Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just one metro area (McAllen) regained its pre-recession peak employment level...reported recently by The Brookings Institution

In a Recent Report by The Brookings Institution: Just one metro area (McAllen) regained its pre-recession peak employment level
The Brookings Institution
December 2009 — MetroMonitor:
Tracking Economic Recession and Recovery in America’s 100 Largest Metropolitan Areas Cities, Regions and States, U.S. Economy, Unemployment, Housing

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Nationwide, the recession is over—at least in the view of most economists in light of third quarter 2009 indicators. They revealed a real U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) increasing at a 2.8 percent annual rate, after four consecutive quarters of contraction. Most interpreted that rate of output growth, along with other signals such as increasing housing prices, as indication that the economic recovery is underway.
Six metro areas—Albuquerque, Austin, McAllen, San Antonio, Virginia Beach, and Washington, DC—had regained their pre-recession peak level of output by the third quarter. Just one metro area (McAllen) regained its pre-recession peak employment level. No metropolitan area had a lower unemployment rate in September than it did one year earlier, though increases over that period ranged widely, from a little over 1 percentage point to more than 8 percentage points.


Local officials visit Asia to learn about world-class manufacturing; recruit new companies

Local officials visit Asia to learn about world-class manufacturing; recruit new companies

Local officials from the Rio Grande Valley meet with Mr. Masataka Kataoka, President/CEO of ALPS, in early November 2009 in Japan. Kataoka invited the local officials to tour the ALPS headquarters and centers for advanced manufacturing. ALPS already has located several divisions and a corporate headquarters in McAllen/Reynosa.

During a week-long trip in early November, economic development officials and educators traveled to Korea and Japan to visit with prospective companies and meet the leadership team at ALPS, a global leader in the manufacturing of electronic components and switches.

ALPS already has several manufacturing operations in McAllen/Reynosa. Representatives from the McAllen Economic Development Corporation, Mission Economic Development Authority, Hunt Valley Development, South Texas College and the University of Texas-Pan American used this trip as an opportunity to promote the region as the place for advanced manufacturing given the strategic border location, labor force and educational programs.

The trip started in Korea, where the group met with more than 20 companies that expressed an interest in the McAllen/Reynosa area. “We already have several Asian companies doing business in McAllen and Reynosa, so we use this opportunity to promote the area as an ideal location for manufacturing and business and we also can follow-up with our existing clients,” said Keith Patridge, President/CEO of the McAllen Economic Development Corporation.

“This outreach strategy is critical to discuss the advantages of our region with the decision-makers face-to-face in their country.”After the seminars and company visits in Korea, the group traveled to Japan thanks to a personal invitation from Mr. Masataka Kataoka, President/CEO of ALPS. Since the early 1990s, ALPS has had a presence in McAllen/Reynosa and has partnered with STC and UTPA to provide training and educational opportunities for local employees. Over the years, ALPS has hired several UTPA and STC graduates to work within all divisions of the company.

Mr. Kataoka, along with other ALPS executives, has visited McAllen several times and invited the McAllen team to see first-hand the company’s new technology and to announce that they are creating 40 more jobs and relocating an additional division in McAllen.

Mr. Kataoka hopes to start an exchange program for Rio Grande Valley students and instructors to study at the ALPS facility in Japan with potential job opportunities within the McAllen/Reynosa operations. He unveiled the idea to representatives from STC and UTPA.

“During our time in Korea we made contacts with very high-level universities with strong programs for commercialization of research and technology, and it is our intent to develop these relationships for the benefit of regional technology-based entrepreneurship endeavors” said Dr. Miguel Gonzalez with UTPA. “And the opportunity to meet with the ALPS leadership in Japan was priceless as we saw and experienced cutting-edge advanced manufacturing technology at all levels in their operations. This trip will translate to new lessons and techniques in our manufacturing and engineering classes at UTPA.”

Officials from South Texas College, who have worked closely with ALPS for several years on trainings and grants, were also pleased to hear ...

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