/Engineer Stuart Marrs, Assistant Chief Paul Gunnels, CFAI Commission Chair Steven Westermann, Fire Chief Eric Hurt, Public Education Officer Christina Seidel.

(L-R): CFAI Peer Team Leader Scott Avery, Driver/Engineer Stuart Marrs, Assistant Chief Paul Gunnels, CFAI Commission Chair Steven Westermann, Fire Chief Eric Hurt, Public Education Officer Christina Seidel.

By Stuart Marrs, CSFD Driver/Engineer

To say College Station is a special place isn’t exactly earth-shattering news. Anybody who’s ever been here knows that, and we have an extensive list of national and state recognitions to prove it.

But what you might not know is that College Station recently joined Plano as the only two cities in Texas to have nationally accredited Fire, Police and Public Safety Communications departments.

This spring, the College Station Fire Department became an accredited agency through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). We’re one of only seven municipal fire departments in Texas – and 164 in the world — to attain this elite status.

To our firefighters, the recognition is meaningful because it’s bestowed by our peers. To our citizens, it’s clear evidence of our commitment to establish and maintain the highest standards as we strive to provide them with the best, most efficient services.

Accreditation also provides a framework for continually improving every aspect of our operations, which directly impacts the level of service we provide to our growing community.

A long, rigorous process

In 2013, the CSFD was challenged by our City Manager’s Office to renew our goal of international accreditation, a demanding process which requires evaluation in 254 performance areas. An 18-month internal self-assessment highlighted our strengths, exposed our weaknesses, and led to the creation of a strategic plan for continuous improvement.

In January, an independent peer assessment team of fire officers from around the country reviewed our self-assessment and strategic plan, then conducted four days of meticulous on-site inspections.

In March, Fire Chief Eric Hurt led our internal accreditation team to Orlando, Fla., to testify in front of the CFAI Commission. The 11-member panel asked questions regarding our emergency responses, time analysis, risk assessments, and plans for future growth before voting unanimously to grant accredited status to the CSFD.

A comprehensive team effort

Achieving accreditation is a result of the dedicated efforts of an overwhelming majority of our personnel from every level in our department. They were vital in providing data, developing community risk analyses, planning for future growth, researching and writing technical documents, and managing and tracking improvements in intradepartmental programs.

Other city departments – Finance, Human Resources, Water, GIS, Fleet, Planning, and the City Manager’s Office — also made key contributions.

The process helped us better understand the risks in our community and provides a framework for us to constantly evaluate and improve our performance. In fact, to maintain our status as an accredited agency, we’re required to submit annual updates to the CFAI commission that demonstrate how we are addressing our weaknesses, measuring our improvement, and raising our standards.

We gladly accept that challenge because we know it’ll benefit our personnel and most importantly, the public we serve.

 


1010a8cAbout the Author

Stuart Marrs has been with the College Station Fire Department since 2009. He was previously a firefighter with the Huntsville (Texas) Fire Department. Stuart graduated from Texas A&M in 2006 with a degree in communications.


 

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Educational opportunities just another way we honor our veterans

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Bryan-College Station has always prided itself on its patriotism, thanks in no small part to the role military service and sacrifice has played in Texas A&M’s rich history. Since so many of our residents have served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces, our community reserves a special reverence for Veterans Day.

That’s why we’re especially proud to be ranked No. 4 on USAA’s 2015 list of the best places in America for veterans to get an education. Tuscaloosa, Ala., was ranked No. 1 while No. 6 Killeen was the only other Texas city to rank among the top 10.

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College Station has plenty to be excited about

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

lNqMKLast week, a travel site called Gogobot placed College Station No. 1 on its list of the Most Exciting Cities in Texas.

Yes, you read that right.

We all love College Station, and it’s certainly not a boring place these days. But THE most exciting city in the best state in America?

Even those of us who spend most of our waking hours at city hall had a hearty chuckle about that one.

Then, late Tuesday, I noticed another list.

WalletHub, a popular financial blog, said College Station has the fifth fastest-growing economy in the country. We’re ranked fourth among mid-sized cities (100,000-300,000 population). Our neighbors in Bryan are No. 8 overall and No. 2 among small cities (under 100,000 population). (more…)


Being tops in Texas means we’re pretty special

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Is everything truly bigger and better in Texas?

Folks elsewhere may disagree, but those of us who call Texas home consider that adage to be self-evident. We’re just honest, right?

That’s why being considered the best place for anything in Texas means you’re pretty special.

In recent years, the Bryan-College Station area has received plenty of national attention for our thriving economy, outstanding schools and overall high quality of life. Having the best university in the country in our front yard doesn’t hurt, either.

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