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Edinburg Economic Development Corporation reports almost $173 million in construction activities in city for the first half of 2017

Featured: The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce’s former presidents and chairmen of its Board of Directors on Thursday, June 22, 2017 celebrated their reunion at the historic Southern Pacific Train Depot, home of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Seated, from left, are: Cris M. Torres, Greater State Bank; Edna Peña, Gotta Love It; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Elva Jackson Garza, Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; Dina Araguz, International Bank of Commerce; and Cynthia García Robles, Gold Financial Services. Standing, from left: Marty Martin, Rio Valley Realty; Mark Magee, PlainsCapital Bank; Mitch Roberts (formerly Roberts Chevrolet); Bob Gaston (formerly Bob Gaston Real Estate); Byron Jay Lewis, Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; Aaron Peña, Sr., Law Firm of Aaron Peña, Sr.; Johnny Rodríguez, Bert Odgen Dealership Group; and Joe H. Ramón, formerly Joe H. Ramón Realty. Not pictured is Dr. Larry N. Balli, D.D.S.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Total construction activities in Edinburg from January through June 2017, including more than $22 million for the month of June, reached $172.7 million, compared with $131.7 million during the first half of 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. During June 2017, new construction of single-family homes and new construction of commercial buildings led the way, with the issuance of building permits for investments valued at more than $6.4 million and $4.7 million, respectively. The value of one new city government building (City of Edinburg Engineering Department) came in a close third for that month, being issued a building permit for work valued at more than $4.5 million. Those year-to-date and monthly 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.

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Edinburg EDC: Edinburg is one of only two major Valley cities which posted unemployment rates under six percent for June 2017

Featured: Several of the newest students of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s School of Medicine go over paperwork during orientation on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at the $54 million, 88,000-square foot Medical Education Building in Edinburg. UTRGV, with its main campus in Edinburg, and its School of Medicine are responsible for helping prepare an educated workforce for the city, the Rio Grande Valley, and Texas. The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors help lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on behalf of those two major institutions of higher education.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Edinburg and McAllen were the only two major Valley cities which posted unemployment rates under six percent for June 2017, with the other large population centers ranging from 6.9 percent to 9.3 percent, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Edinburg, which had recorded the lowest unemployment rates among Valley cities in April and May 2017, came in at 5.9  percent for June 2017, based on preliminary figures released on Friday, July 21, 2017 by the Texas Workforce Commission. This latest data also showed that Edinburg saw a growth of 416 jobs when comparing the monthly totals of June 2017 (36,650) and June 2016 (36,234), according to the Edinburg EDC. For the past several years, Edinburg has registered the lowest or second-lowest unemployment rate among all Valley cities. McAllen, which came in with a 5.4 percent unemployment in May 2017, tied Edinburg for the best showing for that month. 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. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. 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.

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Edinburg EDC: Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, UTRGV Provost and former member of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, appointed by New York Gov. Cuomo as President of The University at Albany

Featured at the podium is Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, founding Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, on Saturday, July 23, 2016, welcoming the UTRGV School of Medicine’s Class of 2020 for the inaugural White Coat Ceremony at the Performing Arts Center in Edinburg. Among the dignitaries who also participated in the South Texas landmark event were, front row, from left: Dr. Leonel Vela, then-Senior Associate Dean for Education and Academic Affairs; Dr. Guy Bailey, President of UTRGV; and UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven. Rodríguez, a former member of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, caught the attention of statewide leaders in higher education and state politics on the East Coast which resulted in the Wednesday, June 21, 2017 announcement by New York Gov. Mario Cuomo that the longtime Edinburg resident has been selected as the 20th president of The University at Albany. The appointment will take effect in mid-September.

