Hyde: The Waco region is blessed with a number of economic development strengths: a stable and varied economic base, a low cost of living compared to other high-density urban areas within Texas, a geographic placement adjacent to both interstate and rail service, and a location conveniently accessible by two of the largest economic urban bases in Texas - Dallas and Austin. This is where the Baylor Advanced Research Institute, the BARI, fits in. Representing Baylor's schools and colleges and its more than 25 research institutes and centers, the BARI works closely with regional economic development organizations, providing prospective new businesses the potential for high technology research collaboration.
Vaughan: Waco's economic diversity provides a strong foundation. As we look to the future, Waco has the opportunity to leverage our unique location at the center of the state's consumer, education and commercial markets that are poised to grow at double-digit rates. There are more than 375,000 students enrolled in four-year colleges and close to 182,000 students enrolled in two-year colleges within a 200-mile radius of Waco. This is a great opportunity to attract talent and high-value jobs to our community. Waco's focus on sustainable development is also opening new opportunities, both doing more with the resources we have and positioning Waco to capture new "green" jobs and investment in this emerging economy.