JULY 17, 2015
CONTACT: JUDGE FIRTH, (254) 865-5911, EXT 2222
Gatesville, Texas - Coryell County leaders announced the completion of the first phase of the Economic Development and Marketing Plan conducted by Susan Yanofsky Consulting & International Consulting Associates. This initiative of the Coryell County Economic Development Board and supported by the County Commissioners will create strategies to expand existing businesses and attract new businesses to the county.
The Phase I Summary outlines the overall business environment in Coryell County and identifies three challenges. The findings revealed an observable fact that 54% of the jobs are in the public sector, namely, Fort Hood, the prison system and the public school systems. This is outside the norm for regional economies and a challenge for the county as it tries to diversify its economy.
A second challenge is the county lags behind Bell and McLennan in post high school educational attainment and many companies are not utilizing workforce training opportunities to improve their workforce or to attract workers.
Phase 1 found that while the County has worked with both Copperas Cove and Gatesville to encourage Economic Development in these two largest cities, the county's challenge is in creating a coordinated economic development vision which benefits both local and regional entities. The notable exception is Fort Hood. The County and its communities have a high level of collaboration and cooperation and a common vision around support for Fort Hood.
"We have a tradition being supportive of Fort Hood and everything is aligned to move the county forward for business and Fort Hood,'' said, Judge John Firth, County Judge of Coryell County. "Coryell gets this. We are confident the county will use this information to grow and develop."
The process for Phase l of the Economic Development and Marketing Plan entailed data analysis and conducting interviews with stakeholders to understand the perceived strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for growth in the county. The consultant team collected and analyzed the most recently available data on the County's economic picture including, workforce availability, demographics, land patterns and industries within the county.
According to Mary Beth Harrell, Chair of the Coryell County Economic Development Board, "We can align ourselves better for industries now we know our starting point, the time is right for the County to move forward."
Looking ahead, the final report will provide information on the incentives environment, identify the industry targets, and understanding the County's niches. The consultants will use a Reverse Site Selection Model to understand how companies making location decisions think about Coryell County. A site readiness analysis will be prepared. Anticipated completion of the final report is by the end of August.
For more information on the Economic Development Marketing Plan please visit coryellcounty.org.