Texas Valley grows

I have family that lives in the Texas Valley, so this story made it to my radar.

Border has the right mix for growth
Leaders say immigration, trade and birth rate are sparking the area’s boom

— reported by the Houston Chronicle

It’s all about location, say leaders in Texas border communities where trade and immigration from Mexico have supercharged growth rates.

From 2000 to July 2006 Brownsville and Laredo each grew by 21 percent, while McAllen followed with nearly 19 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released last week. They were among the 19 Texas cities ranked in the 100 fastest-growing U.S. cities with population of more than 100,000, according to the Census Bureau.

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Over the last year, Ahlenius said, more than 5,000 new jobs were created in medical and construction fields in McAllen, as well as government jobs related to ongoing Border Patrol expansion.

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Laredo and Webb County leaders are developing a new international bridge for cars, in addition to a second railroad bridge to handle anticipated container ship cargo from Mexico’s Pacific coast, Salinas said. That would boost Laredo’s international bridges to seven, which the mayor said is needed in a city that last year saw more than 1 million commercial trucks come in from Mexico.

Revenues from sales taxes grew in Laredo by 13 percent to $30.5 million last year, officials say.

In addition to trade with Mexico, the mayor said educational facilities in Laredo have tailored instruction to train more skilled workers that lure new industries. A Mexican-owned copper pipe company has broken ground on a $100 million plant, a facility expected to bring 250 jobs paying up to $20 an hour, the mayor said.

In Brownsville, development officials boast a number of key indicators: More than 100 new homes are built each month. An unemployment rate that has dipped from double digits to 5.3 percent. A 25 percent growth in retail stores.

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Author: Paloma Cruz

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