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Entries in Economic Development (9)


More money for Loop 335 project

News Channel 10

March 7, 2017


Mayor Paul HarpoleWhen it comes to the Loop project, Mayor Paul Harpole isn't hiding the fact there's a lot to be done. 

"We're talking about a 43 mile Loop that we must have to move traffic through this region, not just Amarillo," said Mayor Harpole. "So, it is critical to the growth of our city." 

It's going to take awhile but TxDOT just made it a bit easier. 

"We hoped, we begged, we pleaded, we prodded, we got it," said Harpole. 

The City of Amarillo recently received $65 Million in TxDOT money to extend the Loop. Mayor Harpole says without this money it would have taken another 30 years to expand Loop 335.

Read on...


City, county working to bring jobs to Plainview with new business park

KCBD News Channel 11

January 20, 2017

Mayor Wayne DunlapThe City of Plainview could soon be home to a new business park, a venture Hale County and the city are working on together.

One of the main goals for the project is to provide more jobs.

"Roughly three years ago, Cargill Corporation closed here in Plainview," said Wendell Dunlap, Mayor for the City of Plainview, "and that afternoon, we realized for the very first time that we were not prepared to bring in new businesses."

The closure took nearly 2,000 jobs with it.

"We've been very very fortunate," he said. "For about a year we felt it. But, we have moved on."

Mayor Dunlap tells us the city and Hale County are going into business together.

"It's a 50/50 partnership on purchasing the land and also, on the operation of the land," he explains.

With about 100 acres of land already purchased, including the old Jimmy Dean plant, the city is hoping to create more jobs for folks who live out here.

"What we want is try to bring in businesses that employ 30, 40, 50, 100 people- is what we're hoping for," Mayor Dunlap says.

The mayor tells us he hopes construction will begin by the end of the year.

Read on...


Mexico energy: High hopes for 'magnificent reform'

Ochoa said the Mexico Department of Energy estimates that foreign direct investment in the sector will rise by 50 percent by 2018, to $10 billion, and that 500,000 jobs will be created in the process.

Click here for complete article > CNBC

December 20, 2013

Susana Gonzalez | Bloomberg | Getty Images Pemex's La Muralla IV deep sea crude oil platform in the waters off Veracruz, Mexico.When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signs a new oil reform into law Friday, it could mark a turning point for Latin America's second-largest economy, one of Mexico's leading energy officials told CNBC.

"It's a magnificent reform," Mexico's Energy Undersecretary Enrique Ochoa said in an exclusive interview. Along with many other energy experts, he thinks the law will lead to an increase in oil and gas production, as well as lower energy prices.

The law will change three articles of the nation's constitution, thereby allowing foreign investment and production-sharing agreements in Mexico for the first time in more than 70 years…


Toward a More Competitive Colorado report released: Annual benchmark study examines competitive factors related to economic growth

This report, released by Ports-to-Plains Alliance member Metro Denver EDC, is a wealth of data that allows comparisons with every state and with just a little work with each state and other countries.  It is a wealth of economic benchmarks.  Clearly worth your time to review.


"The good news again is that Colorado continues to rank among the most economically competitive states in the United States in key measures such as job growth, innovation, and technology concentration," said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC.

Click here for complete release > Denver Metro Economic Development Corporation

November 18, 2013

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) released on Nov. 18, 2013, the ninth edition of Toward a More Competitive Colorado (TMCC), an annual benchmark report of Colorado's strengths, challenges, and opportunities for future job growth and economic expansion.

First published in 2005, TMCC is the foremost effort to compare Colorado's competitive position against the other 49 states. The study is researched and developed by the Metro Denver EDC's Chief Economist, Patty Silverstein of Development Research Partners, and is presented in cooperation with Wells Fargo…

Executive Summary

Complete Report


Guest Editorial: What About Blue Collar Jobs?

Greg Fulton is the President of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, which includes over 600 companies involved in the trucking industry in Colorado. Colorado Motor Carriers is a member of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance.  As the Ports-to-Plains corridor grows communities are seeing the benefits of a growing economic base.  Springfield, CO was recently able to see a truck stop re-opened.  Greg’s comments about trucks and the jobs they create are benefiting communities across the entire region.

One can’t almost open a news web site or newspaper without reading about a public official indicating a need to attract "green industries" and high-tech companies to their state.  In general, the green industry tends to be those in the renewable energy area or those developing products which benefit the environment.  The high tech companies tend to be software or computer hardware businesses, service companies, bio-tech businesses and the like. There is a glamour and attractiveness associated with these industries because they are new, innovative and futuristic.  In addition to the media, our schools, colleges, and general society espouse the benefits and importance of these industries. 

In recent years this fascination with these newer industries has led to countless high-profile efforts by various states and cities to compete for these businesses in these "glamour" sectors.  State and local policymakers fall over themselves in trying to outdo each other in offering the greatest economic incentives to attract those companies hoping that they may obtain the next Microsoft or Evergreen Solar.  

At the same time, the results of some of the high-tech and green industry initiatives should offer a cautionary tale for public agencies.  Amidst a great deal of fanfare, communities, states and the federal government offered tremendous incentives, loans and grants to companies such as Solyndra and Solar Abound for the manufacture of solar panels several years ago.  While these efforts were well-intentioned, it resulted in taxpayers losing millions of dollars when these companies filed bankruptcy after a short period of time.  A further point of irony was that while these companies might have been glamorous, for the most part, the pay and benefits for most of the workers  was not impressive.

