The primary mission of the Carthage Improvement Corporation and the Carthage Economic Development Corporation is to maintain and expand the tax base of the City of Carthage, to create new value-added full-time jobs for the citizens of Carthage, to retain existing value-added full-time jobs, and to be instrumental in making Carthage a progressive community. The strategic goals of these corporations are:

  • To encourage, support, and financially assist in the retention and expansion of existing Carthage businesses and industries;
  • To attract the location of new manufacturing companies and industries to Carthage with available sites and buildings, financial incentives, available and technically-skilled workforce, and other support services;
  • To encourage, support, and financially assist in the development and diversification of small businesses in Carthage; and
  • To assist with activities which contribute to the overall quality of life in Carthage. Employment opportunities are numerous with a strong economic base consisting of retail and service oriented businesses, antique and specialty shops, commercial food processing, agriculture and timber, industrial and light manufacturing plants, and oil and gas processing. Local businesses and industries are well supported by the Panola County Chamber of Commerce/Industrial Foundation, the City of Carthage Economic Development Board, and the Carthage Improvement Corporation Board. These groups provide information and support for assisting businesses and attracting new industries to this area.
Carthage is strategically located on US Highways 59 and 79, three hours north of Houston and just over two hours east of Dallas. Interstate 20, a major east-west artery in the nation's Interstate Highway System, is only a short drive north. Carthage is fortunate to be located near the proposed NAFTA trade route, Interstate 69. It is a small, friendly town booming with oil & gas production.  It has an outstanding public school system, a community college, abundant recreational activities and is home to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.
Coby Chase, Charles Thomas-previous Executive Director-Carthage Improvement Corporation, Congressman Louis Gohmert, Linda Thomas-Chairperson, Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority and Judge John Thompson.

From an article in the Longview News-Journal, October 1, 2019 written by Jessica Harker:
1.I-69meetingArea representatives who traveled recently to Washington, D.C., to hear briefings on the Interstate 69 project say the nation’s capital appears to be on board. I-69 is intended to be an interstate highway traveling from the Canadian border in Michigan to the Mexican border in Texas, using a series of improvements to existing highways to complete the project.

In East Texas, the I-69 route includes portions of U.S. 59 from Texarkana to Tenaha. Charles Thomas, executive director of the Carthage Improvement Corp., said the event was well met by officials in Washington.

“It was all very positive. Everyone is realizing how important this project is,” Thomas said. Thomas traveled to Washington in mid-September with Wes Morrison, the Marshall Planning and Development director; Cory Floyd from Texarkana; and Linda Thomas from Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority. The event consisted of meetings with local congressmen and meeting the Mexican and Canadian ambassadors.

“The ambassadors really care about the project, because it is going straight from Mexico to Canada. So, it is going to connect everything,” Charles Thomas said. The project was received with optimism in Washington, though many congressmen expressed a need for additional funds. He said one way to find additional funding would be to open the road as a freight route.

“It’s very different than what we were hearing years ago at the beginning on the project, when we kept hearing it would never get built,” Thomas said. “Now everyone seems to be on board.”
For more info on the I69 Alliance
Alliance delegation presents I-69 sign to freshman Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Houston (center) for display in his office. Pictured (l-r) Charles Thomas, Carthage Improvement Corporation; Linda Thomas, NETRMA; Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy; Crenshaw; Cory Floyd, Texarkana; Jennifer Shepard, Alliance; Spencer Chambers, Port Houston

Congressman John Ratcliffe of Northeast Texas (center) hosts I-69 delegation in his Capitol Hill office. 

4.cornyn 5.lgohmert
 US Senator Cornyn
at I-69 Congressional Caucus Reception
Congressman Louie Gohmert of Tyler at I-69 Congressional Caucus Reception
Informal lunch discussion with Congressman Brian Babin of Texas and Congressman Greg Pence of Indiana,
both members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee 
Photos compliments of Don Rodman, The Rodman Company