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From Site Selection magazine, September 2020

Meet the Texas Town that Competes to Win

Small community delivers big-city benefits in Lufkin.

Historic downtown Lufkin
Photo courtesy of Lufkin EDC


Ever considered locating your business in a small town? If so, Lufkin, Texas, has a message for you.

“We are well positioned to have companies locate out of large cities to a place with small-town feel and the amenities of metropolitan areas,” says Bob Samford, economic development director for the Lufkin Economic Development Corp. “We offer a great location with big-city benefits.”

On Interstate 69 about 90 minutes northeast of Houston, Lufkin is a community of 36,000 people who enjoy family, hard work, loyalty and quality of life, says Samford.

The corporate executives who have made the decision to invest in Lufkin have found this out too. “I’ve never seen a community more aligned behind supporting a company project than what I’ve seen in Lufkin,” said John Batten, CEO of Twin Disc, a Wisconsin-based company that built a 50,000-sq.-ft. warehouse facility on 20 acres in Lufkin last year.

Batten has plenty of company. Eight companies invested a combined $178 million into new facilities and created 532 jobs in Lufkin in 2019. Among them were Lockheed Martin, which invested $3.5 million to build 30,000 sq. ft. and add 125 jobs, and American eChem, which invested $8 million and hired 25 workers.

“Lufkin is the economic engine for a 12-county area,” says Samford. “Our location, workforce and cost of living are our most important assets. We offer generous ad valorem tax abatements, FTE employee hiring incentives and a cash incentive for larger projects.”

With two colleges within 30 minutes of Lufkin, training programs cover a wide spectrum of industries and equip a “strong blue-collar workforce,” adds Samford. “Our transportation network and broadband connectivity are top-notch as well.”

Lufkin Map

A major four-lane highway connects Lufkin to the Port of Houston, Houston Intercontinental Airport and Mexico. “Some 35,000 vehicles a day go through here,” says Samford. “The new I-69 will go all the way from Mexico to Canada, and we will have direct access to it.”

Speaking of international business, Lufkin just added another selling point: a foreign trade zone. “The FTZ designation is a game changer,” Samford says. “It will absolutely have a positive effect, and we have a tremendous portfolio of site-ready properties. This is one of two new FTZ designations that were awarded nationwide in 2019; we are now one of 32 FTZs in a state of 1,216 cities.”

With a low crime rate, a location outside the hurricane zone but close to the Gulf Coast, and an exceptional environment for outdoor enthusiasts, Lufkin is ready to compete for major projects, adds Samford. “We are extremely business friendly,” he notes. “If they let us compete for their new facility location, we will win their business.”

This Investment Profile was prepared under the auspices of the Lufkin EDC. For more information, go to

Ron Starner
Executive Vice President of Conway, Inc.

Ron Starner

Ron Starner is Executive Vice President of Conway Data, Inc. He has been with Conway Data for 22 years and serves as a writer and editor for both Site Selection and the company's Custom Content publishing division. His Twitter handle is @RonStarner.


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