Rural East Texas Economic Opportunity Analysis

The T.L.L Temple Foundation works alongside rural communities to build a thriving East Texas and to alleviate poverty, creating access and opportunity for all. 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, and 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 dynamic industries that will propel future regional development and emphasize the right credentials that qualify rural residents for good, family-sustaining jobs. However, too often, economic analysis has focused on rapid agglomeration and growth in urban areas, leaving rural communities and regions, like East Texas, deprioritized or left out. To fill this data gap, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation has engaged Caroline Alexander, the principal of Alexander Research & Consulting, to create the Rural East Texas Economic Opportunity Analysis.

The goals of this work are to strengthen the alignment of and linkages between the local talent pipeline and key industry clusters in rural East Texas. The original series of reports, released in January 2022, defined three economic sub-regions: Northeast Texas centered on Texarkana, Deep East Texas centered on Lufkin and Nacogdoches, and Southeast Texas centered on Beaumont and Port Arthur. The report described the economic and labor market structure of each sub-region, detailing the key industry sectors, current and projected employment opportunities, and high-demand skills and credentials. These profiles provide updated data to supplement the original report.

Click below to view the 2024 supplemental reports.

Click below to view the 2022 reports.