Featured, the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, from left, are: Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer; Mayor Richard García as President (seated); Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Member; Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President; and Richard Ruppert as Member (seated).
Photograph By JULIO GONZÁLEZ
Edinburg, which for numerous consecutive years has registered the lowest or second-lowest unemployment rate among all Valley cities, for the month of April 2017 posted the best figure, at 5.4 percent, edging out McAllen, which came in with a 5.5 percent unemployment rate, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Both cities were the only Valley communities with unemployment rates under six percent for April 2017, according to preliminary data released on Friday, May 19, 2017 by the Texas Workforce Commission. This latest data also showed that Edinburg saw a growth of 415 jobs when comparing the monthly totals of April 2017 (36,909) and April 2016 (36,494), according to the Edinburg EDC. In addition, Edinburg’s 36,909 individuals employed during April 2017 represented an increase of 47 employees over March 2017. The March 2017 employment number was estimated at 36,862 – the most jobs in the city’s history. The continued growth 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 Edinburg EDC, of which Gus 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. Richard García and Gus García are not related.
Featured, from left: Luis Martínez and Christopher Galicia with Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg join Juan Luis Mussenden, General Manager/Wine Director of Bob’s Steak & Chop House, as they perform some of their key administrative duties on Friday, May 19, 2017 at Grindstone Coworking, located at 506 W. University Drive. The multi-million dollar Bob’s Steak & Chop House is currently under construction at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg.
Photograph By DANIEL RIVERA
Providing the resources needed by residents to successfully start and run a small business is one of the many services provided at no charge by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. To that effect – both figuratively and literally – the Edinburg EDC and Grindstone Coworking of Edinburg have kicked off the second round of the Hive Effect, an entrepreneur development initiative aiming to help business from the Rio Grande Valley thrive. The Hive Effect is part of the Business Retention and Expansion Program of the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. (http://edinburgedc.com/services-we-offer/) Applications are being accepted through June 1, 2017 that will offer 15 business owners the opportunity to grow their respective businesses through curriculum, coworking and mentorship. The application process is available online at: http://www.hiveeffect.com/apply. Coworking is generally defined as the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge. Coworking, which is a cutting-edge approach for sole proprietors and small business owners, is one of the strategies being promoted by the Edinburg EDC to create more successful firms in the city. Even Harvard Business Review gives the concept two thumbs up in a September 2015 article titled “Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces”. (https://hbr.org/2015/05/why-people-thrive-in-coworking-spaces) “We’re proud of what we accomplished with Hive Effect since its launch last September 2106,” said Daniel Rivera, Director of Grindstone Coworking and Hive Effect. “Our coursework, mentorship and implementation of the coworking concept have helped 10 entrepreneurs achieve great things for their respective businesses and we’re looking forward to introducing a new set of members to our growing community.” Gus García, the Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, is a leading champion for the Hive Effect. “Small businesses are a staple to helping our economy thrive and with Hive Effect we can help entrepreneurs not only be successful but also contribute to the local economy.”
Featured: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley honored the City of Edinburg Solid Waste Management and the United Way of South Texas on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 with its Distinguished Community Engagement Partner Awards. Back row, from left, are Jeanette Ahlenius, Board Member, United Way of South Texas; Janie Chapa, Recycling Coordinator, City of Edinburg Solid Waste Management; Dalinda Cárdenas, Administrative Specialist, City of Edinburg Solid Waste Management; Ramiro Gómez, Director, City of Edinburg Solid Waste Management; and Dr. Dean Kyne, UTRGV Assistant Professor of Sociology. Front, from left, are Fidencio Mercado, Board Member, United Way of South Texas and UTRGV Clinical Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Services and Counseling; Celene González, Accounts Manager, City of Edinburg Solid Waste Management; Dr. Doris Mendiola, Data and Research Manager, UTRGV Community Engagement and Assessment; and Cris Trejo, UTRGV Assistant Vice President for Community Engagement and Assessment.
