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NEDCO Strategic Plan (2012-14)


The Nacogdoches Economic Development Corp. (NEDCO) is a non-profit — Section 501(c) (3) — corporation organized to promote, stimulate and enhance economic development within Nacogdoches County, including its incorporated cities. NEDCO is a public-private partnership that receives the majority of its operating funds from private-sector companies doing business in Nacogdoches.


NEDCO’s vision is to help create a vibrant, prosperous community with a broad-based economy, enabling people of all ages and walks of life to build careers while being able to enjoy the fruits of their labors. This is made possible through community teamwork and cooperation.


NEDCO’s mission is to facilitate growth and prosperity throughout Nacogdoches County and its incorporated cities by helping existing businesses achieve greater success; by fostering local entrepreneurship; by recruiting new industry and business to Nacogdoches County; and by helping develop a well-trained workforce.


  • Stephen F. Austin State University (approximatel 13,000 students, plus faculty and facilities).
  • Proximity to Houston (Port of Houston is second busiest in the U.S.; George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), a two-hour drive from Nacogdoches, is the seventh busiest airport in the U.S.; the Houston market, the sixth largest in the U.S. with nearly 6 million in population).
  • Proximity to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW International Airport is the forth busiest airport in the U.S.; the Dallas market is the forth largest in the U.S., with nearly 6.4 million in population).
  • Proximity to Shreveport (the Shreveport-Bossier City metro has a population that exceeds 535,000).
  • College-educated workforce (25.6% have at least a college degree and 9.2% have graduate or professional degree).
  • Urban population of nearly 33,000.
  • County population of approximately 65,000.
  • Seven-county market population of 315,000 within 40 miles of downtown Nacogdoches.
  • Student population with a disposable income that is primarily focused on housing, food, retail and entertainment.
  • County consistently ranks among the top 10 counties in Texas in agricultural production.
  • Highway Infrastructure: US-59/Future I-69 four-lane, divided highway connecting Houston and Longview (I-20); TX-21 and TX-7 provide East/West access.
  • Rail Infrastructure: North/South service provided by Union Pacific.
  • Diverse economy anchored by education and agriculture (including silvaculture).
  • Approximately 25 local employers that employ at least 100 people.
  • Relatively low cost of living.
  • Relatively low labor costs.
  • High quality of life.
  • Abundant supply of high quality water, both surface and groundwater.
  • Readily available land that is also relatively inexpensive.
  • General aviation airport with 5,001' runway and Instrument Landing System (ILS).
  • International connection through SFASU and several local industries.
  • Large and growing medical community.
  • Regulatory environment is conducive to economic development.
  • City and county governments are enthusiastic partners in economic development.
  • Texas is a right-to-work state.


  • Twenty-five percent of adult population has less than a high school degree.
  • No current interstate highway access serving Nacogdoches.
  • No passenger air service within 60 miles.
  • Limited rail access for new business development.
  • Relatively low population and income levels makes retail recruitment challenging.
  • Low median household income.


Help existing businesses achieve greater success.

  • Serve as a liaison between the business community and government entities in accessing various state and local economic development-related programs, and in overcoming obstacles and roadblocks to business growth.
  • Work to provide adequate supply of skilled trade workers (i.e. welders, plumbers, electricians, oil and gas service technicians, etc.).
  • Facilitate access to Texas workforce training programs and incentives.
  • Sponsor at least one local job fair annually, as needed.
  • Respond as appropriate to help solve problems in the local business community.
  • Expand relationships between major employers and local community leadership, both at the local business level and at the corporate level.

 Help entrepreneurs successfully establish new businesses in Nacogdoches.

  • Expand the “Entrepreneur Incubator Program” in partnership with the Angelina College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and SFASU helping entrepreneurs develop business plans and secure SBA loans.
  • Partner with SFASU School of Business and the local community to create an entrepreneurship program for students, faculty and members of the community.
  • Promote use of the city’s Revolving Loan Fund.
  • Explore the possibility of establishing a venture capital committee to help local entrepreneurs gain access to funding for start-up businesses.
  • Engage local partners (SFASU, Angelina College, SBDC, Chamber, etc.) to expand business education for small businesses, as well as for start-ups.

 Recruit new industry and retail establishments to Nacogdoches.

