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Chula Vista's Greatest Asset: Location, Location, Location Pat Aguilar | Tue, Oct 01 2013 11:34 AM

Question: Where is the center of the San Diego-Tijuana mega-region? Answer: Chula Vista!

Seven miles from downtown San Diego and seven miles from Tijuana, Chula Vista is smack dab in the middle of the bustling, bi-cultural, multilingual area that is our border region. A recent report to the Chula Vista City Council concludes: "Chula Vista's bi-national location is an underutilized, unique, and rare asset."

Why is this? Because this location positions us perfectly for companies involved in Mexico’s growing manufacturing industry. Recent increases in the cost of manufacturing and transporting goods from China has international companies looking for “near-shore” manufacturing sites, and Mexico is benefitting from this global economic realignment. And Chula Vista is poised to benefit as well, by offering these companies the ideal spot to establish their headquarters, sales, administration, and research and development operations near the border, but on U.S. soil.

In addition, Chula Vista has many other assets that these companies find desirable. We have easy interstate access and proximity to three border crossings. We are close to San Diego International, Tijuana International, and Brown Field Municipal airports. We have land zoned to accommodate these businesses all over, including in Eastlake, on Main Street, near the Otay Landfill, in the bayfront area, and in the future technology park that will be developed with a four-year university campus on the city’s southeastern edge. The existing Eastlake Business Park is a perfect spot for incubator businesses or for international technology companies looking to expand existing operations.

And there's more. Chula Vista has a high-quality labor force, many of whom are bilingual. Chula Vista’s community college, Southwestern College, is a Career Technical Education (CTE) center. The CTE Transitions program connects learning to careers, providing students of all ages with courses offering the technical skills, knowledge, and attitudes to prepare them for high-skill and highdemand occupations in the global marketplace. Plus, our reputation as a “green” community, with a low crime rate, great elementary schools, and some of the finest residential communities in southern California is all just icing on the cake. This last factor is an increasingly important one to major employers, who more than ever are seeking to locate in areas where they can offer their employees a good quality of life.

So now it’s up to us to leverage these unique assets, and this time in history, to enable Chula Vista to compete in the global marketplace for business and industry.

This is our opportunity to become a player!

Aguilar is a Chula VIsta councilmember.

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