More than forty years have passed since the Articles of Agreement creating the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission were executed. From its beginning in 1969, the Planning Commission has grown from a small entity with a $60,000 annual budget to an organization that employs more than 45 professionals, coordinates the resources of 300 citizen volunteers, and oversees an annual budget in excess of $25 million.
Our programs and services have changed through the years in order to best meet the needs of our member local governments. As changes in focus have taken place in Washington, D.C., Austin, and here at home, program initiatives have shifted. During tough economic times, companies, for example, have laid individuals off. The Planning Commission has stepped in to help retrain these men and women so they can continue to find viable work and live in the Panhandle.
At other times, we have assisted in bringing new companies to the region, working with their leadership to recruit and train qualified workers to fill positions. In terms of the economy, workforce needs, aging programs, criminal justice, and many other areas of impact, our region, through the prism of the PRPC, has experienced more than 40 years of challenges and successes.