Finding the Right Site: How South America Goes for “Everything” for Opportunity

Identifying the ideal location to set up a new manufacturing base or regional office is not an easy task.

In a vast and just as competitive country as the United States, reducing the wealth of potential sites to just one means that ever-increasing factors must be met: there must be close access to key markets; Access and transport infrastructure for services beyond; Ready stock of staff; And access to education and training to enable future growth.

All of these factors must also be available at an affordable cost and with a manageable level of taxation and regulation to ensure that site searchers receive a fair return on their investment.

Traditionally, this has led to companies and site selection consultants that they use focusing mainly on major urban centers and producing hotspots in search of suitable locations.

But more recently, companies are looking further to identify new areas of economic expansion that, instead of being at the center of a single opportunity market, are located at multiple crossroads.

Located in Texas and Arkansas, 300 miles from Houston, Memphis, and six other major cities, Texarkana is a region that uses this new thinking.

A blow above his weight

The Twin Cities – an hour’s drive from Texcarana, Texas and Texcarana, Arkansas, with a population of about 1 million – has a number of factors that allow it to gain weight in terms of its attractiveness. Site selection.

With an existing credible and dedicated workforce – as evidenced by the fact that its staff turnover is 33% lower than the national average – and a strong education and training base to ensure continuous supply, it has the skills needed for a new operation to grow. .

It is also in a rare position to be able to use the support and resources of both Texas and Arkansas state governments and agencies to enable those who move into it to establish a place in the world’s eighth largest economy and a major manufacturing hub. Accordingly.

In addition, its proximity to Mexico puts it at the center of a new economic corridor created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), during which trade between the two countries tripled since it was signed in 1994.

But beyond these fundamental strengths, Texarkana has also increased its attractiveness in the field of site selection through the dynamic approach taken by its development agency AR-TX Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) used towards economic development.

Led by President and CEO Rob Sitler, who previously led the Enterprise Florida Business Development team while working in the private sector, the nonprofit Regional Development Agency has taken a “comprehensive” approach to maximizing the region’s potential.

This approach has led to direct investment in the development of the region, with the purchase of more than 1,350 acres of land in Arkansas in partnership with the local government, which will be transformed into an Arkansas manufacturing hub. In Texas, REDI, with the help of its partners, acquired 850 acres of industrial land and named it the East Texas Logistics Center. Pair both sites with TexAmerica thousands of acres available and the company has unlimited options to best suit their needs.

By purchasing the land and making it “ready for shoveling”, this enabled AR-TX REDI to drastically reduce the risk posed to potential investors by managing the site’s certification process, which meant it could then act as one. Stop for those who are going to move.

This more practical approach is in increasing demand in the current climate as competition for location, which will drive growth, continues to grow in the US.

Takes economic development seriously

“Well, sites ready to go are becoming more and more difficult these days,” explains Sarah S. White, Chief Site Officer and Vice President of Global Location Strategies. “Project development deadlines are getting tighter as the market demands, so the work of controlling and preparing the property will be useful in the long run.”

For White, who previously worked with Sitterley while in Florida, relocating the headquarters of car rental giant Hertz and setting up a production base for the Northrop Grumman drone project, this is proof of the AR-TX REDI ambition and promise. “Proactive product development shows that Texarkana is serious about economic development.”

Having recently visited the region, White was also pleasantly surprised to find that a place of its size has a medical school, a four-year public university, and two community colleges that represent an educational pipeline that is much larger than its size. has.

In addition to the Arkansas Manufacturing Center and the East Texas Logistics Center, AR-TX REDI has taken the same approach to promoting and attracting investment in established locations such as Maxwell Industrial Park, Favley Industrial Park, and the TexAmericas Center.

With both types of development deliveries spread across both sides of the border, this means that potential investors can take advantage of competition between states to attract their business, but also the labor and resources it offers to each.

“One of the things I think is fascinating is that you have products in two different states, so you have the opportunity to work with leaders in both,” said Gray Swoop, President and CEO of VisionFirst Advisors. “Arkansas want a site in Arkansas, and Texas people want Texas to be a winner.”

“But at the end of the day, as soon as there is a location and there are staff from both states, you will have the support and benefits of both.”

To learn more about the features available at Texarkana, download the whitepaper.

Finding the Right Site: How South America Goes for “Everything” for Opportunity

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