Rural East Texas Economic Opportunity Analysis

The T.L.L. Temple Foundation’s strategic plan is focused on increasing the number of rural East Texans who attain high-demand, high-wage credentials. Advancing this strategy requires a clear understanding of local labor markets and the industries driving regional economic development. Building a thriving rural East Texas demands that education, business, and community leaders prioritize the industries that will propel future regional development and emphasize the right credentials that qualify rural residents for good, family-sustaining jobs.

Unfortunately, rural communities are often left out of economic cluster analysis that disproportionately focuses on metro areas. What is needed in East Texas is actionable, up to date economic and labor market analysis that can be used to identify high-wage, high-demand credentials by sub-region, activate core industry networks, and guide the creation of rural education and economic opportunity models.

To meet this need, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation has partnered with Caroline Alexander, the principal of Alexander Research & Consulting, to create the “Rural East Texas Economic Opportunity Analysis.” This analysis has focused on the T.L.L. Temple Foundation’s rural service area, employing job density, commuting, and industry and occupational data to define economic and labor market sub-regions. Three distinct sub-regional profiles as well as summary and compilation profiles are available at the following links:

Each profile details the regional economic structure and performance, labor market characteristics, workforce demand, and education and training infrastructure. As a result of this analysis, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation’s partners will have sub-regional economic and labor market findings at a level of detail necessary to target major industry clusters and pursue high-demand skills and credentials. Moving forward, education, business, and community leaders will have better access to the information they need to build a thriving East Texas with greater access and opportunity for all.