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Governor’s Small Business Forum at the Texas Forest Country Partnership annual meeting
Posted 09 - 09 - 2013

Learn about the economic impact of population change in East Texas and the state and how to prepare your small business during the Governor’s Small Business Forum at the Texas Forest Country Partnership annual meeting.

Hosted by the Texas Forest Country Partnership and sponsored by the Governor’s Office, Texas Workforce Commission, and Workforce Solutions of Deep East Texas, and the First Bank & Trust East Texas, the meeting will be from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 24, 2013, in the Lufkin Convention Center. Individual tickets are $25 and a table for eight is $250.

“Local business owners and managers are encouraged to attend this meeting that will provide key information to help grow and manage their businesses over the next several years,” said Kelley Holcomb, chair of the Texas Forest Country Partnership Board of Directors.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Steve Murdock, the Allyn & Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology and Director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University. He is the former Director of the U.S. Census Bureau and State Demographer of Texas.  He has extensive experience in research on a wide variety of issues impacting Texas and is widely known as a national expert in the areas of demography, rural sociology and socioeconomic impact assessment.

Dr. Murdock has analyzed state and substate population changes and notes that changes occurring in East Texas are similar to those occurring elsewhere in the state and rest of the nation.  He also notes that “If we do not ensure that workers have the skills and education they need to be competitive in the future, they will make less money, and their expenditures for goods and services will decline negatively impacting area businesses” Dr. Murdock said.

The meeting will begin with an address by Texas Secretary of State John Steen.

Marilyn Hartsook, interim director of Workforce Solutions of Deep East Texas, will speak on Workforce and educational programs to prepare the Texas Workforce for the challenges of today and the future.  Brian McClain, director of the Small Business Development Center, will speak about services offered to small business owners and those looking to start a business

This meeting also will include the awarding of the prestigious Silver Bucket to an East Texan who has worked hard to build a business while giving back to the community. In addition, the Governor’s Office will present the State of Texas Small Business Awards to a business in each of our partner counties.

The Texas Forest Country Partnership has served East Texans for more than 45 years. With its emphasis on economic development activities in the 13-county region that it represents, TFCP has championed the development of East Texas' natural resources, promoted tourism efforts and supported initiatives to improve transportation throughout the region. The 13 counties are: Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler.

Reserve your seat by contacting the Angelina County Chamber of Commerce at (936) 634-6644 or by going to



Governor’s Small Business Forum and the Texas Forest Country Partnership annual meeting

Lufkin Convention Center

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

10 am to 1:30 pm





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