Friday, February 12, 2016

Manufacturing and Distribution Impacts of Ports‐to‐Plains

Most local economic development efforts include a focus on primary job development. The 2004 Ports‐ to‐Plains Corridor Development and Management Plan modeled the expanded four‐lane corridor from the Texas/Mexico border to Denver, Colo.

Given its southern terminus at the ports of Laredo, Eagle Pass and Del Rio, Texas and the Corridor’s significance as an international trade route, much of the economic development potential of the Corridor stems from economic activity related to NAFTA trade, namely manufacturing and distribution activities. This analysis projected the potential growth in these industries that would occur if development unfolds as it had along other more established NAFTA trade routes of Interstate 35 and Interstate 25.

Between 2006 and 2030, the potential expansion of manufacturing and distribution activities in the Corridor is projected to generate approximately 39,636 jobs and about $16.1 billion in earnings in 2004 dollars throughout the Corridor states.

For the counties along the PTP Corridor, increasing annual employment growth rates associated with improved transportation infrastructure projected the addition of approximately 3,324 net new manufacturing employees and about 9,381 net new transportation/warehousing employees by 2030. In manufacturing, total employment by 2030 given increased transportation investment would be 4.4 percent higher than the baseline figure while increased employment in transportation/warehousing would be 22.9 percent higher than the baseline figure.

Direct benefits measure the number of jobs created in that specific industry. Total benefits include indirect benefits in addition to jobs created in other companies serving that industry and the retail jobs to serve the growing workforce. In 2030, it is estimated that the direct benefit of an increase of 3,324 manufacturing jobs would result in a total employment benefit of 8,409 jobs in project Corridor counties. Similarly, the direct transportation/warehousing employment benefit of about 9,381 would result in an increase of approximately 20,699 jobs in project Corridor counties. Combined, the total estimated direct and indirect benefit of increases in employment that is associated with transportation improvements in the project Corridor is estimated to be 29,108 jobs.

Remember that these projections are only for Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado.

The Ports‐ to‐Plains Alliance is confident that the remaining Alliance corridor will grow the primary job impacts to higher levels as the entire North American corridor expands.Higher population communities can certainly provide a workforce to meet the needs of larger new transportation warehousing and manufacturing opportunities. Smaller communities, while often not having the workforce to attract larger new facilities, can certainly benefit from smaller facilities in the same way.

Ports‐to‐Plains is a grassroots alliance of over 275 communities and businesses, including alliance partners Heartland Expressway, Theodore Roosevelt Expressway and Eastern Alberta Trade Corridor Coalition, whose mission is to advocate for a robust international transportation infrastructure to promote economic security and prosperity throughout North America's energy and agricultural heartland including Mexico to Canada. Additional information on the Ports‐to‐Plains Alliance is available at

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