To be successful, economic development in rural communities (like Nocona) must adopt a multi-purposed approach towards creating opportunities locally. Described as "economic development gardening," it focuses not only on traditional economic development, but on growing opportunities from within the community and region as well.
Not only in Texas, but across America, rural economic development cannot solely focus on primary job RECRUITMENT, usually providing incentives for companies to relocate to a community. Nocona EDC staff are constantly pursuing available recruitment prospects through a large network of state, regional and local economic development resources. However, developing additional focus areas helps safeguard the community's economic future.
Nocona EDC's strategy also concentrates on RETENTION, keeping what is already employing people in the community. For Nocona, that means assisting our leather goods companies (Montague Boot Company and American Original Ballglove Company), the hospital and clinic, Nocona iSD, and the local oil and gas industry. Providing opportunities to these companies in the forms of loans and grants for equipment, facilities and improvements, education and other needs, are vital investments in Nocona's economic stability.
Its colorful and authentic history and heritage contributes another resource with which Nocona is blessed. It has served well as the foundation for adding TOURISM to further develop the economy. The Tales 'n' Trails Museum, the baseball glove factory tour, efforts to revitalize Nocona's downtown, hotels and restaurants, all began branding Nocona as a destination for visitors to come spend money here. Now with the addition of a classic car museum, events like Mardi Gras and the Vicar Auto Auction, Nocona is on the verge of becoming an entertaining venue for people from all over the world to spend time and money in our attractive community. Efforts continue to improve these opportunities in a variety of ways, including venue development and marketing.
But Nocona cannot rest on its past or even its present. The greatest challenge most rural communities, including Nocona, face is the loss of its youth. Good paying, quality jobs that will allow Nocona's children to live here and raise their families here are difficult to come by. So the third leg of Nocona EDC's strategy is YOUTH ENGAGEMENT - creating opportunities, most likely technology jobs, which can be created here by our youth for their future. What that will look like and how it will exactly develop depends on the technology industry and the developing passions we build in our youth.
Nocona's youth are greatly benefitting from Nocona ISD's efforts in several areas, including newly created skills training and moving image programs. These efforts may provide the foundation on which Nocona's youth can grow opportunities for themselves and the community. But learning how to turn these skills and passions into a successful business also requires seeding an ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT and education. Nocona EDC continually strives to seek out programs and resources to nurture this future capability.
What is certain is that any technology and even traditional industries will require high quality BROADBAND as the primary resource, which makes improving broadband a very high priority. Like the railroads and interstate freeways of the past, high quality, fast broadband accessibility serves as the transportation mode for ideas and even commerce today. Nocona was built to bring the railroad through, it suffered the broken promise of a four-land US highway, and it must build access to this state-of-the-art communication system in order to be competitive.
Additionally, keeping access to local RETAIL is invaluable to not losing dollars from the community. Every time a resident spends money in Wichita Falls, Bowie, or anywhere else, they "leak" monies from Nocona's economy and aid another community. Retail industries normally grow as the community provides the need. Growing tourism needs can lead to additional hotels, restaurants, and supporting retail businesses. Recognizing a local need, like diesel repair and service, can often generate a new business opportunity for someone locally. NEDC cannot create a retail need, but its resources and networks are always available to help secure the success of such efforts, even before they open for business.
And, of course, improving the QUALITY OF LIFE, including roads, water, housing , services and the like, helps make Nocona more attractive for people to not only stay here, but to make Nocona their new home. NEDC Boards work closely with local leadership and city staff to ensure Nocona maintains and improves its character and future.
Broadband, Recruitment, Retention, Tourism, Youth Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Retail and Quality of Life form the NEDC's multipurpose strategy for Nocona's future growth and development. The NEDC Boards and staff work diligently in all of these areas simultaneously to promote Nocona's successful future.
If you have an interest in helping the vision to develop Nocona's future, please contact the NEDC staff at (940) 825-3150 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.