John Sparks, owner of Sparks Insurance.

SPARKS HAS NEW LOCATION
Sparks Insurance held a re-grand opening at their new location at 25103 FM 2100 in Huffman Feb. 19. Sparks Insurance has been serving the Lake Houston area since 2003 and has been a member of the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce since 2004. The ribbon cutting was held at noon.

FINAL TRAFFIC REPORT DUE
The final Kingwood Area Mobility Study Public Stakeholder Meeting will be Tuesday, April 21, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Kingwood Community Center. A brief synopsis of the study, as well as the final report, will be presented followed by an opportunity for public comments and questions. The report will be finalized and posted to gundacorp.com/kingwood-mobility by the end of March, in advance of the April 21 meeting, to give residents the opportunity to review the information before the meeting.


LONE STAR COLLEGE PUTS TRUCK DRIVERS ON ROAD
Lone Star College Transportation Institute instructors like Bill Brady are putting new careers in gear in just six short weeks.

Houston is one of the leading port cities in the country and the transportation industry is struggling to find qualified drivers. Many are turning to the Lone Star College Transportation Institute for training that can potentially take them from a minimum-wage, dead-end job to earning approximately $35,000 in just six short weeks. The LSC Transportation Institute boasts a 98 percent placement rate for graduates of its Professional Truck Driver Program. More than 200,000 drivers will be needed between now to 2020; the average age of a LSC Transportation Institute student is 36 and 12 percent are women. To find out more, visit LoneStar.edu/Professional-Truck-Driver.

TEXAS TECH INDUSTRY SECOND IN NATION
CompTIA recently released its 2015 Cyberstates report, which provides a state-by-state analysis of the U.S. technology job market, and found that Texas’s tech industry ranked second in the country and employed 581,200 workers in 2014. These workers had an annual average salary of $96,600, which was 85 percent more than the average private sector wage in the entire state. Why is the tech industry so important to Texas? It means: 20,100 net jobs added between 2013 and 2014 – a number that’s expected to continue to rise in 2015; a tech payroll of $56 billion in 2014, ranked second nationwide, accounting for more than 11percent of all private sector payroll Texas; and 5.8 percent of the state economy is from the tech industry.

LEADERCAST LAKE HOUSTON
Leadercast 2015 presents 'The Brave Ones' Friday, May 8, at Second Baptist Church in Kingwood. 'Brave Ones' exist across all industries, societies and at every level of leadership. Join Leadercast Live in 2015 as they explore The Brave Ones and learn what it means to lead in such a way that create bold cultures, builds faithful employees and produces high achievement. The program will begin at 8 a.m. (breakfast will begin at 7 a.m.) $89 until May 1; price increases to $99 on May 1. Group tickets (4 or more) are $75/ticket. Breakfast, lunch, snacks and conference materials included. Raffles and drawings throughout the conference. Speakers include Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Ed Catmull, president of Pixar & Disney Animation Studios; Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor, Peyton Manning, NFL football player, and many more. Go to leadercast.com/location/lakehouston to register and for more information.

COMMISSION APPROVES MORE THAN $2 BILLION IN ROAD PROJECTS
Three months after Texas voters approved Proposition 1, adding $1.74 billion to the state highway fund, the Texas Transportation Commission approved the construction of 201 road projects. Starting in March, the Texas Department of Transportation will begin awarding projects to contractors with construction kicking off soon after. Among the projects slated to begin work are more than 800 miles of rehabilitated highways; nearly 500 miles of new highway lanes; 64 bridge replacements; and 18 lane-widening enhancements that will add 159 miles of passing lanes to rural highways. Many TxDOT districts plan to use money dedicated for maintenance to repair or rehabilitate highways affected by production in the energy sector. Over the past five years, there were 248 fatalities and more than 23,000 crashes on the highway segments where Proposition 1 projects are located. The work planned in these areas will help reduce the number of crashes, resulting in fewer fatalities and injuries.

WHERE DO PEOPLE WORK?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012, large enterprises employed 59.9 million people (51.6 percent of all employees), very small enterprises employed 20.4 million people (17.6 percent), small enterprises employed 19.4 million people (16.7 percent) and medium enterprises employed 16.3 million people (14.0 percent).

MICHAEL'S CELEBRATES SPRINGTIME IN PARIS
A photo accompanying this release is available at globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=30941

Crafters and artists who love the elegant details of Parisian art and design have a chance to win a trip for two to the City of Light by entering Michaels' Springtime in Paris contest, which runs through March 31. To enter, customers simply create Parisian-inspired art, or a floral, baking or paper craft project, take a photo and upload it to paris.michaels.com. The winner will receive a five-night trip for two to Paris including airfare and hotel, plus 1,000 euros for spending money, a VIP tour of the Louvre, a private sketching lesson with Urban Sketchers, a floral arranging class at Catherine Mueller Flower School and a French cooking class at La Cuisine Paris. Contest details and rules are at paris.michaels.com.

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