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Economic Development

McAllen epitomizes the concept of business friendly. Of the Rio Grande Valley’s 1.5 million acres, nearly half are irrigated, making McAllen a hub for agricultural-based industries. Grapefruit, oranges, onions, melons, cotton, sugar cane and more than 90 percent of America’s aloe vera supply ship from here.

The future, however, hinges on the boom the McAllen/Reynosa, Mexico doorway has received from NAFTA. Thanks to this globalization policy, we gain more status as an international importing/exporting center every year. To ensure businesses can hire the highly skilled workforce comfortable in the necessary advanced technologies, the South Texas Community College offers customized training. The local Workforce Development Board coordinates state money toward skilled labor force training.

The McAllen Foreign Trade Zone coordinates much of the warehousing and transportation needs of the area in addition to its manufacturing, distributing and supplying operations. Several of the agency’s newest programs can save business owners real dollars in packing services and building rentals. That’s why household names like Panasonic and Siemens use McAllen’s FTZ to handle production, packaging, processing, labeling, grading, testing, repairing and exporting foreign items from its center.

Our international focus also means the city can offer more financing outlets through organizations like the McAllen Industrial Development Authority, City of McAllen Revolving Loan Fund, Mexico’s Border Industrialization program in Reynosa and the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council.

Overall, Forbes Magazine ranked our area the fifth best place to do business or advance a career in the United States in 2001 — and listed McAllen as the lowest cost city in which to do business in the nation. Texas is a right-to-work state, with a low union profile in the manufacturing sector. Our state has also established major worker’s compensation reforms that keep employers’ costs at a minimum.

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