McAllen has long been an economic development leader in the Rio Grande Valley. The community has leveraged the combined strengths of northern Mexico and south Texas, driving both population and economic growth. The McAllen Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) effective and sustained domestic and international marketing efforts have resulted in new investment and primary job growth in key sectors, including automotive equipment and parts, electronics, medical supplies, and logistics and distribution. These projects, in turn, have driven new demand for healthcare, retail, construction, housing, commercial services, and much more. However, as industrial land availability shrinks and skilled labor continues to be a challenge, the MEDC will need to take a more targeted approach to its marketing and recruitment efforts.
With this idea in mind, the MEDC engaged TIP Strategies to prepare an economic development strategic plan. Using the firm’s Talent-Innovation-Place framework TIP conducted a review of background material, compiled and analyzed available data in the McAllen Texas Economic Explorer, and facilitated a series of roundtables and interviews with stakeholders to provide a foundation for the strategic planning process. Guided by a 20-member steering committee, Innovate McAllen combined insights from discussions with local stakeholders and an extensive quantitative analysis to deliver a technology-driven economic development strategy for the region. The three goals outlined in the plan build on the MEDC’s vision of the community as “a vibrant center of innovation and economic prosperity” by leveraging target sector opportunities, developing the talent to support them, and creating places that foster innovation. With core transportation, healthcare, and higher education assets scattered throughout the Valley, McAllen can continue to be a leader by unifying regional assets, creating prosperity for the community, and lifting the region with it.