Organization aims to unite border region

Amanda Guillen , Managing Editor/Multimedia Editor

The Borderplex Alliance is making it its mission to change the way El Paso, Chihuahua and portions of southern New Mexico work together in order to create a healthy local economy by recruiting business and industry to the region.

The 2-year-old private, non-profit corporation is funded mostly by businesses in the North American Borderplex region.

In late October, the Borderplex Alliance sent out a survey to different members of the community. They urged UTEP students to take the survey because the corporation was eager to hear about the region’s needs. They plan to align those needs with the regional economic development goals of the future.

CEO of the Borderplex Alliance Rolando Pablos said that the unification of three different regions will in turn produce a unique and positive outcome.

“We’ve never been able to work together as one region and one economy,” Pablos said. “We are hoping by creating the Borderplex alliance we will be able to create one regional economy so that we can be competitive on a global scale.”

The survey has since been closed and although the results have yet to be analyzed, Pablos said the survey is meant to help the corporation understand the needs of the community and to help regions get on the same page.

“We want to get everyone on the same page so that we can make a change and understand what we are trying to do, for one so we aren’t duplicating answers and being redundant and so we can have this act as a multiplier so that we can propel our region’s economy,” Pablos said.

Pablos said the importance of focusing on regional competitiveness and how being competitive is the way to keep local and outside talent in El Paso, Southern New Mexico and Chihuahua.

“We are focusing on regional competitiveness, we need to as a region be more competitive. We are competing against other regions like Phoenix, Albuquerque, San Antonio and Denver,” he said. “They’re already working together so we not only need to begin to work together but also become more attractive to investments.”

Sasha Tovar, junior biology major, is an international student from Chihuahua. She says that this joint partnership amongst the regions will allow her to go back and forth and be secure and know that she is living in a strong and desired area.

“I think this will be very beneficial and I am happy to see these regions working with each other and I’d be really glad to see big businesses be located in each city,” Tovar said. “I also think that I would like to make a life here and have a family so this is all very exciting.”

Sue Huffman, senior biological sciences major, receives a scholarship through ADP, one of the companies that works closely with the Borderplex Alliance. Huffman said the younger generation should encourage businesses like ADP to come and stay in El Paso.

“I know, for example, when bringing businesses like ADP they love El Paso and they are providing a lot of jobs,” Huffman said. I think El Paso can do that and I think as college students it is definitely up to us younger people to encourage that.”

Huffman said that she believes that El Paso is a place she would like to continue to live in.

“El Paso is such a great place to grow up but also to come back to. It’s a healthy culture to learn about both U.S. and Mexican social paradigms,” she said. “The El Paso region is just an amazing place to raise a family and I think with growth it will only make it better.”

Pablos said that in relation to the survey and the roadmap development efforts, over the next six years the corporation will be able to develop the strength to achieve its overall goal.

“We are looking at policy issues like border wait times and industry cluster development and we are looking at issues that are systemic in order to be able to change the competitiveness,” Pablos said. “What I have seen is this tremendous momentum that is building and I think as students go into their university life, what they can expect coming out, in my mind, is a more competitive job market where they can come out and have options.”

Amanda Guillen may be reached at [email protected]