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Edinburg EDC: Edinburg’s unemployment rate improves to 5.5 percent for September 2017; 36,511 persons were employed in city that month

Featured: Dr. Marie Mora, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Professor of Economics at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has been awarded a grant for $499,352 by the National Science Foundation to help fund the American Economic Association mentoring program. Mora, who has served as director of the program since 2013, said its goal is to help augment the number of minorities completing doctoral degrees in economics. 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

Edinburg posted an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in September 2017, representing 36,511 jobs for that month, and both figures are improvements over the previous month, when the unemployment rate in August 2017 was 6.2 percent, with 36,159 persons employed that month, 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 unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. These latest figures, prepared by the Texas Workforce Commission and released on Friday, October 20, 2017, showed that there was an increase of 352 people employed in Edinburg in September 2017 compared with August 2017. Also, Edinburg saw a growth of 473 jobs when comparing the monthly total for September 2017, (36,511) and September 2016 (36,038), according to the Edinburg EDC.  In addition, the September 2017 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent is the second-best showing in Edinburg for that month since 2008, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The number of jobs in Edinburg is independently documented by the Texas Workforce Commission, a state agency with many key duties, such as maintaining and reporting on key trends in state and local economies, including unemployment rates and the number of people employed in cities. The unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the civilian labor force, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The civilian labor force is that portion of the population age 16 and older employed or unemployed. To be considered unemployed, a person has to be not working but willing and able to work and actively seeking work. For the past several years, Edinburg has registered the lowest or second-lowest monthly unemployment rate among all Valley cities. Edinburg’s September 2017 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including August 2017 (6.2 percent), July (5.7 percent), June 2017 (5.9), May 2017 (5.4 percent), April 2017 (5.4 percent), March 2017 (6 percent), February 2017 (6.4 percent) and January 2017 (6.2 percent). The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC: Edinburg’s unemployment rate of 6.2 percent for August 2017 represents the second-best showing for that month since 2008

Featured: Students make their way to breakout sessions during the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Hispanic Engineering, Science, and Technology (HESTEC) Latina Day on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at the Fieldhouse in Edinburg. 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. In the background is a portion of the $70 million, 115,000-square-foot, four-story addition to the UTRGV Science Building in Edinburg, which is set to be completed early next year. The expansion is making possible crucial infrastructure, such as classrooms, offices, suites, works stations, laboratories, and equipment, to increase to 873 a year the number of graduates in STEM, which stands for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. With the addition, the Science Building will be the largest facility on the Edinburg campus, resulting in a 272,000-square foot intensive STEM research and learning center.

Photograph By SILVER SALAS

Edinburg posted an unemployment rate of  6.2 percent in August 2017, which is the second-best showing for that month since 2008, with 36,066 people holding down full-time jobs, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. This latest data also showed that Edinburg saw a growth of 254 jobs when comparing the monthly totals of August 2017 (36,066) and August 2016 (35,812), according to the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. Edinburg and McAllen, which posted an unemployment rate for August 2017 of 5.5 percent, compared favorably with other large population centers in the Valley, which reported unemployment rates ranging from 6.7 percent (Harlingen) to 9.3 percent (Weslaco). The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. The August 2017 numbers are based on preliminary figures released on Friday, September 15, 2017, by the Texas Workforce Commission. The unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the civilian labor force, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The civilian labor force is that portion of the population age 16 and older employed or unemployed. To be considered unemployed, a person has to be not working but willing and able to work and actively seeking work. Edinburg’s August 2017 unemployment rate of 6.2 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including July (5.7 percent), June 2017 (5.9), May 2017 (5.4 percent), April 2017 (5.4 percent), March 2017 (6 percent), February 2017 (6.4 percent) and January 2017 (6.2 percent). Edinburg’s August 2017 unemployment rate of 6.2 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including July (5.7 percent), June 2017 (5.9), May 2017 (5.4 percent), April 2017 (5.4 percent), March 2017 (6 percent), February 2017 (6.4 percent) and January 2017 (6.2 percent). 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 Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC: Edinburg unemployment rate drops to 5.7 percent for July 2017, second-best in Valley, representing 36,037 jobs for that month

