How this page came about:
I was looking for some old files for a project when I came upon an old flyer that we had made up for Partnership of Southeast Texas back in the early 2000's.
I was impressed by how much we had accomplished in so many various aspects of economic development. We certainly had a team of the best who put their heart and soul into it.
We came and when but the spirit of the organization carried on.
I was thinking that someone might get some ideas or inspiration for some of the things we did at POST. So, I took the file and exported into and html document that could reside on the web.
I don't want you to believe that was easy. The document was in Microsoft Publisher. My new version of Publisher told me "this version only supports back to Publisher 98" or words to that effect.
Amazing isn't it? Things that were just a few years ago are becoming inaccessible because the technology moves to rapidly and we forget or don't get the time to transfer them to new media.
But I digress.
I hope that you can find something here that give you and your organization or community a spark of an idea. If it does, and I can help, please drop me an email. If I don't know the answer, I bet I still round up just about everyone that worked or volunteered there at one time.
We were a small organization -- only for a very brief time did we get up to 8 employees. We usually ran from about four to six. We probably seemed a lot bigger because we knew how to get our allies involved. Many of projects grew to 30, 50, 100 up to 200 people working in teams. It mean we had to have good computer skills and solid ability to work skillfully with computers.
When I started at POST (it was called Southeast Texas Inc. then) back in 1996, the internet was pretty much still learning how to crawl. I remember getting our first dial up connection -- that we shared throughout the office. Then a router, Web Ramp, that combined two dial ups. No one had any idea how fast this would all exploded.
I left the organization for other ventures at the end of 2006 and the organization closed its doors sometime in 2007. I believe.
It was fun, action-packed, knuckle-biting time.
I have some back up files on a lot of these projects. Maybe I will try to get them up on this site in the future weeks.
I just felt that I had to put up something to remember POST by. I had to have some way to thank the many people who poured their soul and hard work into trying to make Southeast Texas a better place find a job, raise a family, and enjoy life.
Prospect and Projects
Each year the Partnership of Southeast Texas (POST) worked with more than 200 companies looking to locate in the region, or local companies expanding or needing help to thrive. POST worked with Entergy on its highly successful Trade Show program, attending an average of 5 industrial trade shows a year to market the region to prospective industries. In addition, POST worked with regional, state and national contacts to identify and key in on projects likely for this area.
Leadership Southeast Texas (LSET)
This program brings business leaders from the nine counties together to promote better understanding of Southeast Texas, by examining strengths, weaknesses, obstacles and opportunities for economic development in our region. There are over 700 LSET alumni who have embraced the need for regionalism and working together. Each year 50 more leaders join their ranks and build regional networks to lead our communities to a better future.
The Big 9 Directory
The 2002 Big 9 Directory lists over 1100 "local" contractors, vendors, and suppliers and over 400 manufacturers in Southeast Texas. It has become a valuable tool for companies looking for products and services locally, as well as a great prospecting tool for sales people and business owners who want to use it for marketing purposes. The Directory was available in a printed version or online at Http://setx.org (in the left navigation bar choose: Big 9 Online).
Big 9 Big Day
What a great day this was for local vendors and contractors! This very successful event brought local suppliers together with the big companies who could use their products and services! A total of 32 companies sent purchasing agents to the first event. Contractors, vendors and suppliers had an opportunity for one on one contacts.
Southeast Texas Economy Roundup
The Southeast Texas Economy Roundup was published twice a year to update prospects and local businesses on the projects and progress going on in the region. ( click here for an example of the publication. The Roundup was a staple in the Partnership of Southeast Texas prospect package that were given to prospects, distributed at trade shows and available on line. The package also included information from our cities and counties in the region. After POST discontinued operations, Karen Bourdier with Entergy kept up the tradition with a periodic economy update. (click here to go to Entergy - Texas economic development web site.
The Southeast Texas Food Connection
This first-ever event brought food producers from Southeast Texas together with buyers – restaurants, hotels, distributors and large employers. The event far exceeded the original goals of the organizing group that included POST, Entergy-Texas Economic Development, the local Small Business Development Centers, the Texas Agriculture Department, the Go Texan program, the Golden Triangle Hotel and Lodging Association, the Sabine Area Restaurant Association, and the Orange County EDC.
Save Junior Water Rights
POST has been a leader in the fight to save the Junior Water Rights provision of state law. Interests in other parts of the state had attacked those provisions and put pressure to have them removed – that would make piping Southeast Texas water to other parts of the state easier. POST mounted a successful campaign in two legislative sessions to kill these efforts. The Leadership Southeast Texas Program was a key driving force in this effort, rounding up volunteers on very short notice to drive to Austin for legislative committee meetings to fight the bills.
