Governor Jan Brewer and Governor Guillermo Padres Come Together at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Plenary Session

Governor Jan Brewer and Governor Guillermo Padres Come Together
at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Plenary Session:
“Arizona & Sonora: Advancing Regional Competitiveness”

PHOENIX, Ariz. – As the global economy continues to evolve, the Arizona-Sonora region must work collaboratively to remain competitive. This was the overarching message at the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s 2013 AMC Summer Plenary Session.  During the event, Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer and Sonora Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías reiterated their commitment to promoting economic prosperity for the region through mutual collaboration.

Much of the Plenary Session included dialogue about the strategic positioning of Arizona and Sonora as an economic mega-region.  “The stakes are clear,” said Governor Brewer, as she addressed the nearly 350 attendees of the plenary session. “If we fail to act, I can guarantee you that our competitors will act. Trade and investment — and jobs – will flow elsewhere.”

The cross-border flow of commerce is an essential component of our region’s economic prosperity. Arizona company executives learned firsthand how establishing a presence for their organizations in Mexico could be a major opportunity on which to capitalize. One forum, “Mexico: Business Opportunities in a Growing Market,” included presentations from Christopher Wilson from the Woodrow Wilson Center, Juan Carlos Briseño from ProMexico, and various representatives from programs available to assist companies entering a foreign market.  The audience also heard testimonies from Arizona companies who have successfully entered the Mexican market, allowing them to gain insight directly from success stories.

Governor Brewer and Governor Padrés also joined mayors, business leaders and government officials to hear from Michael Gallis, an expert in long-term, “big-picture” regional planning. Mr. Gallis addressed the strengths of the Arizona-Sonora region and corridors, as well as the region’s future outlook in light of emerging global trade patterns.

“Global competition is fierce.  There will always be more to do,” stated Governor Brewer. “But by coordinating with our friends to the south, and by thinking of our two states as a strong economic region, we can maximize opportunities on both sides of the border.”

Electronic Validation of Student Education Records:

This year’s plenary included the signing of one memorandum of understanding (MOU) as well as three declarations of cooperation.  The MOU was signed by Governors Brewer and Padrés through the Arizona Department of Education and the State of Sonora’s Department of Education. It is an agreement between the two states to pursue the establishment of an electronic records transfer system for the purpose of securely and promptly transmitting official school transcripts and other educational records between schools in the states of Arizona and Sonora for students in grades K-12.

In addition to the MOU, there were three joint declarations signed.

Binational Electric Transmission Opportunities:

  • Declaration of Cooperation between the State of Arizona, through the Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy and the State of Sonora, Department of Energy, to recognize that bi-national electric transmission opportunities have opened between the two states.
  • Agreement declares the intent to pursue a vision of the two states as a region with shared energy resources consisting of traditional and renewable energies that may bolster a common energy market along the border that may improve the region’s quality of life and energy assurance options.

Arizona-Sonora Border Master Plan:

  • Declaration of Cooperation between State of Arizona, through the Arizona Department of Transportation and the State of Sonora, through the Secretariat of Infrastructure and Urban Development, for the Arizona-Sonora Border Master Plan.
  • The Master Plan will serve as a guide to form the regional plan for Sonora and Arizona for the advancement of infrastructure priorities and for the promotion of trade, tourism and commerce.

Motor Vehicle Infant and Child Restraint Education Program:

  • Declaration of Cooperation between the government of the State of Arizona, through the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Government of the State of Sonora, through the Secretary of Public Health to educate the public about the importance of properly restraining infants and children when riding in motor vehicles.
  • Collections of car seats will be held throughout communities in Arizona.  Those collected donations will be tested for safety and donated to the Sonoran Department of Public Health.

The two-day event also continued the annual tradition of donations from Arizona to Sonora.  Rural/Metro and its subsidiary, PMT Ambulance, donated two ambulances to the state of Sonora, marking the eighth year that the donation has been made.  The ambulance donated by PMT was gifted to the City of Cananea while Sonora’s Secretary of Health accepted the ambulance from Rural/Metro Corporation.  Westech Recyclers also donated refurbished computers to Sonora’s Secretary of Education for the fourth consecutive year, totaling over 3,000 computers to date.  The computers came preloaded with software in Spanish, and are ready to aid students in their educational endeavors.  Lastly, Solomon Technology Solutions graciously donated a STACS system – a universal communications device – to the State of Sonora’s Department of Emergency Management.

As part of the Plenary Session, 14 of the AMC’s committees met to develop collaborative solutions for the region.  The Health Committee will promote a bi-national educational effort to prevent teen pregnancy by creating working workshops, programs, and informational material. The Education Committee will continue to advance the work of the MOU signed today and facilitate the integration of primary and secondary education students returning to Sonora from the U.S., by implementing an electronic validation of student records.

Those who have contributed to advancing Arizona’s economic opportunities were recognized by the AMC during the conference.  This year, the AMC awarded the Paul J. Fannin Award to Westech Recyclers for their commitment to the advancement of education and workforce development in the Arizona-Sonora region.  The Tony Certósimo Award was presented to James B. Manson for his personal commitment to fostering improved relations with Mexico for many years, which embodies what the AMC and the Tony Certósimo award is all about.  Lastly, the Andy Nichols Award was given to the Tohono O’odham Nation for the work they have done on public health issues such as obesity prevention, diabetes, demand reduction of drugs, teen pregnancy prevention, and infectious disease surveillance, to name a few.

More than 400 people from the U.S. and Mexico came together to promote the shared interests of the region at the AMC Plenary Session. The result will certainly contribute to the long-standing tradition of the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s record of promoting mutual prosperity and enhanced quality of life for the citizens of Arizona and Sonora.

Click HERE for a copy of the press release