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ETCOG Happenings – October 2022

ETCOG Board Welcomes New Officers, Members, and Approves Budget for FY 2023

ETCOG is pleased to announce the new Board and Executive Committee Officers serving for FY 2022 and Executive Committee members serving a two-year term beginning October 2021. The ETCOG Board of Directors appoints the Executive Committee responsible for carrying out the policies, programs, and services established by the Board on behalf of our 14-county region.

Board Officers

Chairman – Rusk Mayor Ben Middlebrooks

1st Vice Chairman – Harrison County Commissioner William Hatfield

2nd Vice Chairman – Quitman Mayor Randy Dunn

3rd Vice Chairman – Smith County Commissioner JoAnn Hampton

Secretary/Treasurer – Rusk County Commissioner Robert Kuykendall

On September 22, ETCOG held its 102nd Semi-Annual Board of Directors Meeting, where the FY 2023 budget was approved, totaling $81.1M. To learn more about FY 2023 program goals, visit to see our approved Budget and Planning Guide.



Judge Robert Johnston Named President of

Statewide Board

On September 30th, Judge Robert Johnston of Anderson County took the Oath of Office to serve as President of the Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC) Board, the statewide association of regional councils, whose members are focused on enhancing the quality of life through regional strategies, partnerships, and solutions. Johnston serves on the board as a representative of the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG). The TARC Board elected Judge Johnston to serve as its President for 2022-2023 during its annual Board of Directors meeting held in Austin last week.

“Judge Johnston is always willing to serve wherever he can, and wherever he serves, he makes a difference!” said ETCOG Executive Director David Cleveland. “In his new role as TARC President, I am absolutely certain he will be an effective ambassador for identifying and implementing regional solutions to the challenges we face, both in East Texas and throughout the State!”


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GoBus Director, Vince Huerta, named President of Texas Transit Association

The East Texas Council of Governments is pleased to announce its Director of Transportation, Vince Huerta, has been elected the Board President of the Texas Transit Association.

“I am elated to serve as the new President of TTA for my first term,” said Huerta. “I am eager to begin working with our rural, small urban, and large urban transit providers to create new and updated benefits for our membership, potential recruits, and constituents. As a seasoned transit manager and longtime member of TTA, I believe I can provide a fresh perspective on how our organization engages with its members. Together we will be able to expand our network and provide the representation Texas Transit deserves.”

TTA’s purpose is to educate the people of Texas about issues affecting the public transit industry within the state. Additionally, TTA actively supports public transportation in the State of Texas and works with members of the state legislature in the pursuit of additional resources to support public transportation.


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Hiring Red, White & You! Statewide Veterans Hiring Fair to Take Place November 10

For the 11th year, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), in partnership with 28 local workforce development boards and the Texas Veterans Commission, will host veterans hiring fairs throughout Texas on Thursday, Nov.10. TWC’s 11th annual Hiring Red, White & You! The statewide hiring fair is a joint initiative supported by the Office of the Governor, the Texas Medical Center (TMC), and the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) to connect veterans and their spouses in Texas with employers seeking the exceptional skills of veterans and their spouses.

Workforce Solutions East Texas will host the local hiring event partnered with East Texas Employers in Tyler at the UT Ornelas Center at 3402 Old Omen Rd. from 10 AM – 2 PM. The event is veteran-focused but open to the public to attend.


Hiring Red, White & You!

Congratulations to

Dylan Savage on Employee of the Year!

“Dylan has always gone above and beyond to serve colleagues and external customers to the very best of his ability. He always executes his job with attention to high professional standards as one would expect,” said David Cleveland, ETCOG Executive Director. “In addition, he always blends great service with exceptional kindness and enthusiasm. We are both blessed and fortunate to have him on the ETCOG Team!”

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GoBus Launches Partnership with First Monday Trade Days in Canton

GoBus is proud to announce a new partnership with First Monday Trade Days in Canton to provide a free shuttle service for attendees called the Canton Cruiser.

To help alleviate the distance of walking, GoBus offers free shuttle services from specific parking lots listed below. Shuttles run every 15-20 minutes on Fridays and Saturdays during First Monday weekends from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.


Drop-off & Pick-up Locations

Certified Benefits Counselors Available to Assist You With Medicare Open Enrollment

People with Medicare have more choices and options for their Medicare coverage in 2023. Plan costs and covered benefits have changed, so the Area Agency on Aging of East Texas (AAA) encourages people with Medicare to look at their coverage choices and decide the options that best fit their health needs.

Open Enrollment for 2023 Medicare health and drug plans begins on October 15, 2022, and ends on December 7, 2022, giving individuals a chance to modify their plans.

The AAA is also known as the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and is available to compare your current coverage with available options and assist you with enrollment at no cost.

Speak to a qualified Benefits Counselor by calling 1-800-442- 8845.

Request Appointment

Now Recruiting!

Winnsboro Economic Development Director

ETCOG now offers Executive Recruitment Services. We have partnered with the City of Winnsboro to seek qualified candidates and hire its next Economic Development Director.

This position is responsible for recruiting new businesses, expanding existing businesses, and improving and management of the economic position of Winnsboro. The selected individual will search for and contact potential organizations to locate in Winnsboro, determine business potential, be the focus of the interaction process, and assist the organization in location to the City.

The ideal candidate would have formal, accredited training in Economic Development, Business, Public Relations, Marketing, Finance, or a related field and three to five years of practical experience in economic development.

Learn More

ETCOG to Host Two-Day Grant Management Workshop

ETCOG’s East Texas Economic Development District has partnered with Grant Writing USA to host a two-day grant management workshop in Longview, on October 25-26, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Maude Cobb Convention Center.

“Many of our communities rely heavily on grants to support their program budgets. This is an opportunity for them to learn about managing grants once awarded. Our team can also assist with grant research and application assistance to supplement their training,” said Lynda David, ETCOG’s Economic Development Specialist.

The workshop is open to jurisdictions, city managers, commissioners, emergency management departments, public safety departments, special districts, educational institutions, healthcare organizations, and nonprofits.

The cost to attend is $565, which includes two days of instruction, a 500-page workbook, and a reference guide. Individuals who attended the first grant writing workshop in June 2022 can receive a $100 discount and groups of five or more can receive a $50 discount per person by using the discount code “Friends” at registration.



The 31st REACH Conference was a Success!

The Area Agency on Aging of East Texas hosted the Regional Education on Aging, Caregiving, and Healthcare (REACH) Conference for the 31st year for local healthcare providers to learn skills, tools, and techniques used in facilities and communities.


REACH31 saw over 300 attendees and exhibitors for the first in-person conference since October 2019.

Speakers addressed leadership, diversity, safety, and more. CEUs include ethics, social work, Licensed Professional Counselors, Activity Directors, and Long-Term Care Administrators.

REACH Photos

Disability Employment Awareness Month Celebration

Texas Workforce Solutions Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Workforce Solutions East Texas invite you to an interactive networking event that educates businesses about various disabilities and a potential untapped talent pool. Make sure your company’s diversity and inclusion program are complete by learning more about the largest minority group in the United States.

  • Thursday, October 20
  • 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Maude Cobb Convention Center
  • Longview
Event Flyer

East Texas Council of Governments

(903) 218-6400

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East Texas Council of Governments | 3800 Stone RoadKilgore, TX 75662

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