Nacogdoches - The lack of Information Technology services in Deep and East Texas was not ignored at today's groundbreaking of NacSpace a new business of Elliott Electric Supply. The absence of IT services plays a role in the family-owned company's decision to branch out.
When Bill Elliott began Elliott Electric Supply in 1972, his biggest concern was to be able to pay a house note.
"Since that time, we've now done close to a billion dollars this year," said Bill Elliott, Elliott Electric Supply's founder and chairman.
In 2017, Elliott Electric became the 12th largest electrical distributor in the nation. Over 46 years, keeping up with the growth was challenging.
"That was before Microsoft. We took a small personal computer and designed our own database and we started writing our own software," Elliott said.
Son Billy Elliott and his college roommate Phillip Hale joined Mr. Elliott in writing more software to keep the company managed from its Nacogdoches headquarters.
"[We are] Keeping data and security, voice and data for 150 locations in eight different states," Billy Elliott said.
Now wanting to share the capabilities, Hale has been named NacSpace president. As dirt work happens, the company already has customers using NacSpace IT services. In 2019 an all-in-one IT center will open.
"So for rack space, cloud services, infrastructure, we'll have part of the building dedicated for that," Hale said. "We also will have office space for individuals, small businesses, whether it's daily, monthly, yearly will be able to provide a place for those people and optional IT services, reception services, shipping-receiving, everything that a person might need in a facility."
And according to economic developers, the demand is there.
"You look at all the stats and data and that's where a lot of our new jobs and keeping jobs are created," said Texas Forest Country CEO Nancy Windham. "When we have site selectors that are looking at the area they ask, 'Where's your data center?'"
Larissa Philpot, the CEO and president of the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation, agrees.
"So it will not only keep existing business here instead of sending those businesses and dollars off to DFW or Houston; it could also be a door to new businesses coming to Nacogdoches," Philpot said.
A man who uses technology to run a company that spans over two thousand miles knows IT services are essential.
"High-tech data is an essential component of any growth strategy for any community, and Nacogdoches is suffering from that now," Bill Elliott said.
But for not too much longer. NacSpace should be in its new headquarters June of 2019.
In addition to NacSpace construction, a larger space for Elliott Electric's first retail store on South Street is underway. Both building sites are at North Stallings, next door to Elliott headquarters.
"Store number 1" as it's known, will have a lighting showroom and expanded warehouse operation. The larger facility is expected to create new jobs.