AQUA BOOK 2014 - Page 2

Welcome Message We are pleased to publish this inaugural issue of the Aqua Book as an annual review of the South Texas economy. Our readership includes public officials, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and other community stakeholders. This new publication is an initiative of the proposed South Texas Economic Development Center at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The center aims at fostering sustainable economic and community development in our region. This annual update on the regional economy supplements the Regional Economic Indicators Newsflash, which provides a monthly snapshot of overall economic conditions in the Coastal Bend’s metro area. In comparison, this annual report provides a deeper overview of recent economic and business development across the region’s various communities. The title of this publication parallels the informal names of some well-known economic reports such as the so-called Beige Book or Green Book, issued by the Federal Reserve. As a color, ‘aqua’ is a mix between blue and green, the two official colors of our university. Aqua also reflects the unique natural environment that defines our Island University—water. Today water, as a resource, is also one of the most pressing issues for many communities in South Texas. Our economy is always in flux. In this issue, we are fortunate to report mostly good news about recent economic development. With growth come opportunities and challenges. Community officials and business leaders are heading into uncharted territory. The main objective of our economic programs is to help the region keep its economic edge. We hope this publication will help you ride the current wave of economic growth in South Texas. We welcome your input in improving our research work and its presentation. Thank you for your support. Dr. Jim Lee Chief Economist Proposed South Texas Economic Development Center