The Deep East Texas Council of Governments and Economic Development District is a voluntary association of local governments in the 12 county region encompassing all of Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler counties. We are one of the largest rural COGs in the nation. At 10,383 square miles, the DETCOG region is larger than the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island. Our 2016 population was 381,589.
DETCOG is both a political subdivision of the State of Texas and a federally chartered Economic Development District. We are one of 24 regional councils of governments in Texas. We were founded to facilitate planning, eliminate duplication, and promote economy and efficiency in the coordinated development of our region. While we are a governmental agency, we have no taxing or ordinance making authority.
We are governed by a diverse 59-member Board of Directors which is representative of the population we serve. As required by law, more than two-thirds of our board members are elected officials of member counties and cities.
Quality of life is one of the main attractions of Deep East Texas, also known as the Texas Forest Country.
Our region offers natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and a low cost of living. Our region boasts four national forests, three major reservoirs plus numerous smaller lakes. You'll find historic sites, picturesque countrysides, unique downtown attractions, and many cultural activities and events.
Education is a priority, with strong public school districts serving as the focal point of our communities. Stephen F. Austin University and Angelina College provide excellent higher education opportunities and technical training.
Over 300 years ago the El Camino Real de los Tejas, now a National Historic Trail, brought explorers and settlers to the Texas Forest Country. Transportation assets today include two Interstate Highways which are under development. The new I-69 traverses our region from south to north along US Highway 59, while the future I-14 corridor provides an important east-west connection.
From locally owned companies to large multi-national corporations, Deep East Texas is a great place to do business. Healthcare, education and manufacturing are the largest employment sectors. Agriculture and oil/gas continue to be strong components of the economy. Major employers include well known names like Lockheed Martin, Nucor Steel, WestRock, Georgia Pacific, Roy O. Martin, Portacool, Tyson Foods, Pilgrims Pride and regional grocer Brookshire Brothers.
Our membership includes 12 counties, 36 cities, 40 school districts, 11 special districts and one Native American tribal council.
We also have a number of sustaining members which include economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, businesses and other community organizations.
We are governed by a Board of Directors comprised of 58 members. Our Board reflects the diversity of the citizens we serve. As required by law, more than two-thirds of our Board Members are elected officials of member counties and cities.
Our Executive Committee, made up of DETCOG's officers, has authority to act on behalf of the Board on matters that require attention in between Board meetings.
Advisory Committees play a vital role in DETCOG's program of work. These committees review many important matters and make recommendations to the Board for action.