Workforce & Economic Development

ETCOG promotes active economic development with a premier workforce, attracting and supporting growth of business and industry, by serving as the Workforce grant recipient and administrative agent for East Texas’ Chief Elected Officials (CEO’s). In this role, ETCOG operates under the guidance of the Workforce Solutions East Texas Board (WSETB). Through this process, CEO’s, WSETB, and ETCOG improve the regional quality of life through economic development by providing a first-class workforce for present and future businesses.

ETCOG facilitates the creation of employment opportunities through support to regional employers. In turn, ETCOG supplies employers with qualified workers, ready to produce upon hire. Job-seekers are prepared to meet the challenges of the evolving employment market with demonstrated skill sets earned through assessments and training. If additional experience or training is required, ETCOG assists job-seekers in gaining knowledge, skills, and abilities through targeted training. ETCOG removes barriers to that training through subsidized Child Care Services, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and Education and Training assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

WSETB’s strategic vision for economic development, fueled by the region’s premier workforce, focuses on primary employers, those producing more goods and services than can be consumed by the local economy. This development creates an economic engine, building a demand for secondary employers, those serving the region itself. It also attracts additional employers, those wanting to relocate to a region with a thriving economy.

Within the region, ETCOG is able to encourage new businesses with start-up efforts and the expansion of existing ones through the East Texas Regional Development Company. We work with the Small Business Administration to secure loans entrepreneurs might not otherwise be able to receive. As a result, home-grown businesses are also growing the economy and putting additional workers in jobs.

To meet the demand for workers capable of executing this economic engine, ETCOG partners with the educational community to prepare and certify individuals for the employment opportunities employers’ offer. As a result, our skilled workforce attracts still more employers. ETCOG staff continually assess targeted occupations requirements to ensure the region has a ready supply of in-demand workers.

Educational opportunities include traditional 2- and 4-yr college programs, technical and vocational training, Adult Basic Education, youth and rehabilitative services programs. WSETB’s efforts with the Texas Rising Star program in early childhood education provides several benefits; we’re laying a solid foundation for the region’s next generation of the workforce and, through Directors’ Academies, we’re able to assist child care providers grow small businesses into respectable employers in their own right. With our Child Development Associate (CDA) training, we’re starting frontline child care staff on career paths as full-fledged educators.

Equally importantly, economic development demands a clean, fresh, and safe physical environment in which employers are able to operate and workers desire to live. ETCOG works attentively with its environmental services programs to constantly improve air quality, reduce solid waste, prepare for and provide relief from natural disasters.