Thursday, August 11, 2005

Why You Have Opportunities in the RGV

If you live in the Rio Grande Valley, you are probably a bit jaded when it comes to finding opportunities. After a lifetime of hearing that there's no jobs in the Valley, you may begin to believe it. I'll tell you, it's true. It's tough to find a job insofar as blue-collar work is concerned. No, let me rephrase that. It's tough to find a well paying blue collar job. You'll always have somebody work for far less than you want and may do an equally good or better job than you to boot.

Do you want to know where the opportunities are? Well, there are two. White collar jobs are one way to make decent cash. Educate yourself and don't hold out for the perfect job. You're NOT going to make $40k right out of college. Salaries aren't as high in the Rio Grande Valley as in other parts of the country or state, but our cost of living is lower. This means that your meager $40-$50k salary will buy you more than in other parts of the United States. The dirty little secret is that many of our talented people, who have seen their families struggle here leave the Valley for what they perceive are greener pastures. There is a brain drain in the Magic Valley. This is both good and bad. It's good for the talent that stays here because they can reap bigger rewards for their services. It's also good for people who come here to work from other parts of the country to fill our need. It's bad because we could use people who grew up here to make life better. So, develop some talent and put it to work.

If you are really serious about making money, then start a business in the RGV. You have about as much a chance of succeeding as anywhere else. You still need to find something that is in demand. The big difference is that your labor costs will be lower; therefore, profits are higher. In addition, the RGV is undergoing some heavy duty growth. This gives you plenty of opportunity in industries such as construction and home products. The houses that are being built today are monstrous compared to the houses in which most of us grew up. The average home used to be single story wood frame home. If you wanted to get fancy, you had a concrete floor. Newer homes are 2 story brick, which routinely sell for $80k to $400k, depending on the neighborhood. We do have $1 million homes as well. Unfortunately, few of them have garages big enough to fit the new Hummer H2s that the home owners buy.

Another growing industry in the Rio Grande Valley is entertainment. Our local population has more money than in the past and wants to spend it. We have the Dodge Arena and Villa Real Convention Center. There is baseball in Edinburg and Harlingen. Mission has the Pepsi Sports Complex. There are the dog races. I work in a party store and sell all kinds of frivolous, for entertainment only, products. There are a number of party rental places cropping up because people don't want to have birthday parties at home. The point is that we DO have opportunities and there IS money in the Rio Grande Valley. People here demand and are seeking ways to spend money on leisure and entertainment. When tourism kicks in, then there is that much more opportunity.

If more of our local people were trained to look for opportunities rather than just look for a job which pays well, they would recognize the opportunities here and we would not have to bring in outside talent. As we change from a largely agricultural economy to an International trade centric one, more and more metropolitan attractions are coming. This is not the Rio Grande Valley of the past. We have money, we have talent, and we have no limits.

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