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UTRGV Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Jongmin Kim on Tuesday, Nov. 08, 2016 at the Academic Services building in Edinburg, Texas.
UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy

Featured: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has been ranked in the top seven colleges in Texas for civil engineering majors by Zippia.com, a career resource website. Shown here is UTRGV Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Jongmin Kim during a class at the Academic Services building on the Edinburg Campus. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

As part of its regional and statewide reach, the Mayor and Edinburg City Council on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, are scheduled to appoint members of the city’s top elected officials to three major regional groups – the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Organization, and Amigos del Valle, Inc., the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. On the agenda for the city council’s regular meeting is a scheduled discussion on deciding who from the five-member City Council, which includes the mayor and four city councilmembers, will represent Edinburg on regional advisory groups which control the flow of millions of dollars a year in state and federal funds to Hidalgo County and deep South Texas. “The city’s top elected leadership has delivered for its constituents through their key participation and roles in Congress and before the Texas Legislature, and in working with the many federal and state agencies that have funds and policies that greatly benefit our community,” said Edinburg EDC’s García. “The work of the mayor and city council on boards and commissions here in deep South Texas is just as important.” The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor-elect Richard Molina as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Molina, Councilmember-elect Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember-elect Jorge “Coach” Salinas, who won their campaigns for their respective positions on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, will be sworn into office beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 15, 2017, followed by the city council’s first regular meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Both events, which are open to the public, will be held in the Council Chambers of Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 East University Drive

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Mayor, City Council on Wednesday, November 15, set to make appointments to Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, Hidalgo County Metropolitan Organization, and Amigos del Valle

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

As part of its regional and statewide reach, the Mayor and Edinburg City Council on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, are scheduled to appoint members of the city’s top elected officials to three major regional groups – the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Organization, and Amigos del Valle, Inc., the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor-elect Richard Molina as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

Molina, Councilmember-elect Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember-elect Jorge “Coach” Salinas, who won their campaigns for their respective positions on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, will be sworn into office beginning at 5 p.m.on Wednesday, September 15, 2017, followed by the city council’s regular meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Both events, which are open to the public, will be held in the Council Chambers of Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 East University Drive.

On the agenda for the city council’s regular meeting is a scheduled discussion on deciding who from the five-member City Council, which includes the mayor and four city councilmembers, will represent Edinburg on regional advisory groups which control the flow of millions of dollars a year in state and federal funds to Hidalgo County and deep South Texas.

“The city’s top elected leadership has delivered for its constituents through their key participation and roles in Congress and before the Texas Legislature, and in working with the many federal and state agencies that have funds and policies that greatly benefit our community,” said Edinburg EDC’s García. “The work of the mayor and city council on regional boards and commissions here in deep South Texas is just as important.”

For the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, the Mayor and City Councilmembers will consider the appointment of one member to represent the city on that organization’s Board of Directors.

For the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Mayor and City Councilmembers will consider the appointment of one member and one alternate to that organization’s Transportation Policy Committee.

For the Amigos del Valle, Inc., the Mayor and City Councilmembers will consider the appointment of one member and one alternate to that organization’s Board of Directors.

According to their respective websites, these are some of the major duties and responsibilities of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Amigos del Valle, Inc.

LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council (LRGVDC) promotes cooperation among local units of government and provides forums and opportunities for them to work with economic interests and citizen groups in order to improve the region’s health, safety, and general welfare and to plan for future development.

State law authorizes commissions like the LRGVDC to make studies and plans to guide unified, far-reaching development of a region, eliminate duplication, and promote economy and efficiency through coordinated development.

Benefits of regional planning and program implementation include:

• Economies of scale;
• Efficiencies of good government;
• Local governmental control;
• Cooperative public/private partnerships;
• State support and confidence; and
• Comprehensive planning and program implementation.

HIDALGO COUNTY METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION

The Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization (HCMPO) is a federally funded program that works with the Hidalgo County communities and the Texas Department of transportation to plan for the county’s future transportation needs. The MPO also serves as a collaborative structure of committees and organizations that creates partnerships to address this region’s needs.

