The Woodlands Township board of directors accepted an annual report from The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, which highlighted 15 proposed businesses that could bring up to 1,800 new jobs to the area.

Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area EDP, said one of the proposed businesses was able to be recently announced in NYDIG, a bitcoin technology company that is coming to The Woodlands Towers. However, due to the confidential nature of negotiating with businesses, Staley said most cannot be announced at this time.

“This is a five-year high for the EDP,” Staley said. “This is even better than the previous five years.”

Staley added the EDP is tracking 10 expansion projects in the area as well with two including the expansions at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center, which are anticipated to bring in more than 435 jobs upon their completion.

Staley said the EDP’s talks with businesses over the past year have highlighted a shift in the office environment in the area with employers noting they are switching to splitting the work week with three days in the office and employees working from home for the remaining two days.

“[The] hybrid working schedule is popular as a retention strategy,” Staley said.

Staley added this will likely change the development of office space for employers in the area moving forward.

For business industries, Staley highlighted the health care and education industries being the two largest nonretail employers with at least 100 employees for The Woodlands area, making up 28% and 18.1%, respectively. The energy sector declined to 11.2% of employees in the area, which Staley said he predicts to continue to decline next year.

Staley also said there had been some slight growth in the number of midsize employers with 40-99 employees in the area through 2021 with several breaking into the major area employers.

The 62 midsize employers represent around 3,758 employees for the area.

The board of directors unanimously approved to accept the report and will have further action during the Dec. 8 meeting.