Economic vitality in the city of Texarkana is a public-private collaboration to promote a healthy economy that supports the outstanding quality of life enjoyed by its residents. Texarkana is following a sustainable path to economic development, adopting strategies that foster innovation, competitiveness, and entrepreneurship, and maintaining a positive business climate, while enhancing community character and preserving environmental quality
This success didn't just happen-many ingredients came together to support Texarkana's economic vitality. However, in terms of city-led efforts, many of the most important actions were not undertaken to promote economic development. On the contrary, many were initiated in response to growth pressures and the sense that the community's unique sense of place and quality of life would otherwise be lost. But, from preserving open space to protecting historic buildings in the downtown, many of those same actions have played a significant role in securing Texarkana's current economic success. The uniqueness of place, compactness, connectedness, and recreational amenities-combined with the innovation engines of UA-Texarkana and the other learning institutions in the area -have helped attract and retain a talented and entrepreneurial workforce, fostering the growth of leading-edge companies across a range of key industries.
The Economic Sustainability Strategy (ESS) is an integrated, cross-cutting approach to Texarkana's continued economic vitality. This strategy is not a typical economic development approach but will support the city's economic vitality by building on its strengths and addressing challenges. This strategy is based on simultaneously maintaining and enhancing the existing community of businesses while also positioning Texarkana to grow new segments of its economy associated with larger economic, environmental, and social trends. The strategy is focused on Texarkana's primary employers. Use of the term "economic sustainability" instead of "economic development" or even "economic vitality" reflects two key tenets. First, economic sustainability focuses on long-term conditions and outcomes, with a critical look at how current and anticipated issues and trends may affect the community's future economic vitality. It identifies near- and long-term strategies and actions that can help ensure success over time. Second, the application of a comprehensive "sustainability lens" acknowledges that efforts to ensure and enhance economic vitality must be approached and implemented in conjunction with the environmental, social, and cultural qualities that are the foundation of Texarkana's long-term health and quality of life. This recognition now includes the acknowledgement that significant and far-reaching changes are taking place in climatic systems that are having impacts both globally and locally. These impacts are leading to changes in international, national, and state policies that will likely influence both regulatory and market activities. Part of Texarkana's economic sustainability strategy is to prepare our community and our businesses to be able to both minimize the impacts of these changes as well as position Texarkana as a leader in the emerging market for technical, technological, and social innovations, which is an essential element in the orientation of Texarkana's growth strategy.