Standing Committees – Economic and Infrastructure Development
(Staff Leads: Jenny Torres, Jeff Burt, Larry Killman)
4FrontED has three pillars or priorities: economic development, tourism, and education. As a standing committee, its economic development efforts are geared to advancing the binational region’s economic health and expanding economic opportunities for residents through collaboration and cooperation. In support of this effort, an Economic Development Summit was held in 2018 to accelerate economic development cooperation and inform the region’s elected officials, higher education leaders, tourism officials, and economic development representatives about the regions assets, economic challenges, and opportunities.
Specific areas of attention for Economic Development:
- Creating a website that is accurate, informative, and expandable,
- Developing a map that displays the region’s geographic bounds,
- Evaluating the quality, quantity, and completeness of regional information that describes the economic and demographic data available.
Specific areas of attention for Infrastructure Development:
- Increased natural gas capacity for the Yuma and San Luis, Rio Colorado, Sonora Region,
- Increased commercial and non-commercial capacities at both San Luis Ports of Entry,
- Improved roadway access to and from San Luis Ports of Entry.
- Regional electrical transmission capabilities,
- Increasing rail access and capacities.
Standing Committee – Education
(Staff Lead: Paul Melcher)
The Education Committee's primary objective is broadening the educational exchange between the region’s secondary educational institutions and Mexico. To achieve this objective, 4FrontED staff supporting this committee have established a binational education task force that includes representatives from Arizona Western College, the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, and the Universidad Politécnica de Baja California. This task force was responsible for creating the Four Borders International Academic Alliance (Arizona - Baja California - Sonora). Members of this alliance include from the United States Arizona Western College, the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, and Arizona State University. The universities from Mexico participating in the alliance include the Universidad Politécnica de Baja California, the Instituto Tecnólogico de Mexicali, the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, the Universidad Tecnológica de San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora, the Universidad Tecnológica de Guaymas, Sonora, the Universidad Tecnológica de Etchojoa, Sonora, the Universidad Tecnológica de Hermosillo, Sonora, among others.
A secondary objective for the Education Committee is to make the 4FrontED binational region an entrepreneurial hub by leveraging the U.S. entrepreneurial visa program that can promote new business start-ups and innovation. While this program is its initial implementation phase, the Committee has already included the Region's Startup Day as part of its annual program, and participation includes budding entrepreneurs from Yuma County, Baja, and Sonora. Also, the Committee has begun working with the Mexican Consulate's Office in Yuma to formalize the career's that will be the focus of exchange programs between educational staff and students from both the U.S. and Mexico.
Standing Committee: Tourism
(Staff Lead: Hector Tapia)
The travel and tourism industry is a highly-ranked Arizona export industry. Communities throughout the state benefit from the tax revenues generated as well as jobs created from tourism. Binational tourism assets include historical sites, recreational facilities and amenities, and entertainment that can be promoted to draw more visitors to the region. Currently, this committee is working to establish a regular calendar of regional events.