NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Texas Purchasing from People with Disabilities program benefited the state’s economy in several multimillion-dollar ways during 2019 and 2020, according to a report compiled by faculty members in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Rusche College of Business. These included adding approximately $300 million to the state’s gross domestic product and about 9,000 jobs during each of those years.
Requested by the Texas Workforce Commission, the report was authored by three Department of Economics and Finance faculty members, including Dr. Rebecca Davis, assistant professor of economics, and Drs. Mikhail Kouliavtsev and Mark Scanlan, professors of economics.
“We’re pleased the TWC reached out to us and glad to contribute this report highlighting the value and economic impact this program has statewide,” said Kouliavtsev. “The program’s benefits extend far beyond helping individuals with disabilities directly; it creates additional jobs, income and output for Texans.”
The TWC oversees the Texas Purchasing from People with Disabilities program, which establishes the processes state agencies use to purchase goods and services from community rehabilitation programs. These CRPs then hire people with disabilities to produce and supply those goods and services.
TWC Executive Director Ed Serna said the program plays a key role “in growing our Texas workforce while enhancing the lives of Texans with disabilities by providing them with employment opportunities and ways to achieve independence. The report highlights the importance and impact of this program — not just for people with disabilities, but for all Texans.”
The report also shows how all areas of the state are significantly, positively impacted by program activities, Serna added.
For example, in the Southeast Region, which includes Nacogdoches and Angelina counties, the program contributed more than $5 million in additional output and led to the creation of nearly 60 new jobs in 2020. For 2019, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this impact was even larger: $5.5 million in new output and nearly 70 jobs created.
Statewide during fiscal year 2019, the program:

  • added approximately $304.4 million of output to Texas’ state gross domestic product
  • generated roughly $167.3 million of total personal income in the state
  • created over 9,400 jobs
  • and generated about $7.5 million in additional state and local sales tax revenues through program spending.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the program continued to benefit the Texas economy in fiscal year 2020 by:

  • adding approximately $296.6 million to Texas’ state gross domestic product
  • generating about $162.8 million in total personal income
  • creating nearly 8,900 total jobs
  • and generating about $7.3 million in additional state and local sales tax revenues through program spending.

To learn more about the report findings and the department’s research projects, visit