Photograph By DAVID PIKE

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez generously credits the people of South Texas – including his colleagues on the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation — for helping prepare him to serve as the 20th president of The University at Albany in upstate New York. Rodríguez believes one of the strengths of his successful candidacy for the presidency of The University at Albany was his work on the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors from June 2013 through May 2015, which allowed him to develop expertise in municipal government, economic development, and state legislative affairs. “I think it was critically important because it got me, and it got UTPA (The University of Texas-Pan American), and later UTRGV, to remain connected to the city, and continued to fortify and strengthen the university relationships with the city,” he said. “We established great partnerships that benefited both the city and UTRGV, and especially the students. This was a fabulous experience in my professional development.” 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 Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related. Gus García said Rodríguez’ efforts on behalf of the Edinburg EDC and UTRGV have been impressive and appreciated. “From working with the Edinburg EDC and the Edinburg City Council on its joint efforts that have brought hundreds of millions of dollars in economic growth to the community, to helping the city’s leadership on its pro-business and high quality-of-life strategies that have resulted for years in one of the lowest unemployment rates in deep South Texas, soon-to-be President Rodríguez has made his presence felt in these and many other ways,” Gus García said. Among their many duties, members of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors attend board meetings and vote on key issues regarding job creation and social, cultural and economic development of the community. They, along with the Edinburg EDC staff, also visit with potential business investors and consultants who work in collaboration with the city, as well as facilitate and attend joint meetings with the university and the city’s key officials.

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Edinburg Economic Development Corporation reports $150.6 million in construction in city between January and May 2017, $50 million ahead of last year’s pace

Featured, from left: Roberto González, Publisher, Texas Border Business and Mega Doctor News; Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg; and Juan Luis Mussenden, General Manager, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg, on Thursday, June 22, 2017 inside the multi-million dollar, nationally-rated restaurant, which is one of dozens of construction projects valued at $1 million and higher that have been built in Edinburg during the past two years. Bob’s Steak & Chop House has scheduled its grand opening for the Valley for Friday, July 14, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. It is conveniently located by Interstate Highway 69 (U.S. Expressway 281) at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. More information is available online at https://www.facebook.com/bobsedinburg/. “I had the honor of visiting the new Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg during its preparation for their grand opening. The only comment I have is that the venue is a magnificent place to gather and dine. It will bring patrons from 250 miles’ radius to include South Texas and Mexico,” said González.

Courtesy Photograph

As Bob’s Steak & Chop House, one of the latest construction projects in Edinburg valued at $2.5 million, prepares for its grand opening on Friday, July 14, 2017, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation announced that total construction activities in the city reached more than $150 million from January through May 2017, including $10.1 million for the month of May. The year-to-date figure of $150.6 million continues to outperform last year’s pace, when total construction in Edinburg for the first five months of 2016 had reached slightly more than $100 million. For the month of May 2017 – the latest figures available from the city – Edinburg saw construction permits issued for work valued at $10,186,236, with single-family homes and multi-family residences leading the way, at $4 million and $2.7 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. As a result, the city – through its Code Enforcement Department – does not issue building permits for any construction work at UTRGV or its School of Medicine, or count the value of those activities in the city’s monthly and year-to-date figures. 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.

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Edinburg EDC announces that for the second consecutive month, Edinburg posted the lowest monthly unemployment rate – 5.4 percent – among all Valley cities for May 2017

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has purchased this existing shell building on Crosspoint Boulevard in Edinburg to house the UTRGV School of Medicine Pediatrics Clinic. The sale was finalized in May and project completion is estimated for September 2017. The UTRGV School of Medicine was created in May 2013 through Senate Bill 24 by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, serving as the primary author, and Rep. René Oliveira, D-Brownsville, serving as primary sponsor. The rest of the Valley legislative delegation played key roles in the creation of the medical school in Edinburg, serving as joint authors and cosponsors of SB 24. The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on behalf of UTRGV in Edinburg and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Jobs in Edinburg’s medical and health care professions will continue to grow following news on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine that it will establish a Pediatrics Clinic in the community. Edinburg – which for numerous consecutive years has registered the lowest or second lowest unemployment rate among all Valley cities, for the month of May 2017 posted the best figure, at 5.4 percent, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. This is the second consecutive month that Edinburg has posted the lowest unemployment rate in the Valley. 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.

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