Since 1997, POST supported and led efforts to fight for fair interpretations of air quality laws for the region. POST participating in local strategy sessions and regional meetings with Texas Air Officials to find ways to meet Air Quality laws without discouraging industrial expansion in the region.
Website : SETX.ORG
This is the original web site for the Partnership of Southeast Texas. The web site was chocked full with information on the region – demographics (the fastest way to census data on your community), a round up of the region’s economy, incentive information, information on all our educational systems, economic development news, links to area Chambers, Cities, Counties, EDC’s, and much more.
Regional Focus Meetings
Buildings and Sites Database
POST maintained an inventory of available buildings and sites on its setx.org web site. Companies and site consultants frequented the listings, checking on good opportunities for locations in the region. POST worked closely with Entergy and the various city and county ED organizations to keep the database updated.
Southeast Texas Economy Roundup
The Economy Roundup was a way of getting out good word on the project and progress going on in the 9-county Southeast Texas region. The Roundup were published approximately twice a year, but were ready to go on the spur of the moment when a lot of good economic news was happening. (click here for an example publication) This was one the the staples of the POST Prospect Packet, along with information from our allies about cities and counties in the region. After POST closed its doors, Karen Bourdier with Entergy continued on the tradition with a Southeast Texas Economy Newsletter (click here for Entergy's Economic Development Web Site.
Big 9 Par Day
This was the golf tournament and networking event of the year! Sixty VIPs representing over 47 major companies came out to give vendors and contractors the opportunity to get their "foot in the door"! Local businesses were able to play golf and eat lunch with purchasing agents, plant mangers, business leaders, and regional VIPs!
Golden Pass Reception
Following up on work POST had done to help create "local" incentives in Jefferson County's Tax Abatement policy, the organization began early on with ExxonMobil on plans for the Golden Pass terminal. ExxonMobil agreed to a unique plan for major projects in the area. Usually, a prime contractor is selected from bids and then they come to work on the project, already planning to use contractors they were familiar with from other areas. POST and other allies argued that method of operating was unfair to the region and unfair to prime contractors who might not be aware of the many industrial consturction support companies in the area -- far larger than any area its size in the U.S. The prime contractors were missing the opportunity to keep their prices low by using local sources instead of paying to bring in outside contractors with travel and per diem costs.
ExxonMobil agreed to narrow the selection process to three prime contractors it was most likely to hire, and then invite them into a reception with to meet with local contractors and vendors and hear about their capabilities. This never-before-heard-of technique worked wonders -- it drew hundreds of attendees and everyone agree it was a win-win-win. A win for the primes, a win for the local companie and a win for ExxonMobil. Perhaps that should be a Win-Win-Win-Win -- the last win being for the Partnership and its ED allies who proved they could solve long-standing issues with vision and teamwork.
Southeast Texas Special Action Project
This project, funded by the U.S Department of Labor, aimed at getting a handle on the longstanding unemployment issues in the Southeast Texas workforce, identifying barriers and solutions. "The underlying trend is for the majority of the job seekers to be males in their middle age (prime working years), and to have been unemployed for over five weeks," the study noted. It found 40 percent of the unemployed listed structural work(construction as their occupation.The consultants hired for the study used interviews with employers, survey of unemployed workers, focus groups, and studies of the workforce records for the region to draw a comprehensive study and suggestions for the region to work on. Click here to read the study. The Southeast Texas Workforce Board and the Southeast Texas Workforce Innovation Network were key allies in this project.
Economic Development Administration
POST served as the planning and administrative arm for the Southeast Texas Economic Development District (sharing duties with the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commision. That district helps to funnel EDA grants and technical assistance to local communities and businesses. Among the reports POST published was the "Barriers to Economic Development in Southeast Texas"
Southeast Texas Workforce Innovation Network
(Southeast Texas Workforce Innovation Network) – This 30- member council was formed to focus on workforce. SETWIN’s goal was to be a “network of networks” to make sure workforce development progress does not slow down because of communication issues. SETWIN worked on a 2-year $100,000 study of the workforce sponsored by a Department of Labor grant. The project created a “map” of the workforce in Southeast Texas with special emphasis on employability skills – such as promptness, team work, attitude and the like.
