Kilgore and Gregg County draw almost 350,000 workers from across 12 counties as identified by TIP Strategies, an Austin-based strategic planning firm. Distance to the outer radial of those counties is approximately 60 minutes and 35 miles from Kilgore.
The share of workers commuting to the county from more than 50 miles has increased steadily over the past decade. One of the sectors showing the largest gains from those workers is manufacturing. In fact, a look at employment by industry illustrates the unique composition of the Gregg County economy relative to the regional, state and national economies. After healthcare, the next largest industries in terms of the county's job base are mining and manufacturing, both part of the goods producing sector. Each accounts for approximately 10% of the county's total employment, well above the state and national levels.
Employment in Kilgore is concentrated in occupations that correlate with its industrial specializations, including production workers tied to manufacturing. Employment is concentrated in four industries: machinery, chemicals, fabricated metal products and primary metals.
With a median age of 35.4 years, Gregg County has the youngest population in the region and also outperforms the region in education.
In other words, we are able to do the job, and we are not afraid to work.