  • Immediately respond to all information inquiries and leads.
  • Enhance relationships with site location consultants and developers.
  • Aggressively market existing commercial property (land & buildings) through the NEDCO website.
  • Target specific industries and companies for recruitment and review annually.
  • Annually budget to attend targeted trade shows to develop contacts and leads on new businesses.
  • Monitor adequacy of local housing stock.

Enhance Nacogdoches’ national (and global) visibility in the world marketplace.

  • Continuously improve the NEDCO website — our Front Door to the World — as a professional and data-rich information portal designed particularly for an audience of site selectors, developers and entrepreneurs.
  • Emphasize proximity to Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.
  • Work toward designation as a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with Lufkin/Angelina County.
  • Continue participation in C2ER’s quarterly Cost of Living Index.
  • Make available data for Nacogdoches County on the NEDCO website to complement existing interactive web-based city of Nacogdoches GIS mapping (with property & utility info).
  • Establish Nacogdoches as a brand/destination throughout the region and state of Texas.

Improve local workforce quality through training and education.

  • Establish a local community college facility in Nacogdoches designed to provide technical skills training and certification that meets local employer needs.
  • Maintain close partnership with all County Independent School Districts, Angelina and Panola Colleges, Stephen F. Austin State University, and local employers to develop programs and resources to improve career skills.
  • Partner with community resources to help address and remediate illegal drug use among local workforce employees.

Identify and market existing commercial property.

  • Identify all vacant commercial and industrial building, as well as land available for development along rail and major roads.
  • Post available commercial property on website with images, specifications, map location, infrastructure and contact information in a searchable format.
  • Identify list of property available for development along rail and major roads.
  • Identify potential industrial sites along the rail line throughout the county.
  • Aggressively market existing infrastructure as a lower cost alternative to Greenfield development.

Work in partnership with governmental entities on infrastructure initiatives.

  • Work to secure available water resources for local use.
  • Work to establish I-69 route through Nacogdoches County.
  • Work to establish commercial air service and further develop rail service.
  • Work to obtain necessary funding for upgrading and maintaining public highways.


Long-Range Strategic Goals (10-20 years in the future): by 2020 to 2040.

  1. Median household income above the Texas average.
  2. Unemployment rate below the Texas average.
  3. Poverty level below the Texas average.
  4. Work Force Demographics: High School and College graduation rates above Texas average.
  5. Population growth above the Texas average.
  6. Designation, with Lufkin, as a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
  7. Complete Interstate 69 linking Nacogdoches with Houston to the South and I-20 to the North.
  8. Texas Highway 204 upgrade as an extension of US-175.
  9. Regional airport serving Nacogdoches and Lufkin.
  10. Passenger rail service to Nacogdoches, with links to Houston, Dallas and Shreveport.
  11. Continuously coordinate SFASU goals with NEDCO’s agenda.
  12. Help establish at least one new industry cluster that currently does not exist in Nacogdoches.
  13. Facilitate a rate of retail sales growth at or above that of the average state rate, with a goal to double retail sales by the end of 2025.

Mid-Range Goals (5-10 years in the future): by 2016-2022.

  1. Facilitate the development of a retail/restaurant/entertainment center on US-59 west of the city.
  2. Launch 5-10 new businesses through Entrepreneur Incubator Program.
  3. Facilitate the development of another retail center on North side of city.
  4. Facilitate retail and industrial development South of Loop 224.
  5. Facilitate industrial development between Nacogdoches and Lufkin.
  6. Facilitate the development of an inter-modal inland port in and around A.L. Mangham Jr. Regional Airport.
  7. Work to increase 2010 retail sales tax receipts by 40% by the end of 2015.
  8. Facilitate the development of housing options targeted toward upscale retirees.
  9. Facilitate the development of recreational and cultural opportunities.
  10. Facilitate the development of lakeside commercial and residential development.

Short-Range Goals & Action Items (next 1-3 years): by December 2014.