Photograph By PAUL CHOUY
As the multi-million dollar Edinburg Transit Terminal gets ready for its official groundbreaking at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 12, 2017, total construction activities in the city have reached more than $117 million during the first three months of the year, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. That level is almost double the $65 million figure reached from January through March 2016. For the month of March 2017 – the latest figures available from the city – Edinburg saw construction permits issued for work valued at more than $14.6 million, with new homes and new businesses leading the way, at $4.55 million and $4.51 million, respectively. Those totals do not include the value of any building-related activities at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg because the state government, not the city, oversees all construction at the Edinburg campus. The building permits do not include the value of the land for the homes and buildings. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus 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 Gus García are not related. In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg, through the Code Enforcement Department, to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits.
Featured: Gus García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, addresses area journalists on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 about key items reviewed and acted upon by the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors during their regular monthly meeting, which took place at the Edinburg EDC complex, located at 101 N. 10th Street.
Photograph By JENNIFER V. CABRERA
The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which uses the one-half cent economic development sales tax for creating jobs and improving the quality of life in the city, has received the best national rating for how it handles and protects public money, according to a state-required independent annual audit. The audit covers a one-year period of financial activities by the Edinburg EDC for Fiscal Year 2015 (October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016). In general, an audit is a systematic examination and verification of an organization’s books of account, transaction records, other relevant documents, and physical inspection of inventory by qualified accountants (called auditors). (Read more at http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/audit.html.) “This very important report on the Edinburg EDC, which is led by Mayor Richard García as President of our five-member Board of Directors, also found in its 36-page detailed analysis that our ‘finances remain healthy’ and ‘2017 to be year of continued growth,’” said Gus García, the Executive Director of the Edinburg EDC. 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 Gus García are not related. The audit, prepared by Reyna & Garza CPA, LLC of Edinburg, was publicly released, discussed and approved on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at the regular meeting of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, which gathered in open session in the executive board. Fiscal year 2017 (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017) “is projected to be a year of continued growth. Both public and private development in building and infrastructure activity will serve to broaden the city’s tax base and provide continuing employment opportunities for the residents,” the audit stated. Reflecting the city’s long history of annual economic gains – and specifically for the Fiscal Year 2015 audit – Reyna & Garza CPA, LLC further stated that “in 2016, the Edinburg EDC experienced an increase in sales tax revenue from 2015. As a result, the Edinburg EDC finances have remained healthy and strong. Cash reserves are in place in accordance with the Investment Policy in secured investments.”
Featured: Following his State of the City Address on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, held inside the newly-opened $5 million IMAX theatre at Carmike Cinemas, Mayor Richard García, speaking to area journalists in a section of the IMAX lobby, praises Edinburg for its many assets, including the diversity of its people.
Photograph By DIEGO REYNA
With more than 80,000 Hidalgo County residents estimated by the state government with various types and degrees of disabilities, Edinburg Mayor Richard García, whose hometown is the county seat, wants them and their loved ones to know they are very important to the general well-being, positive image, reputation for diversity, and successes of the city. As part of his vision for Edinburg is a landmark plan to create a “special needs” park next to City Hall that would provide recreational equipment and positive experiences for children and teens with hearing, vision, independent living, ambulatory or cognitive difficulties. “This park will be a place where children with all types of challenges will be able to enjoy the outdoors, and have fun with other kids,” the mayor said. “It will be a place where they can learn about feelings of belonging and acceptance.” García, during his Wednesday, April 12, 2017 State of the City Address that he delivered as part of the public unveiling of the $5 million IMAX theater at Carmike Cinemas, emphasized his determination for such an outdoors complex. At the State of the City address, in announcing the special needs park, the mayor was joined by several young people and their families who represented the many residents for which the park is being created. Funding for the special needs park, when a final price tag is determined at a later date, will include financial support from the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The mayor’s proposed special needs park also sends a clear message to Edinburg’s youngest residents that the city government is responsive to all of its constituents. “Everyone, no matter what challenges or difficulties we face, has the potential for greatness,” García reflected. “This park will let people know that all of our young people are part of their hometown’s goals and achievements. Edinburg’s current successes and bright future will depend on the city’s leadership providing our young people with the encouragement, opportunities, resources, and physical and emotional support to help them reach their goals and dreams.” In general, a special needs park has an all-inclusive playground that is a place where children can play together with their peers, family, friends, and neighbors without experiencing physical or social barriers to inclusion. Play components are featured that challenge and accommodate typically developing children, as well as children with autism, hearing impairments, cognitive disabilities, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and other physical and developmental needs.