Texarkana Monthly recently published a feature by Rob Sitterley, President & CEO of AR-TX REDI highlighting the region’s world class education assets.
Today, we exist in a parading of disruptive change brought upon by the world being more connected than ever. Advances in technology and communication enable real-times access to data and information, enabling business decision to be made with a high level of precision and efficiency.
What does this mean for economic development?
When companies face a significant investment decision involving a relocation or expansion of operations, technology helps dictate how to proceed with the highest likelihood of success. Competition by communities to win these projects if fiercer that it has ever been. Depending on the industry and type of operation, the drivers of these decisions can vary, but there is almost always one element of the decision process at the top of the priority list; it’s the human element.
Often, a relocating or expanding company will have a list of several suitable locations equally ideal from an infrastructure standpoint. When all else is equal, the thing that tips the scales in favor of the winning location if the workforce talent. Availability of a trained, educated, and skilled workforce will win time and time again.
What does this mean for Texarkana?
When recruiting economic development projects to the region, Texarkana has a unique competitive advantage in terms of workforce talent. We have deep-rooted culture of loyalty, price and work ethic here that just doesn’t exist elsewhere. In addition, we have a world class education network unheard of in a community of our size.
Texarkana has quietly become an exceptional college town. Nationwide, 544 school of higher learning make up the network of 43 Public University Systems. Texarkana is the only community in the country that can call home to two of these distinguished institutions! Texas A&M and the University of Arkansas continue to commit resources to #TAPintoTEXARKANA and its smart, driven, and focused student base.
With almost 10,000 students graduating annually from our schools, we are able to demonstrate that our community is producing a steady pipeline of trained men and women that are skilled and ready to work.
What does this mean for YOU?
Economic development is a team effort where everyone in the community must know and understand our strengths and advantages. Growing our region and diversifying our economy with high-growth, high-wages jobs is not successfully accomplished by the efforts of a few dedicated individuals. Rather, it is through the collective efforts of the entire community, knowing our advantages and embodying them in everything we do. Through this, we are accomplishing amazing things and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store. Together, we are REDI for the future.