The outlook for the High Plains region is promising. Job expansion, a youthful population, abundant natural resources, innovative health care solutions and an educated citizenry will ensure that the region’s economy continues to grow.
The region will nearly match the state’s job growth through 2012, with Amarillo and Lubbock leading the way. The region’s economy will broaden with the growth of service related industries.
And the region’s young population will fill many of these new service jobs. While the region’s population is similar to that of the state, the High Plains has a slightly greater share of residents under the age of 25.
The High Plains also has abundant natural resources and affordable, reliable energy. The region’s infrastructure is attractive to new business and will meet the demands of industries and communities during the near future.
Map of Economic Regions
Health care professionals in the region have developed innovative programs to meet the challenges of such a dispersed rural population. Telemedicine and telepharmacy programs have improved health care access to residents, as has the number of new nurses graduating from schools in the region.
The success of the region’s schools will meet the demands of an expanding economy. Many of the school districts in the region outperform the state and the region has affordable institutions of higher education, including Texas Tech University.
As with any other region in the state, however, the communities of the High Plains face challenges, including rising demands for water, energy and transportation; increasing health care costs; and the need for a skilled and educated work force to continue the success of the region’s economy.
The Comptroller’s office is ready to help the High Plains region in meeting these challenges with information and analysis. For assistance, please contact the Comptroller’s Local Government Assistance and Economic Development Division at http://www.texasahead.org/lga or toll-free at (800) 531-5441, ext. 3-4679.
The Comptroller’s office will continue to provide local and state leaders with detailed information in this continuing series of reports. We hope you look forward to these future publications, which will highlight the 11 remaining economic regions (Exhibit 55). For a statewide perspective, please see the Comptroller’s Texas in Focus: A Statewide View of Opportunities at http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/tif.