June 11, 2024

The Development Corporation of Abilene Receives National Award for Economic Development Initiatives

(Abilene, TX) – The Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA) is proud to be a recipient of the 2024 Economic Development Organization (EDO) Awards from Business Facilities. This national recognition is a result of the DCOA’s significant initiatives to build the future Abilene, Texas.

“The 2024 entries spanned a broad range of organizations and strategies, reflecting the importance of vision and teamwork when it comes to achieving economic growth,” says Anne Cosgrove, Editorial Director of Business Facilities. “While the organizations nominated vary by size and scope, their innovation and resourcefulness shone throughout all the winning entries. From workforce development to tech ecosystems and housing issues, the ideas represented focus on the dynamic nature of economic development and corporate site selection.”

The DCOA’s innovative economic development initiatives leverage the opportunity to capture two primary talent pipelines. The DCOA’s “From Active Duty to Active Career” program provides U.S. Air Force airmen and their spouses who are preparing to transition into the civilian workforce the unique opportunity to connect directly with Abilene’s primary employers, empowering them to explore various career avenues in Abilene, Texas. The DCOA’s “NEXTU” program grows Abilene’s talent pipeline, enabling high school students to earn industry certifications and gain hands-on, job-ready experience through DCOA-funded scholarships.

“Our award-winning economic development initiatives reflect the DCOA’s commitment to both retaining and expanding our local primary employers,” said Misty Mayo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the DCOA. “By bridging the gap between education and primary employers, the DCOA is fostering a sustainable economic environment where both individuals and businesses can thrive.”

By synergizing the DCOA’s “From Active Duty to Active Career” and “NEXTU” programs, the DCOA has created opportunities for two primary talent pools to stay, grow, and prosper in Abilene, Texas. The DCOA’s “Active Duty to Active Career” program has connected more than 60 transitioning airmen and their spouses with over 10 employers since 2023. Additionally, the “NEXTU” program has seen a 61% increase in dual credit enrollment from 2022 to 2023. The 2023 graduating class exemplifies the program’s effectiveness in preparing students for their future careers – 53% entered the workforce, 5% joined the U.S. Military, and 42% continued their education locally.

“These initiatives represent the DCOA’s proactive approach to economic development, directly addressing local needs and ensuring Abilene remains a vibrant hub for both businesses and families,” said Shea Hall, Chair of the DCOA Board of Directors.

These two programs, in partnership with two local school districts, numerous local universities and colleges, local businesses, and professional organizations, are bridging the gap between education, local existing businesses and Abilene’s Dyess Air Force Base. These concerted efforts embody the DCOA’s commitment to harness the potential of veterans, aiding in their seamless transition to the civilian workforce, and retaining local talent at the high school level.

“This national recognition highlights the innovative spirit of the Abilene, Texas community,” said Abilene Mayor Weldon Hurt. “The DCOA’s strategies underscore Abilene’s position as a leader in economic development.”

About the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA)

The DCOA is the economic development driver of Abilene with the goal to build the future Abilene by attracting and sustaining industries that support job creation, foster strong business, and ensure a prosperous community. The DCOA is focused on the future success of the community and leverages the DevelopAbilene partnership to market Abilene as the premier location for business expansion. Learn more about the DCOA and DevelopAbilene at www.developabilene.com.

About Abilene

Abilene, Texas, is located in Taylor County, Texas. Directly on I-20, just two and half hours from the Dallas/Fort Worth metro, Abilene is strategically located in the south-central United States. The city has a population of 127,129 people and is a regional hub representing a civilian labor force of more than 145,000 people. In addition to powerful professionals, the community has a robust infrastructure and a strategic location in the south-central United States that secures Abilene as the premier location for global manufacturers.

About Business Facilities

Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.



Contact: Ashley Whitmer
Phone: 325-280-0876
Email: Ashley.Whitmer@AbileneDCOA.com

Development Corporation of Abilene is a proud recipient of the following recognition: