Development in Rural Texas: An Assessment of TEEX Economic Development Reports
Project AdvisorBowman, Ann
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The Development in Rural Texas report provides an evaluation and assessment of economic development recommendations made by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). Due to the nature of its work, TEEX seldom has an opportunity to revisit the communi ties it has worked with in the past. In 2011, the Bush School of Government and Public Service was contacted with the opportunity to assist in evaluating several of the economic development recommendations and plans put in place by TEEX. The Capstone group evaluated ten TEEX reports that were written from 2006 - 2009. Their subjects vary between facility development plans to regional economic development strategies. Providing the context for evaluation was essential before any evaluation could take place. Th is Capstone report provides a brief background on TEEX, as well as steps the organization takes during its “community process” of identifying cities and organizations with which to work. The literature review section is broken down into two parts, one focu sing on rural Texas and the other on economic development. The rural Texas literature review provides several historical definitions of rural, while also highlighting demographics and organizations of importance in Texas. The economic development literatur e review offers an academic background of the theory and approaches to local economic development in the United States. This section also addresses the need to bridge the gap between the evidence found in academia with the results of past community develop ment efforts in order to provide a practical blueprint going forward. The methodology section of this report examines the steps taken by the Capstone team to conduct their research. This work included analyzing historical community data, conducting interv iews with public officials and other individuals involved with the TEEX reports, and making site visits. A demographic breakdown is also provided for each community, which includes economic, population, race/ethnicity and education information. Following t his, the TEEX Hearne Report from 2007 is reviewed, serving as a pilot study and introducing the structure of research undertaken in the remaining reports. Nine individual case studies are presented, each evaluating the work done by TEEX in communities thr oughout Texas between 2006 and 2009, asking the central question: What has happened since TEEX delivered its report. The case studies are: • Beeville – Development Market Study • Brazoria – County Fairgrounds & Expo Market Study • Bastrop – Convention a nd Exhibit Center • Canton – Economic Impact Study • Paris – Feasibility Study of Multi - Purpose Arena • Jacksboro – Economic Development Study • Vernon – Community & Economic Development Initiative • Permian Basin – Economic Development Strategy • Pa ris and Lamar County – Baseline Study Following these case studies, this report provides a series of best practices and recommendations going forward. This section is broken down between facility and community reports provided by TEEX. In summary, the Ca pstone group found that the cities and organizations TEEX works with that have local cooperation, effective leaders, and community involvement have a greater chance of moving forward with any projects or recommendations made. However, given the many variab les influencing community and economic development, it is difficult to assert that these variables, by themselves, made the difference. Causation in these cases is hard to establish. In order to improve upon future projects, the organization should work to wards tying the local economic and political conditions of the community with the report, particularly in cases dealing with site - specific development. Additionally, it is recommended that TEEX provide information detailing potential limitations to the rec ommendations given. The Capstone group would like to sincerely thank all participants who offered their time and knowledge as interviewees for this project.
ClientKnowledge Engineering Division of the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)
Calcaneo, Edgar Adrian; Cripe, Ramsey; Davis, Taylor; Gonzalez, Ramon; Grimes, Joshua; Hemby, Olivia; Humphrey, Colby; Keppy, Paul; Surgenor, Ken (2012). Development in Rural Texas: An Assessment of TEEX Economic Development Reports. Available electronically from