Featured: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine in Edinburg. During their meeting in Austin on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 and Thursday, August 24, 2017, the University of Texas System Board of Regents reinforced its commitment to The UTRGV School of Medicine, which has a major campus in Edinburg, by approving $20 million in Permanent University Funds (PUF) for capital expenses. “We are grateful to the Board of Regents for its continued support of the UTRGV School of Medicine,” said Dr. John Krouse, Dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and Vice president for Health Affairs. “This allocation will enable the School of Medicine to become a leader in research that will benefit the Rio Grande Valley and beyond, and prepare the next generation of physicians who will provide exceptional care to the communities they serve.” 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 SILVER SALAS

For the second straight month, Edinburg and McAllen were the only two major Valley cities which posted unemployment rates under six percent, the Edinburg Economic  Development Corporation has announced. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. For the month of July 2017, the latest figures available from the Texas Workforce Commission, Edinburg had an unemployment rate of 5.7 percent, which was an improvement from June 2017, which came in at 5.9 percent. This latest data also showed that Edinburg saw a growth of 492 jobs when comparing the monthly totals of July 2017 (36,037)and July 2016 (35,545), according to the Edinburg EDC. Edinburg and McAllen, which posted an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, compared favorably with other large population centers in the Valley, which reported unemployment rates ranging from 6.5 percent (Harlingen) to9 percent (Weslaco). During 2017, Edinburg has recorded one of the lowest unemployment rates among Valley cities in April and May, and came in with the second-lowest unemploymentrates during the other months in 2017 through July. McAllen, which came in with a 5.4 percent unemployment in May 2017, tied Edinburg for the best showing for that month. For the past several years, Edinburg has registered the lowest or second-lowest monthly unemployment rates among all Valley cities. The unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the civilian labor force, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The civilian labor force is that portion of the population age 16 and older employed or unemployed. To be considered unemployed, a person has to be not working but willing and able to work and actively seeking work. Edinburg’s July 2017unemployment rate of 5.7 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including June 2017 (5.9), May 2017 (5.4 percent), April 2017 (5.4 percent), March 2017 (6 percent), February 2017 (6.4 percent) and January 2017 (6.2 percent). 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 Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related.

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Sexual Assault Awareness Month, proposed by Rep. Canales, receives 144 – 0 House approval; lawmaker also wants universities and colleges to provide details of such crimes on campuses

Featured: A recent U.S. Air Force poster, part of an ongoing campaign by the American military in support of Airmen and their families who have been a victim of sexual assault. In Texas, a statewide effort led by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, is underway to develop strategies to reduce sexual assault by equipping the public with knowledge and awareness of this serious crime by designating April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Photograph Courtesy of U.S. AIR FORCE

Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, has proposed that April would be designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Texas in order to increase knowledge that leads to more prevention of sexual assault and punishment of criminals, and to authorize the regular observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month through appropriate activities in public schools and other places. Sexual assault, according to FindLaw.com, occurs when a defendant – intentionally and knowingly – commits any of a number of prohibited sexual activities listed under Texas’ sexual assault law without the victim’s consent. Canales’ proposal, as illustrated in House Bill 822, was overwhelmingly approved by the Texas House of Representatives on Thursday, April 2o, 2017.  The bill will now go to the Texas Senate for their action. “Today, I passed legislation out of the House to officially designate the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in an effort to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual assault,” Canales said. “We need everyone’s help to reduce sexual assault, and I believe that officially designating this month is a step in the right direction towards proactively reducing sexual assault.” Sexual assault is a serious criminal violation. Canales’ measure stems from a study conducted by UT Austin’s Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, whose findings were released on Friday, March 24, 2017. The report titled Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments showed that sexual assault is an ongoing problem throughout society, including in the halls of higher education. According to the study,  almost 200 out of the more than 3,800 students who participated in the anonymous online survey reported to have been sexually assaulted since they have been enrolled at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s campuses. Nine percent of those students who participated in the anonymous online survey – almost 350 individuals – said they had been victims of unwanted sexual touching since they have been enrolled at UTRGV’s campuses. “These figures are shocking, to say the least,” said Canales, an attorney who also serves on the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, which shapes state laws to protect Texans, especially from violent criminals. “But through this legislation, and another major bill I am working on, we are going to help remove the shroud of secrecy over sexual assault, family violence, and stalking policies at our public universities and colleges.” House Bill 1096, coauthored by Canales and Rep. J.M. Lozano, R-Kingsville, would require public universities and colleges in Texas to provide students and organizations with information about these crimes. “If HB 1096 becomes law, but a public university or college fails to provide that information, that university or college would not receive any state funding,” Canales said. 

