Prepared by the Texoma Council of Governments with assistance and funding from the Economic Development Administration (EDA), U.S. Department of Commerce
Texoma Economic Development District | Texoma Council of Governments
Executive Director: Eric M. Bridges
Staff: GIS & Planning Program Manager Molly Guard, Program Planner Catherine Krantz, Regional Services Coordinator Mailinh Nguyen
CEDS Strategy Committee: Audrey Schroyer, Gainesville Economic Development Corporation; Lewanda Diaz, Grayson College; Marsha Lindsey, Workforce Solutions Texoma; Stephen Filipowicz, Bonham Economic Development Corporation; Karen Stidham, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Grayson College
TCOG Governing Board Members: President Honorable Jeff Whitmire, Precinct 1 Commissioner, Grayson County; Vice President Honorable Randy Moore, County Judge, Fannin County; Secretary/Treasurer Honorable Ken Keeler, Ward 4 Councilmember, City of Gainesville; Honorable Adam Arendt, Precinct 3 Commissioner, Cooke County; Honorable Nathan Caldwell, Mayor, City of Callisburg; Honorable H.L. Compton, Mayor, City of Bonham; Honorable Juston Dobbs, Council at Large, City of Sherman; Honorable Daniel Harrison, Mayor, City of Tom Bean; Honorable Edwina Lane, Community Representative, Fannin County; Ms. Karla Metzler, College Representative, North Central Texas College; Honorable Scott Neu, Community Representative, Cooke County; Honorable James Thorne, Council Place 2, City of Denison; Mr. Bryan E. Wilson, Community Representative, Grayson County
Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG) is designated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration as the Economic Development District for the Texoma region of Texas (Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson counties). As such, TCOG is responsible for facilitating the creation of a five year planning document or Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS). The CEDS is created through a rigorous locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process guided by a committee of stakeholders from each of the three counties in the Texoma region.
Through the collection of data from various secondary sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau and The Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as primary data collected locally through the use of surveys the CEDS Committee suggests regional strategies for economic growth. The data collected are analyzed to discover strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges and provides committee members with a snapshot of current economic conditions. The CEDS Committee can then formulate strategies for leveraging strengths to overcoming weakness, and utilizing opportunities to meet current and future challenges.
In Texoma, Grayson County continues to be the fastest growing of the three counties with Cooke County second and Fannin County third. The change in population from our 2016-21 CEDS and the projected population growth for the 2021-27 CEDS both echo a trend we are seeing on a national level. Urban areas are growing at rapid rates while rural areas are growing at a slow and steady pace. Perhaps the most notable changes for Texoma lie in the changing racial demographics of the growth. Dealing with population growth and demographic changes will be challenges that must be considered in economic development for the region.
Another challenge for the region is the shortage of available housing. This is an issue for all of the cities in the region and is a major issue in economic development. A growing workforce is needed for new industry and business, and this workforce must be housed. Housing shortages hinder the ability of cities and counties to attract new business for fears that there will not be enough housing to support the workforce needed.
Transportation continues to be a challenge for the region. Many of the region’s residents live in rural areas (where job opportunities are scarce) and face the dilemma of finding affordable, reliable transportation to commute to more densely populated areas for employment, services or medical appointments. The recent COVID 19 pandemic has created more disruption in Texoma. Although the unemployment rate has changed minimally, many businesses have faltered. In response to the pandemic, TCOG developed a 2020-2022 Business Disaster Mitigation Plan to assist the region in becoming more resilient.
In addition to the plan, there are strengths in the region to help Texoma address these challenges. Natural resources and the friendly laid back characteristic of the area provide lifestyle accommodations that are commonly sought by employers to attract a larger workforce pool. Ecotourism continues to bolster economic health as well as the region’s many creative industries such as craft beverage and the natural and organic industry that relies heavily on our natural resources.
As the population in the region increases, it will be vitally important to expand business and employment. TCOG has combined efforts with local economic development professionals
and will strive to create resilient regional business communities throughout the region with the following goals: