Agriculture plays a big role in the economy of Texas County, where the annual hay crop is king. Its beef and dairy cattle numbers are among the tops in the state. As the county-seat in Texas County, Houston is a major retailing force in the county. The biggest employers in the county are the South Central Correctional Center at Licking, the Houston Schools, Texas County Memorial Hospital and its related clinics in Houston, The Durham Co. in Houston’s industrial park off West Highway 17 and Houston House. 

South Central Correctional Center

Today, the South Central Correctional Center at Licking is one of the county’s largest employer. It is situated off West Highway 32. The almost $73 million correctional facility, which opened in June 2000, employs 428 correctional professionals.

In 2018, there were about 1,600 inmates – of those, some are considered minimum security offenders, and they are employed in work details in the region, including at Houston.

The late Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan selected Licking as one of two sites to house the 1,600-bed correctional facility. With an annual payroll of more than $6.2 million – excluding benefits – the prison has a major impact on the region.

Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is located in nearby Pulaski County. Many county residents work there.

The military’s decision to move its military police and chemical schools to Fort Leonard Wood had an impact on the region, sparking the biggest one-time population gain in the state’s history. 

Fort Leonard Wood: check out its website