How Economic Development Works

By Jimi Coplen

Business recruitment is always something the DCOH is working on. In the past, the DCOH has been successful at a variety of different businesses that have been recruited to Haskell. Some have been successful and continue to be in business today. Some of the businesses have closed due to owners passing away. And, some businesses simply do not make it because being in business is hard work. Other businesses were so successful they were sold and moved to different locations. New business is part of the ebb and flow of all communities, and the DCOH continues to look for businesses to move, start-up or expand in Haskell.

One way the DCOH works is to identify gaps in the community. We look for things that are missing: retail gaps, service gaps, manufacturing gaps. For example, Haskell does not have an eye doctor, or optometrist. That is a gap, or a service that people drive out of Haskell to find. We then have to evaluate if that type of business could be supported in a community this size. Then, we have to find a market or people in that field, and show them that a gap exists here. Then, we must convince them that there is an opportunity in Haskell to start a business.  The process can be fun, but long and much patience is required!

Did you know that the old Monsanto building used to be owned by the DCOH, and it housed a small motor home manufacturer? This gentleman sold his company and went to work with his brother in Stephenville building horse trailers. The DCOH then recruited Delta Pine, a cotton breeding company, and sold the building to them. They later became Monsanto. When Monsanto opened their megacenter in Lubbock, it absorbed the Haskell research center, leaving the building for sale once again. With the help of the DCOH, it was most recently purchased by Steele Fire & Apparatus to expand their business. They are one of Texas’ leading manufacturers of brush trucks, tankers and skid units. We are proud to have them doing what they do in Haskell.

People do not always understand how economic development works. Through these articles, we hope to give you a glimpse into this world of business recruitment, retention and expansion. The DCOH is working for Haskell, and we hope to continue to do so for many years. If you know of anyone wanting to start or expand a business in Haskell, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 940-864-3424. As always, you can follow our Facebook page at haskelltexasusa.