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Luisa del Rosal, Dedman College student, education ops may further integrate economies of Mexico, U.S.

Mexico Bureau

Published: 13 December 2014 11:49 PM
Updated: 14 December 2014 12:03 AM
Mexican professionals bringing ambition, startups to North Texas
Educational opportunity is another factor drawing talented Mexicans to North Texas.

David Arreaga, from the northern Mexico state of Coahuila, is a Ph.D. candidate and researcher in the materials science department at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he spends most days seeking high-tech solutions for medical problems such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

In 2008, a UTD professor urged Arreaga to consider Dallas as an option. At the time, Arreaga worked for an auto company in Saltillo, Mexico. He was climbing the company ladder, traveling to the United States and Germany for training, but he also saw limitations.

Even though roughly half of Mexico’s population is now considered middle class, the wage gap with the United States is still so wide that it will take years, if not decades, for it to close. For Arreaga, recently married and wanting a better future for his family, that was too long to wait.

On his first trip to Dallas, he was struck by what he called its “high-technology infrastructure,” including research labs, technology giants like Texas Instruments and promising startup companies. He said he saw “limitless possibilities.”

“Dallas opened my eyes to a new world and provided me with opportunities unheard of back in Mexico,” Arreaga said.

Arreaga is founder of a company called Ares Flexible Electronics, which aims to develop technologies for biomedical devices and other applications. He also leads a network of young professionals set up by the Mexican Consulate in Dallas.

Arreaga, 28, recently sat alongside other young Mexicans on a bright autumn day at the consulate as Consul General José Antonio Tripp Villanueva announced education agreements with area universities aimed at providing higher-learning opportunities for hundreds of young Mexicans. Such opportunities are needed, Tripp said, to serve the emerging economy in Mexico.

The timing is critical. In just over a year, Mexico has passed 16 constitutional reforms in areas ranging from energy to telecommunications. Experts say the changes could generate billions for the Mexican economy and create an economic spillover into the United States.

Reforms in the energy industry alone could create as many as 300,000 jobs in Mexico and economic benefits for Texas, said Pia Orrenius, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

“If all goes well, you’re looking at an even more integrated economy, with workers from Mexico and Texas crisscrossing,” she said.

Luisa del Rosal, a native of Chihuahua state, had planned to go to college at Tech de Monterrey in Mexico, but a trip to Dallas and a tour of the Southern Methodist University campus changed that.

She majored in political science with a minor in sociology at SMU. Today, at 28, she is assistant director of programs at SMU’s John G. Tower Center for Political Studies. She helps recruit top students from around the world, particularly Mexico…… READ MORE HERE

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