Treated Wood/Wood Preservation


The City of Center and the 7-county labor shed surrounding it are exceptionally positioned to promote businesses dealing with treated wood and wood preservation primarily due to the abundance of forest resources. This East Texas region, also known as the Piney Woods, is the primary forest region in Texas. Furthermore, Center’s proximity to Sabine National Forest and the labor shed’s industry relevant qualified workforce puts the city in a strategically superior position for the promotion and expansion of the timber industry. This claim is further bolstered by the fact that the labor shed posted a regional industry demand of over $170 million in the year 2016 of which only 37% were met within the region. So, from the purview of demand and supply economics, the region has a significant potential for promotion of timber related manufacturing.

Our Treated Wood Cluster/Advantage:

  • Hallmark has a fixture operation in Center, Texas since the 1960s which is one of two U.S. fixture production plants supporting Hallmark Cards, Inc.
  • Bailey Bark Materials is a manufacturer of processed wood materials and also provides services to poultry growers.
  • Bird and Crawford Forestry is a division of Advanced Ecology Ltd that provides full range forestry consultancy services with their corporate headquarter located in Center, Texas.


Treated Wood/Wood Preservation Companies in the 7 County Labor Shed (within 45 minutes’ drive time of Center, TX):

  • 41 Logging Locations
  • 32 Landscaping Services
  • 26 Commercial and Industrial Machinery (Except Automotive and Electronic) Manufacturing
  • 18 Sawmills
  • 15 Industrial Machinery and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers
  • 15 Furniture Stores
  • 13 Forestry Support Services
  • 6 Timber Tract Operations
  • 4 Reconstituted Wood Product Manufacturing
  • 4 Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing
  • 4 Other Wood Products Manufacturing
  • 4 Wood Kitchen Cabinet and Countertop Manufacturing
  • 4 Forestry Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing
  • 3 Truss Manufacturing
  • 3 Lumber, Plywood, Millwork, and Wood Panel Merchant Wholesalers
  • 1 Paperboard Mill
  • 1 Prefabricated Wood Building Manufacturing
  • 1 Wood Window and Door Manufacturing
  • 1 Wood Preservation
  • 1 Hardwood Veneer and Plywood Manufacturing
  • 1 Softwood Veneer and Plywood Manufacturing

Skilled Labor/Workforce Availability:

The region’s labor shed has more jobs in the Wood Products Sector than the US Average

  • More than 83x the US average in Reconstituted Wood Products Manufacturing
  • More than 24x the US Average in Sawmills
  • More than 15x the US average in veneer, plywood, and engineered wood products manufacturing
  • More than 11.5x the USA average of Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood
  • More than 10x the US average in logging equipment operators
  • More than 6x the US average in Woodworking
  • More than 4x the US average in Machine setters, and operators
  • More than 3.5x the US average in Foresters
  • More than 3x the US average in Wood Window and Door Manufacturing
  • More than 3x the US average in Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers
  • More than 3x the US average in log graders and scalers
  • More than 2.5x the USA average of Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
  • More than 2.5x the USA average of Plant and System Operators
  • More than 2x the USA average of Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
  • More than 2x times the USA average of Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators
  • More than 2x times the USA average of Farm Equipment Operators and Repairers
  • More than the US average in Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing
  • More than the US Average in All Other Miscellaneous Wood Product Manufacturing

Also, the labor shed has seen the following growth in Wood Product jobs over the last 5 years

  • 33% growth in Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, And Tenders
  • 30% growth in Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
  • 19% growth in Logging Equipment Operators
  • 15% growth in Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Workers
  • 6% growth in Machinery Maintenance Workers
  • 4% growth in Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

Low Cost Electric Power:

City of Center is served by Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) which is an operating company of American Electric Power (AEP).

  • SWEPCO has over 530,000 customers in their service region spread across Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
  • One of the lowest cost electric power provider in the whole nation. Cost per kWh is only $0.066 in Center, TX which is much lower than the national average of $0.093 per kWH.

