Deep East Texas officials discuss economic growth solutions for rural counties

Deep East Texas officials discuss economic growth solutions for rural counties

SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - The Deep East Texas Council of Governments and Economic Development noticed in a recent report that overall economic growth in their region has declined.

What they found was that even though there was growth in counties along the Highway 59 and Highway 69 corridor, such as Angelina and Nacogdoches, the more rural counties were experiencing enough economic decline to affect the entire region.

"Whether you're in Nacogdoches, Lufkin, or Polk counties, the growth is along that corridor," said DETCOG Executive Director Walter G. Diggles. "What we really want to do is concentrate some of our economic development efforts in those parts of the region with creating jobs."

DETCOG said that concentrating on adding jobs in the larger counties will provide more jobs to people in the more rural counties, helping stimulate their individual economies.

According to Diggles, there are already people commuting from the rural areas to Angelina and Nacogdoches counties for work.

"People are already commuting because the jobs that are needed are in those areas, whether it's in the poultry industries or Lufkin industries," said Diggles. "We believe if we concentrate the jobs in areas with large populations and industrial base, those jobs will be created in those smaller counties soon."

Detcog also thinks that more jobs will be available in the smaller counties due to Angelina College Vo Tech locations being built in those rural areas.

"Now those folks don't have to drive to Angelina County. They can get those jobs and training right there in their own community,"said Diggles

Detcog will also offer local businesses incentives to create more jobs with their Forgivable Loan program. They will continue to meet this year to discuss more possible solutions in increasing economic growth.

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