Several years ago I had the opportunity to speak in a small rural community on Colorado's eastern plains.   It had been years since I had been in the community which at that time had a small but vital downtown area.  Prior to my meeting, I decided to take a drive through the downtown area. I was saddened to see a number of the businesses closed due to a lack of business and depressed economy. This unfortunately is an all too common story for many of our rural communities. 

I was struck by the change and it helped me appreciate the economic challenges that our rural communities in Colorado face.  What was particularly difficult for me was knowing  that there were  similar rural communities within 150 miles of the town, located in an adjacent state, that were thriving.  The people in those communities were no more industrious nor more committed to their town than the folks in this rural Colorado town.  The difference was that in each case the community was the home to a major trucking company that served not only their own states but Colorado and the nation. 

Why Sydney, or Crete, Nebraska, versus Akron or Springfield?   Well, it isn't too complicated.  The difference is that states like Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Utah have made a concerted effort to attract and retain trucking and distribution companies because they recognize the importance of these base industries to their economy and their value from a jobs perspective.  Those states realize that these businesses provide long-term stability and tend to weather economic downturns better than most . They also recognize that the wages  in the trucking industry tend to be significantly greater than the median pay for other jobs  in the country and that these jobs generally have good benefits associated with them.  In addition in a day and age when job security is a passing ideal, the ongoing need for truckdrivers and mechanics ensures that those individuals will never need to worry about a job.   Finally,  trucking and similar businesses beget other businesses who serve them with goods and services which creates even more jobs in the community which in many cases  may be located in rural areas or economically disadvantaged, small communities.

Unfortunately, over the years I have sat in a number of meetings where some state and local policymakers have questioned making any effort to retain or recruit logistics companies.  Some view these as "dirty businesses" that could detract from the state or local community's image.   They contend that we should be focusing on attracting only those businesses that fit the mold of being a "green or high tech industry".   I was astounded how little people knew about the trucking industry and its impact on our economy and the fact that this  industry has moved faster and gone farther than almost any other in regard to  environment improvements. 

The point isn't that states and cities should not seek to attract companies in these green, high-tech and bio-tech sectors.  Rather it is that policymakers should value and respect the many benefits offered by blue collar industries such as trucking and spend equally as much time and effort in retaining and attracting companies in this sector.

Our state has a diverse population and a variety of needs.  Let's not have our state and local governments hamstring themselves by only seeking those companies which fit into someone's definition of "green collar" or "high-tech"  jobs.  This not only adversely affects their economies but also limits the opportunities for good-paying jobs for many of their citizens.


Bi-National Meeting for Second International Bridge Project between Del Rio and Acuña

Zocalo (Spanish)

November 6, 2013

While on one side, consulting firms hired by the governments of Texas and Coahuila presented the progress of the feasibility studies for the construction of the second international bridge. On the other hand, Coahuila deputies presented a point of agreement in Congress to urge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for this project is included in the bilateral agenda with the United States.

This was stated by Secretary of Infrastructure in Coahuila, Francisco Navarro Saracho said during the meeting that the private sector with the mayors of Del Rio, Texas, Roberto Fernández and Acuña, Alberto Aguirre Villarreal, where he reported on the progress of the studies to ensure that the new border crossing would be built.  He highlighted that the governor of Coahuila, Rubén Moreira hired Felipe Ochoa and Associates, while the Government of Texas hired S & B Infrastructure.

On this occasion the meeting that was held in Del Rio, Texas, with the presence of Michael Reeves, president of the Ports to Plains Alliance, reported the progress of that corridor and its connections through Coahuila.


EATC planning for the future

While not directly affecting economic growth, these other projects have been increasing the appeal of Eastern Alberta's communities to potential investors, many of which are approached in Ports to Plains conferences, which draws business leaders from Alberta and Saskatchewan in the north to Mexico in the south.

Click here for complete article > Hanna Herald

September 24, 2013

The Eastern Alberta Trade Corridor is working on a new plan to help the area draw in new business and become the centre of economic growth in Alberta.

With 80 communities divided among the three Regional Economic Development Alliances, the EATC has been working to promote the area to the international business community as a place to invest, both in setting up shop and creating jobs.

Currently, the major construction projects taking place within the EATC number 167 and total $119 billion.

Since March of this year the EATC has overseen 173 projects totalling $130 billion.

Most of these have been related to Oilsands development (54 projects totalling $100.5 billion) and pipelines (23 totalling $13 billion) but there have also been 43 infrastructure projects ranging from improving highways to updating water treatment systems and expanding the emergency services of communities along the corridor…


Del Rio, TX: City Council Approved Feasibility Study for Second International Bridge

DEL RIO, Texas  – City Council authorized City Manager Robert Eads to award the Feasibility Study for a Second International Bridge to the firm of S&B Infrastructure during the August 13 City Council Meeting.

The City of Del Rio and Val Verde County formed a partnership to study the feasibility of constructing a second international bridge to address future infrastructure needs for our region.  This partnership agreed to solicit statements of qualifications (SOQ’s) for the selection of a firm to provide the necessary professional and consulting services required to perform a comprehensive study. 

“The international border that connects Texas and Mexico is the hub of commerce, and provides immense opportunity for the 21st century.  Trade with Mexico is vital to our economy, a second international bridge will help to make our region a gateway to the future” commented Mayor Roberto Fernandez.

For more information about this project please contact the Public Information Office at (830)774-8638 or by email jrobinson@cityofdelrio.com.