How United Brownsville Is Transforming the Border Economy


A critical milestone in this effort is the recent grant award by the Economic Development Administration to United Brownsville to develop BiNED and the backward supply integration strategy. Congressman Filemon Vela, who has played a key role in developing and validating the BiNED strategy added “This is important not only because it kick starts the supply integration initiative but it also provides external validation by EDA of the BiNED strategy that we’ve been working on”.


WORKING TOGETHER – A Rio Grande Valley United By One Economic Vision

But no one city can carry the weight alone. Brownsville cannot do it without McAllen or Harlingen; and all three Valley cities cannot do it without Reynosa or Matamoros. Only by leveraging our strengths under a single economic development vision, can we have the scale and leverage to successfully compete for the available direct investment.

We have been blessed to be located at the juncture of Mexico and the US – between the largest world economy and demand center; and what is projected to be the leading economy in Latin America. It’s up to us to see if we can work together here to capture that opportunity,


“To paraphrase our partner Kieth Patridge, McAllen EDC CEO, it’s as if Austin were told that as of tomorrow they would not be able to take into account the area of Austin south of the river when planning their future economic development strategies”, says Fred Rusteber, UB Tri-Chair and President and CEO of IBC Bank-Brownsville. “That’s how it is for us here in the Valley and Northern Mexico. We have to find a way to plan and work together in order to succeed”.

“We have to come to the consensus that we have one border economy. This in turn requires that we have one common vision; and that we plan, develop and implement strategies together in order to attain that vision”, said Marin.

These facts haven’t been ignored or forgotten. Valley leaders across South Texas have been talking about changing fortunes and finding a way to change the economical landscape. They’ll also need some help from outside sources, and those wheels are in motion.

“We need to convince the state and federal governments from both countries that this is a region that needs attention,” Artibise said. “But at the same time, we can’t wait for outside intervention. We need to work together at the local level and pull ourselves up from our bootstraps.

Artibise stressed that, like the combined effort it took to ensure the creation of UTRGV and landing Space X, a unified front from across the Valley will be needed for the ultimate success of the region.

“UB has brought together the cities of Brownsville, Harlingen and Matamoros,” Artibise said. “We’re looking to bring in Edinburg, McAllen and Pharr among others. “We need to grow the size of the pie, not fight for the crumbs .”