Parts of Center, most of Shelby and 7 other neighboring counties are also served by Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Natural Gas Pipelines:

  • Centerpoint Energy provides natural gas to the City and the region.
  • CenterPoint Energy Intrastate Pipelines (CEIP) owns and operates 240 miles of pipeline in Texas and Louisiana


Water and Wastewater:

  • The city provides water and wastewater management services to residents and businesses.
  • The wastewater treatment plant is going through a major upgradation project (valued at $2.1 million) which will increase its wastewater treatment capacity to about 400,000 Gallons per day in addition to installation of new electrical systems and motors, building of a new large lift station, and replacement of several sewer lines.
  • The city also received a grant from the State of Texas to install a new solar panel array which would cut down wastewater treatment energy consumption by 20%.


Road Access

  • US 59, a 4-lane major highway runs through Shelby County and is accessible 15 miles north of Center.
  • Interstate 49 can be accessed about 40 miles to the east of Center.
  • Major markets such as Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Shreveport are all within 150 miles radius (about 3 hours maximum drive time) of Center.
  • Over 32 million Americans live within an 8-hour drive of Center, Texas.

Airport Access

  • Center Municipal Airport is a general aviation airport with a 5,501 foot runway.
  • The following commercial air options are also available (distance from Center, Texas):
  • East Texas Regional – 60 miles
  • Shreveport Regional – 60 miles
  • Tyler Pounds Field – 70 miles
  • Texarkana Regional – 100 miles
  • Houston Bush Intercontinental – 150 miles
  • D/FW International – 150 miles

Colleges and Universities:

There are several colleges and universities in the region:

  • Panola College
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • University of Texas at Tyler
  • Kilgore College
  • Texas State Technical College – Marshall
  • East Texas Baptist University
  • LeTourneau University
  • Angelina College


Additional Information:

Taxes and Business Costs

As a location for doing business, Center features major tax and business costs advantages including the following:

  • No state corporate income tax
  • No state individual income tax
  • Only state in USA that does not require private companies to have workers’ compensation insurance.

Primary and Secondary Education

  • K-12 educational services are provided by Center ISD. Other school districts in Shelby County are:  Excelsior ISD, Shelbyville ISD, Tenaha ISD, Timpson ISD and Joaquin ISD


U.S. News & World Report –

CENTER HIGH SCHOOL voted one of the Best High Schools in the country.


Workforce Training

Shelby Regional Training Center, operated by Panola College can provide customized training programs based on employer needs, and currently has the following workforce training programs:

  • Electrical & Instrumentation
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Natural Gas Compression
  • Petroleum Technology
  • Residential/Commercial Electrician
  • Welding


Emerge Business Assistance Program

  • Created by Center Economic Development Corporation, the EMERGE program aims to assist entrepreneurs to start up new ventures and grow in Center, Texas.
  • The program will provide assistance to new businesses in the form of reimbursements for a period of 5 years provided the business conforms to the eligibility criteria.
  • More information on the program can be found here.


Innova Business Improvement Grant Program

  • The Innova program assists businesses that are in need of building improvements. Eligible projects include: facades, building improvements, and landscaping.
  • Any business located in Downtown Center or in a Commercial or Industrial zone are eligible.
  • The Center EDC will reimburse 50% of the improvement cost up to a certain dollar amount once the project is completed.
  • More information on the program can be found here.

New Market Tax Credits

Center is located in appropriate census tracts for a business to qualify for New Market Tax Credits.

Property Tax Abatements

Based on capital investment and job creation, the City may grant a property tax abatement on the value of the improvements to the property.

Sales Tax Rebates

Based on capital investment and job creation, the City may rebate part of the city portion of sales tax collected from the business.

Site Development Assistance

The Economic Development Corporation, working in conjunction with the City of Center, may be able to provide assistance to the business in extending utility services to the business location at no cost to the business.

Tax Increment Financing

The tax increment financing zone can be used to finance the cost of improvements to assist a business.

Texas Enterprise Zone

  • The Texas Enterprise Zone Program (EZP) is an economic development tool available to Texas communities from the State for promotion of jobs creation and private capital investment.
  • The program has so far accomplished 979 projects resulting in $74.1 billion in capital investment.
  • A Texas community can nominate a new or relocating company for the TEZP program.