Originally created by the Mexican government in the 1960s to stimulate industrialization in Northern Mexico, NAFTA provided a boost to maquiladoras in 1994. There are now more than 750 maquiladora plants operating in Tijuana alone.
Tijuana is also generating a critical portion of the skilled workforce needed for this type of binational economic collaboration. Thanks to a national effort, the number of engineers graduating from Mexican universities has tripled since 2008. More than 50 universities have been established in Baja California, which invests more in education than any other Mexican state. Many of these are in Tijuana, which produces the highest number of engineering graduates in Baja.