Posted 10.18.19

Project Summary

Help economically distressed rural communities in the Forest Region of Southeast Texas build economic development capacity through the identification of needs, helping them find resources, and assist in the creation of community development strategies.


Project Description 

This project will focus on the 12-county region of the Deep East Texas Economic Development District (EDD).  The region includes Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler counties.  The Deep East Texas EDD partners with the U.S. Economic Development Administration to provide region-wide strategic economic development planning.  The VISTA will have the opportunity to focus on individual communities) to build economic development capacity at a more in-depth level.  The VISTA will work with their communities to identify economic development needs and resources to meet those needs in an effort to attract higher-paying jobs and other opportunities. The overall goal is to build capacity in rural, economically distressed communities to alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment, and provide a better quality of life.


This project is sponsored by the Austin Regional Office (AURO) of the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and will be directly supervised by the Deep East Texas EDD.  The overall EDA Mission is “to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.” 


Member Duties 

VISTA will work directly with community leaders, gathering in-depth information about local economic development needs to help create jobs and improve quality of life in economically distressed communities. Over the course of the service, the VISTA will partner with the communities to problem-solve, recommend economic development activities, and identify potential resources and collaborations for the communities.


  1. Develop an inventory of economic development assets and contacts in each county.
  2. Assist with outreach activities, including website and social media outreach.
  3. Assist with Disaster Recovery efforts (seven of our counties are in the Harvey disaster area).
  4. Assist with planning and educational efforts for extension of broadband services in the region.

The economic development capacity built by the VISTA will provide the communities the tools to build job opportunities for community members and improve quality of life. 



Skills- Must have good communication and “people” skills.  Demonstratable ability to design, implement and search optimize web sites desirable. Any experience or education in community or economic development is a plus, but the main requirement is a desire to help others. 

Minimum Education Level- High School Diploma (some college preferred)

Additional Languages-  Not required although proficiency in Spanish would be a plus

Additional Requirements-  Valid Driver’s License with clean driving record


Contact information:

Name: Bob Bashaw

Street Address: 210 Premier Drive, Jasper Texas 75951

Contact Phone: 409-384-5704 ext. 5302     



Equal Opportunity Employer


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