Maps of Southeast Texas Industry
POST offered a free seven-map series that shows the location of more than 450 industries in Southeast Texas. The set was available in the POST office or online at http://setx.org (in the left navigation bar, select “Publications”)
Get Back in Business Fast
The Beaumont Chamber of Commerce brought POST a great idea just after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.-- companies there were going to need places to do business. That afforded companies here to take part in a special opportunity to attract business to the region. Local companies would list space, facilities, anything that could be of use to companies whose facilities were not only wiped out in the storm, but were inaccessible for more than a month. Companies offered various office spaces -- some for free, including existing telephone service. The web site that POST, the Beaumont Chamber and other allies worked on was call "GetBackInBusinessFast.com." The program was successful but short-lived -- just about a month later, Hurricane Rita slammed into Southeast Texas. The job now became getting local companies a place to do business.
STOC – Southeast Texas Opportunities for Contractors
This program conducted in 1998-1999 was to help contractors in Southeast Texas get more opportunities for bidding on local projects
POST maintained a regional tourism web site that highlighted all the exciting things to do in Southeast Texas: http//:www.fun365days.com The site averaged more than 350 users per day. A Regional Calendar of Events helped fun seekers find things to do as well as helped event organizers get their events more widely known. Requests for information on the area from visitors to the site were emailed directly to local Chambers of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau’s.
Southeast Texas Tourism Issue Group
POST’s Tourism Issue Group stayed active with quarterly meetings. The region saw a sharp rise in tourism jobs and hotels and restaurants in the early 2000's Regional “Tourism Talk Arounds provided communities with an opportunity to network and build relationships with their peers and allies
Exciting Things to Do in Southeast Texas Fair
Working with the tourism professionals from the Southeast Texas Tourism Talkaround and with Parkdale Mall, POST helped put together this information fair in the summer of 2004. More than 15 booths offered information on family fun in the 9 counties to mall shoppers.
The Southeast Texas Ten Year Vision
Southeast Texas Inc., which later assumed the name Partnership of Southeast Texas (POST) set for with David Bernsen as its new chairman, to create a vision for Southeast Texas that looked out ten years. POST's economic development partners pitched in to make it a success.
The more than 300 people who worked on the project set six milestones.
Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Terminals
The Partnership of Southeast Texas worked with the officials from the three proposed LNG terminals to look forward to the labor demands that would be coming. POST facilitated meetings with the three companies (Cheniere, ExxonMobil,and Sempra) and the major training providers in the region to discuss what Southeast Texas needs to do to be ready to build the three $700 million plus facilities. (Only the ExxonMobil and Cheniere facilities were built).
POST's involvement began early on with a call from a consultant investigating the possibilites of "take off capacity" for the natural gas brought in if the company he was working for built a such a facility. He wondered if there was enough demand for natural gas by industries with 150 miles of the Golden Triangle. POST's answer was quick -- "You'll find enough capacity within the Golden Triangle." POST was able to supply him industries and contacts quickly -- most of them were in the "Big 9 Directory".
Among those participating were
- Lamar University
- Lamar State College Port Arthur
- Lamar State College Orange
- Lamar Institute of Technology
- Industrial Safety Training Council
- Greater Port Arthur Chamber
- Greater Beaumont Chamber
- Pipefitters Union Local 195
- IBEW Electrical Training Center
- Southeast Texas Workforce Centers
- Southeast Texas Workforce Boards
- Associated General Contractors of Jefferson County
- Golden Triangle Business Roundtable
- Sheetmetal Workers Apprentice School
- Associated Builders and Contractors
Houston Realtors Presentations
Periodically POST worked with local counties to make presentations to Houston Real Estate groups about the available sites, infrastructure and business climate in Southeast Texas. One flyer which we created especially for these presentations was "Water-front Industrial Parks in Southeast Texas."
Working with existing industry and State, County, City, Chamber and Economic Development officials has been a big part of its work. In the picture on the left, Hardin County Judge addresses several state department heads to ask for help after Louisiana Pacific announced it would be closing it's mill in Silsbee.
POST Annual Meetings
At the 2001 Annual Meeting, Senator Rick Perry was waiting for word that Governor Bush was going to resign to work on his Presidential campaign and transition to governor.
Post Annual meetings – The annual POST meetings were always a time to gather officials from throughout the nine counties, discuss plans for the upcoming year and bond among ourselves.
At its 2001 annual meeting, POST gathered several of its past chairs together with the Keynote Speaker, Rick Perry, who was at the time witing for George Bush to step down to run for President.
The POST Magazine brought the region together in special way. Quarterly it would highlight the assets of the region – promoting tourism and working together. The Partnership of Southeast Texas did not publish the the magazine. We helped to market it and wrote editorial copy about economic development topics for the magazine.