Reaching Tyler County’s Economic Potential
Editor’s Note: The Tyler County Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a scholarship opportunity for graduating seniors from the county’s five schools.
The opportunity allowed students a chance to write an essay on the topic of strategies that the county can implement to attract and retain young professionals. The applicants were to consider the challenges facing rural communities, and to analyze factors such as job opportunities, quality of life and access to healthcare.
The winning essay writer, Jedidiah “Jed” Barker, of Warren High School, was named last Friday.
Barker plans to attend Stephen F. Austin State University this coming fall. He will receive the $800 scholarship from the Chamber, to be disbursed over two semesters.
In the interest of showcasing the work, concerns and views of our youth it is our pleasure to publish his essay, “Reaching Tyler County’s Economic Potential.”
By Jed Barker,
Warren High School
Class of 2023
Tyler County is the hidden gem of Southeast Texas. The tall pine trees, the wide pastures, and the blue open sky give way to a picturesque setting. Despite the natural beauty, being a rural community can be a double-edged sword to a developing economy. Many potential businesses are wary of opening in a rural community due to the smaller population size and fear that there is not a large customer base to draw upon. This fear of a lack of business can often cause anxiety for young professionals who are contemplating opening a new business venture in a small community. However, this fear is unwarranted as our community would be more than enough and would be willing to support new businesses.
Tyler County offers many benefits for new and growing businesses. This beautiful community has a vast ability for growth that just needs to be given a chance by young professionals and businesses. Tyler County is a place where new businesses will have the potential to thrive and will actually have many more benefits, but those benefits need to be advertised to young professionals. For this to happen, targeted advertising needs to include all of the wonderful and perhaps surprising benefits that Tyler County has to offer. Tyler County needs to attract and retain young professionals by implementing strategies highlighting the benefits of business ventures in a small town, and directly show how much potential this wonderful county has to offer.
The best way to get business investors interested would be to speak to people who have lived in Tyler County and know firsthand all the highlights of this community. There are a myriad of benefits for young professionals here that would help them thrive. The only way young professionals are going to know is if there is a way for them to find out, or someone to tell them. To do this there would need to be an outreach and marketing committee implemented to go
out and talk to young professionals as a way to inform them of all the benefits of setting up shop in Tyler County. This committee needs to be composed of citizens and business leaders who have lived and worked in Tyler County and know about all the ins and outs of how much potential this community has. The committee members also need to highlight all of the benefits there are to living in this area and how much this county has to offer. There would also need to be members willing to drive out of the county to actively search for young professionals looking for a place to invest. With this, it would be easier for the committee to find people willing to come into new areas to set up their businesses. Reaching and retaining more businesses will greatly improve the lives of everyone living in Tyler County.
Many times small communities are challenged by the lack of businesses and the residents are forced to leave the community in search of work. Due to this, people are just not spending money in their communities, and in turn their community is not making money. If Tyler County wants to change this, there needs to be an influx of young professionals. Having new businesses in a rural community is a win-win for everyone. Residents will have a closer place of employment, and new businesses will help grow Tyler County tremendously. Without many places to work, Tyler County loses employees to other counties with more opportunities and more places to go for both employment and entertainment. If Tyler County were to attract young professionals there would not be a need for citizens to leave the community, and it would attract more people to live in the area. With more businesses comes the need for additional housing as more and more people will be able to live in the county while having a job in the area. This growth in housing development will be beneficial to the economy as more people will live in the community and spend money. Whether it be for basic living expenses or entertainment and eating out, all businesses in Tyler County will experience growth and in turn will thrive. As of now, a majority of people who live here have to leave the county to find work or to seek out entertainment and dining options.
Tyler County needs to be marketed as a community of untapped potential for new businesses and young professionals. It needs to be marketed as a place where one’s business will not only have plenty of opportunity to build a customer base, but a place where a business can expand and thrive. Not only that, but since there are a fairly small number of businesses in the area, new businesses will be able to compete. This will make new business ventures easier to open, as they will not have to compete with bigger names like they would in larger counties. In turn, they will be much more likely to succeed and grow. If young professionals knew this, there is no doubt they would be attracted to setting up shop in this astounding little county. A new, well-thought-out business could practically grow itself. In this way, Tyler County has the ability to fuel its growth in an exponential way which should be advertised to young professionals looking to start at a fresh location with the capability to grow. This area has the potential for tremendous growth that can be achieved with the help of young professionals and new businesses opening in the county.
Another advantage that needs to be stressed to potential business owners is the concept of our small-town schools. With smaller class sizes, the teachers and staff are able to make connections with the students and provide better care and teaching. Teachers get to know the students and even the students’ parents. Having these types of relationships leads to the teacher’s personal concern for their students. The students benefit by having the teachers provide them with extra help and guidance as they move through their education. The teachers are able to learn what a student excels at and needs more help with and personally give the students what they need to grow and become well-rounded individuals, ready for the future.
This family-like atmosphere of our close-knit community and our small schools is a benefit not seen often in schools and could be a large selling point to attract people, especially young professionals who plan to raise or start their families. Tyler County has that small town “Mayberry” feel that so many would love to raise a family in. This could be a point used to attract young professionals and their families, as we have a safe, tight-knit community with a neighborly and welcoming atmosphere. A small community is also nice as it comes together to support the local school’s activities and sports programs. It would be beneficial for the committee to highlight how Tyler County has a hometown feel and a supportive school system that is safe and caring. Overall, Tyler County is a fantastic place to raise a family and could be even better with the growth of more small businesses. It should be marketed to young professionals that Tyler County is a prime area for a family to thrive in. The more that the potential business venturers learn about how family and community-oriented Tyler County is, the more they will be drawn to it. Tyler County is a delightful place to raise a family and truly has a feeling of community.
A big draw to a county is health care and how close medical facilities are. Tyler County has many well-staffed medical facilities with phenomenal health care. The presence of these facilities will help to attract more young professionals as they will feel better knowing that in an emergency they have access to first-rate emergency care. The close proximity of these facilities is an asset because the drive will not be a hindrance if an emergency arises. This gives Tyler County a safer feel for young professionals looking to come to the area. The top-notch medical facilities are another detail that needs to be heavily emphasized when trying to attract young professionals. These amenities are not widely known to those not already living in Tyler County and can be easily overlooked. If more people knew about these facilities then there would be more of an attraction to Tyler County for families and young professionals.
Overall, Tyler County needs to come together as a whole to truly shine and show new business venturers and young professionals how much opportunity there is in our little southeast Texas gem. There also needs to be an emphasis on all of the amenities that Tyler County has to offer, such as exceptional medical facilities and caring school systems. Tyler County needs to be portrayed not only as having small, charming cities and communities, but as having unlimited potential for business and growth. With members of the community coming together to go out and tell young entrepreneurs about the potential of the area, there will undoubtedly be a large growth of new businesses which will in turn attract more people and bring in more young professionals. If the community were able to form an outreach and marketing committee for bringing in young professionals, just to get the ball rolling with attracting new businesses, there will be an extreme boom of the economy in this area which will sustain itself and lead to the advancement and overall positive growth of Tyler County.
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