Advertisement

Our Opinion: Togetherness starting to work

February 09, 2001

Imperial Valley leaders finally appear serious about doing what it takes to bring in industry and diversify the economy and spark job creation. More than ever there seem to be organized efforts fueled by regional unity to bring about development.

This week there were signs of what the effort can accomplish. On Wednesday the Imperial Valley hosted the California-Mexico Border Economic Summit, which attracted officials from both sides of the border to talk about the issues that tie the sides together. The message of that summit was specific. The Imperial and Mexicali valleys are connected despite being separated by an international border. There is much that can be accomplished if both sides work together to promote the two valleys as a single region.

On Thursday NAFTASHO was staged in Mexicali. NAFTASHO is an annual event that allows businesses on both sides of the border to show what they have to offer. The goal is to attract industry by showcasing the region. And the fact is the region has much to offer industry and there is a way for Mexicali and the Imperial Valley to help each other draw that business.

Advertisement

It seems as if officials understand that point now more than ever, and groups such as the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. are working to forge a stronger relationship with Mexico. More and more Imperial County officials, city leaders and Imperial Irrigation District representatives are seeing the relationship that must exist between Mexicali and our Valley.

We must diversify our economy. We must have more industry locate here to attack the high unemployment rate that seems an incurable plague. More people in our Valley employed means more money to spend locally. Ultimately, the more people we have working, the more we will be able to attract commercial and entertainment businesses that improve the quality of life.

The trick is we have to learn — and to some degree we already have — to feed off the growth in Mexicali. The maquiladora industry can benefit the Imperial Valley if we attract industries that service the maquiladoras.

That is not to say we simply want to service the growth in Mexicali. We have an agricultural economy that could benefit from industry tied to ag. Nevertheless, we have a unique situation here because of our relationship with Mexicali and if that can create jobs, we should pursue such growth by working with Mexicali.

We have to start making strides toward a more economically vibrant future. Finally that appears to be occurring.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles
|
|
|