The Greater Houston Partnership is celebrating 25 years of economic development in the region, and laid out new goals for the years ahead at its annual meeting Wednesday.

“The Houston area has added over 540,000 jobs since 2005, but we're also proud of the improvements in the quality of life in so many of our amenities here in Houston, the sports facilities and the support of bond issues associated with the parks' efforts and the bayou initiative,” says President and CEO Bob Harvey.

Harvey says the Bayou City added 82,000 jobs in 2013, and the forecast for this year is another 68,000.

“With the recent increase in drilling here in the U.S., companies are coming here to produce tubular goods and other things,” he tells KTRH News.  “But life science companies, manufacturing companies, warehousing and distribution companies are all coming to Houston.”

Harvey says while the energy sector has slowed down a bit, hospitality and home construction has picked up the slack.

Having a skilled workforce is needed to keep the momentum going.

“The key is to connect the businesses with the education community, and I always considered the community colleges right at the center of all this,” says Harvey.  “The school districts play a part, the training organizations play a part, but there's no one more central to the workforce issue than the nine community college systems.”