  1. Help foster successful new businesses through the Nacogdoches Entrepreneur Incubator Program.
    1. Expand program to include resources from NEDCO, SBDC, SFASU, Angelina College, cities and county.
    2. Partner with SFASU to establish incubator program designed to give SFASU graduates and faculty the opportunity to open businesses within the county.
    3. Facilitate 3-5 new businesses each year through the program.
  2. Attract at least one new company to Nacogdoches County each year.
    1. Utilize retail leakage studies to determine target businesses.
    2. Survey existing local industries to identify suppliers whose location in the Nacogdoches area would be beneficial to both the industry and the supplier.
    3. Coordinate with outside developers and site selection consultants.
    4. Create list of target companies and make personal contact.
    5. Empanel Advisory Committee to promote development of petrochemical industry and business.
  3. Work to expand local retail sales and sales tax revenue.
    1. Increase year-on-year sales tax receipts at a rate equal to, or greater than, the Texas average.
    2. Work with developers to begin construction on new retail development.
    3. Develop and maintain relationships with national and regional retailers for potential location in Nacogdoches.
    4. Expose local entrepreneurs to franchise opportunities.
    5. Identify and establish relationships with holders of franchise rights to the Nacogdoches market.
  4. Continuously improve NEDCO website.
    1. Expand GIS resources on website
    2. Review, at least monthly. to ensure information on website is current and accurate.
  5. Market all available commercial property on website (land & buildings).
    1. Develop plan with local commercial real estate brokers to maintain accurate data.
    2. Identify potential development property along major transportation (road and rail) routes, as well as along electrical grid, throughout Nacogdoches County.
  6. Continue participation in C2ER’s Cost of Living Index.
    1. Collect and submit required data to C2ER on a quarterly basis; IAW their published schedule.
    2. Update COLI data quarterly on website as new COLI is published.
  7. Assist Nacogdoches County in developing a Technical Center to support local businesses and non-college bound students ensuring a “skilled trade” workforce (i.e. welders, electricians, etc.).
    1. Periodically develop list of training requirements in coordination with local employers.
    2. Complete first phase of construction, to include 12,000 to 15,000 sq. ft. of classroom and lab space.
    3. Coordinate with Angelina College, Panola College, the various Nacogdoches County school districts, and SFASU to operate and maintain the facility.
    4. Establish a formal non-profit entity (IRS 501(c)(3)) and raise funds (through private sector fundraising, as well as grants) helping acquire necessary training equipment to support industrial certification/degree programs (e.g. petroleum tech, welding, HVAC, etc.).
    5. Pursue funding for second phase of construction, which will include a 150-space parking lot and the remaining 15,000 sq. ft. of classroom and lab space.
    6. Work with Angelina College to offer at least three certification programs.
    7. Offer SBDC small business training classes at the Nacogdoches campus every semester.
  8. Improve telecommunications service throughout the county to help expand residential and commercial development.
    1. Meet with service providers (i.e. AT&T, Sprint, Suddenlink, etc.) to identify obstacles to expansion of coverage.
    2. Ensure service providers' plans for expansion are consistent with local development and expansion.
    3. Improve internet access throughout the rural areas of the county.
  9. Partner with city of Nacogdoches Main Street program to further develop the downtown district.
    1. Aggressively market available downtown properties.
    2. Meet with owners of vacant properties to determine obstacles to tenancy.
    3. Work with national, statem and local governments to create/identify tax incentive programs helping defray the high cost of renovating property in the historic downtown area.
    4. Attract/help launch at least two new restaurants downtown.
    5. Help transition Godtel Ministries from their Main Street location to their new site on West Douglass Road.
    6. Work with future owner(s) of downtown Godtel property to transition to a viable and appropriate commercial use.
  10. Coordinate with leaders of incorporated towns in Nacogdoches County.
    1. Identify economic development goals.
    2. Incorporate those goals in NEDCO’s plans.
    3. Assist Nacogdoches County cities in recruiting business.
  11. Improve access to property information for developers and entrepreneurs.
    1. Partner with SFASU, local realtorsm and the Central Appraisal District to secure data for Nacogdoches County that complements existing interactive web-based city of Nacogdoches GIS mapping.
  12. Support the community’s efforts to attract retirees.
    1. Assist Timber Springs and similar developments.
    2. Attract developers of Recreational Vehicle (RV) parks.
    3. Encourage establishment of lakeside residential and commercial developments.
  13. Support the community’s tourism promotion efforts.
    1. Partner with Convention & Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce to support their programs and goals.
    2. Partner with local community and SFASU College of Fine Arts and its Cinematography Program in promoting the Nacogdoches Texas Film Festival.


David Alders, Chairman
Nacogdoches Economic Development Corp.