NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) is gathering opinions from the people they serve.
The regional planners are asking residents to respond to a survey that could shape the future for Deep East Texas.
When Lonnie Hunt takes a walk down any street in Deep East Texas he probably has a different perspective than the rest of us. It’s his job as director of Deep East Texas Council of Governments to analyze the region’s needs. This year he’s asking for residents to help by participating in an online survey.
“It’s not designed to be a scientific survey, but the more response we get from all across our 12-county region the more beneficial it will be to us,” said Hunt.
It’s called a SWOT Analysis, an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A focus group developed lists for each category. The public will rank their importance and can even add to the list. The results could fall in line with economic developers’ expectations.
“It’s good to know if that is the case we are on the same page and if there is something we are missing we want to know that," shared Hunt.
Ironically, the online survey brings attention to one of the suggested weaknesses of Deep East Texas; broadband availability and affordability.
“I think there is a growing realization that this issue of lack of broadband is something that affects every other issue that we have. It will have a positive ripple effect on everything from our economy to health care, education, to just lifting up people out of poverty, that have been mired in poverty for generations,” said Hunt.
DETCOG recently conducted another survey on the speed of internet around the region. The agency is working to remedy the issue. Hunt said it’s not an easy fix.
Nacogdoches County Judge Greg Sowell agrees. He also sees a lack of heavy industrial growth.
"And I believe until we address that with a vocational type training we're not going to see the growth because the workforce and the work base is not there to support it," said Sowell.
DETCOG members encourage the public to provide opinions. The five minutes it takes is a small investment for possibly obtaining something very big for Deep East Texas.
The survey will be available for the next few weeks at www.detcog.gov When the survey is compiled the results will be posted on the site.