The HCMPO is responsible for the regional planning process for all modes of transportation. The MPO provides technical assistance to the local governments of Hidalgo County in planning, coordinating, and implementing transportation decisions for this area.

The HCMPO administers all federal funds for urban transportation improvements in Hidalgo County, including: road and highway expansion, maintaining the existing infrastructure through pavement management systems, safety transportation planning (includes the creation of designated freight routes and bicycle/pedestrian paths), emergency response planning, rail studies and transit planning.

AMIGOS DEL VALLE, INC.

In its 43 years of existence, Amigos Del Valle, Inc. (ADV) has assisted approximately 174,464 unduplicated seniors through provision of 213,855 congregate meals; 253,205 home delivered meals; 46,316 One-way transportation trips; and 533 subsidized rental housing apartments through ADV’s HUD section 202 developments. Without the dedicated hard work of over 400 senior volunteers, who provide over 82,000 man hours of volunteer work on an annual basis, ADV would not have been able to impact positively on the lives of such seniors.

ADV, Inc. was officially chartered on October 4, 1974 as a private non-profit organization under the State of Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act. In 1975, ADV, Inc. received its tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

ADV, Inc. is a consortium of county and city governmental entities that was created to provide nutrition, transportation, and housing services to seniors of Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy Counties of South Texas to assist such population to continue to live as healthy, productive, independent, and self-sufficient lives as possible.

ADV, Inc. is recognized as the largest and most enduring non-profit resource senior service, Elderly Supportive Housing service and home meal delivery service provider of the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas

ADV, Inc. serves free hot nutritious meals for Seniors 60+ throughout Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Duval, Jim Hogg & Zapata Counties.

ADV, Inc. is the only Meals on Wheels program in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Whether it’s senior meals preparation or the home delivery meal program, affordable housing program, fundraising, and administrative support program, ADV continues to help seniors remain independent members of society, maintain their health and live their lives with dignity.

UTRGV PROGRAM RANKED AMONG TOP CIVIL ENGINEERING MAJORS IN TEXAS

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has been ranked one of the top colleges in Texas for civil engineering majors by Zippia, a career resource website, UTRGV officials announced on Monday, October 30, 2017.

The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.

UTRGV’s civil engineering program was ranked No. 7 on the list. The only other UT System university, UT Austin, was third.

The civil engineering program began in 2010 and offers four areas of study: environmental and water resources, construction and structures, geotechnical and transportation and energy and utility infrastructure engineering. The program awards a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

In 2015, 32 UTRGV undergraduates earned civil engineering degrees. Also, in 2015, an estimated 441 students were enrolled in the program. In addition, Zippia.com reports that median mid-career earnings for UTRGV civil engineering graduates is $41,600.

“It’s hard to argue with a selective school that features Civil Engineering and produces strong earning potential for your career,” Zippia.com says.

Dr. Andrew Ernest, chair of the UTRGV Department of Civil Engineering and principal investigator on the watershed project, said a lot is happening in the department.

• Civil Engineering faculty recently received a grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to develop a Watershed Protection Plan that will focus on reducing pollution in the Laguna Madre.

• The department is working with Cameron County to promote the Laguna Madre to the National Estuary Program, and a member of the faculty is a Joint Appointment with Cameron County serving as director of the Estuary Program.

• In addition, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering is pending approval in January by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, with official deployment of the MS in fall 2018, if approved.

ZIPPIA.COM’S RANKING METHODOLOGY

According to the website to identify the best civil engineering schools, Zippia.com “wanted to approach the ranking like a civil engineering major would, by looking at data on how schools perform and comparing them to one another. So with that mind, we looked at the following data from the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) and College Scorecard data from ED.gov to understand what civil engineering departments offer the best career opportunities.”
The methodology is available here.

ABOUT UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

PHOTO GALLERY: https://utrgv-umc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C0000OxOMyzQL3z4/G0000RQoDkCYZTgs/20171025-Civil-Engineering   Password: civil (case sensitive)

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Marci Caltabiano contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or tohttp://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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