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Improving the diversity of student enrollments at UT-Austin, Texas A&M-College Station, vital now and for Texas’ future, says Rep. Terry Canales

Arnold De La Paz, Founder and President, The DLP Group, Inc., Corpus Christi; Gloria Pérez, President, Asiel Enterprises, Inc., Corpus Christi; Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; and Roland Barrera, Owner, Roland Barrera Insurance

Featured: Arnold De La Paz, Founder and President, The DLP Group, Inc., Corpus Christi; Gloria Pérez, President, Asiel Enterprises, Inc., Corpus Christi; Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; and Roland Barrera, Owner, Roland Barrera Insurance, Corpus Christi, and Past Chair of Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce, during the 39th Annual Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce State Convention on Saturday, August 2, 2014, at the former Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel in McAllen.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

The state’s public universities, especially the flagship campuses of The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University at College Station, must continue to increase the enrollment of Hispanic and other racial and ethnic minorities in order to best prepare all Texans for a bright future, says Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg. “Texas, which is the best state in the nation, has seen the Hispanic population become almost as large as the Anglo population, but we do not see Hispanics and other minority groups properly represented in the classrooms at UT-Austin and Texas A&M-College Station, which are among wealthiest public universities in the world,” said Canales. “We still have a ways to go, but we are moving in the right direction.” As part of his efforts to open more doors to all Texans at the mammoth UT and Texas A&M campuses, Canales has become one of 53 state lawmakers who have signed a legal document, known as an amicus brief, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to support efforts that allow UT to consider race and ethnicity, among other factors, in order to promote diversity in its student population. In the Fall of 2014, 19.2 percent of the student enrollment at UT-Austin was Hispanic, while at Texas A&M during the same semester, 21.9 percent of the student enrollment was Hispanic. By comparison, the Hispanic population in 2014, as estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau, is 38.6 percent of the state’s almost 27 million residents. That figure approaches the number of Anglos in Texas, who make up almost 44 percent of the state’s population. African Americans represent the third largest population group in the state, totaling 12.5 percent of all Texans. Canales said since UT-Austin and Texas A&M-College Station were created by the Texas Legislature to serve all of Texas, it is incumbent upon the Legislature to improve what he called “dismal” student enrollment rates at those two campuses of Hispanic and other minority groups. Although the amicus brief focuses on increasing the number of racial and ethnic minorities at UT-Austin, Canales said first and foremost he remains focused on ongoing efforts to transform The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley into the next UT-Austin and Texas A&M-College Station. “Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. The students, faculty, and administrators at UT-Austin, Texas A&M-College Station, or anywhere else are not better or more intelligent than at UT Rio Grande Valley,” Canales emphasized. “What they do have, that we don’t, are more opportunities and more resources than the rest of the state’s public universities, and those are some of the reasons I support increasing minority student enrollments at those two rich campuses.” Canales said constituents ask him what his vision is for UTRGV, and the state lawmaker said he shares the hopes and dreams of all South Texans. “It’s no secret. We in South Texas will not rest, we will not be discouraged, we will not be stopped in our monumental effort to transform UTRGV into a world-class institution,” Canales said. “We are going to have a law school and other professional schools, just like UT and Texas A&M, we are going to expand our School of Medicine in Edinburg and throughout the Valley, and much more. Just look how far we have come in just the past few years.”

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