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Edinburg EDC: Thousands who attended 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg at H-E-B Park saw first-hand why the community is becoming a “Destination City”

Featured, some of the members of the winning teams, judges, and community leaders who participated in the 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg competition held on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, 2017 at H-E-B Park in Edinburg. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, was a major financial sponsor of the event, which draws hundreds of visitors to Edinburg. Front row, from left: Proudly sporting their  team red outfits are Myranda Johnson with Road Crew BBQ, Lauria Franklin Kelley with Road Crew BBQ; Gary Kelley with Road Crew BBQ; and Ross Kelley with Road Crew BBQ, whose team from Sinton, Texas was the Texas Cook ‘Em Overall Champion for 2017; and Jerry Cárdenas with Loaded Smoke of Raymondville, the Reserve Grand Champion for the International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA); Michelle Dang, Judge with the Steak Cookoff Association (SCA); and Fred Robles with Rio Valley Meat of Weslaco, Grand Champion of the International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA). Featured, middle row, from left: Marty Martin with Rio Valley Realty and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; J.J. Flores with Chorizo of San Manuel and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Ashley Tapia, Assistant, International Barbeque Cookers Association; Judy Tapia, Assistant, International Barbeque Cookers Association; Eddie Tapia, Head Judge, International Barbeque Cookers Association; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Ronnie Larralde, Director of Marketing and Special Events, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Stephanie O. Larralde with The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Ambassador, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Michelle Gallaway, Judge, Steak Cookoff Association; and Sara Treviño, Secretary, International Barbeque Cookers Association. Featured, back row, from left: Martín Rivas, Director of Membership, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Imelda Rodríguez, Director of Tourism, Edinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau; Brett Gallaway, Judge, Steak Cookoff Association; Roddy Treviño with Roadster BBQ and 1st Place Winner in the H-E-B Steak Challenge; and Jake Barrera, Judge, International Barbeque Cookers Association.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
 

Featured: Joe González, Manager, H-E-B Rio Grande Valley Meat Market, provides expert advice to help contestants select rib-eye steaks for the premier portion of the 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg, held at H-E-B Park in Edinburg on Saturday, July 2, 2017. The steak selection was a process by which the teams chose their meat for the day-long competition, which drew 127 teams from Edinburg, the Valley, Texas and beyond. Initially done by a lottery, the teams then lined up in numerical order based on that lottery and picked their steaks. The Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) is the sanctioning body for the steak portion of Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg. The SCA requires the event to provide the same high-quality steaks for equal competitive opportunities for all the teams.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
 

Featured, Mike Eli, vocals/guitar for the Eli Young Band, performs as part of the final featured act on Friday, July 1, 2017 during the two-day 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks at Edinburg, held at H-E-B Park in Edinburg. An estimated 2,000 people bought tickets to that evening’s concert, which included two of Edinburg’s own talented musical performers – Matt and the Herdsman (http://www.mattandtheherdsmen.com), and Southern Ashes (https://www.facebook.com/SouthernAshesMusic/). The turnout for the concert that evening does not include people at the adjacent Edinburg Municipal Park who showed up to see the fireworks display during the concert. The following day, on Saturday, July 2, 2017, an estimated 3,000 people bought tickets to see the the world-class barbecue competition, as well as to enjoy many other activities going on that day, including another concert. 

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Featured: Hundreds of fans of Los Lonely Boys cheer for the San Angelo-based “Texican Rock n’ Roll” band, which combines elements of rock and roll, Texas blues, brown-eyed soul, country and Tejano, on Friday, July 1, 2017 at the amphitheater of H-E-B Park in Edinburg. Los Lonely Boys were one of two national acts which performed on the first evening of the two-day 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg. H-E-B Park opened earlier in 2017. H-E-B Park is described on its web site as “the premiere sports and entertainment destination and focal point for the entire community. H-E-B Park serves as a community hub of outdoor space for active and recreational use including sports, live music, and corporate events.” H-E-B Park, which is privately owned and which is located at 1616 S. Raul Longoria Road, boasts a $16.8+ million, 9,735-seat professional soccer stadium as part of the 37-acre site with all amenities, an amphitheater with a capacity of 2,000 people, well-lighted parking, and security and medical personnel for major gatherings. The building permit issued for H-E-B Park represents the initial investment for the stadium, at that time valued at $16.8+ million, but the total financial worth of H-E-B Park, which is the name of the stadium and the fairgrounds with all improvements and assets, now that this outdoor sports and entertainment complex is open, is much higher.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

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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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Edinburg EDC, Grindstone Coworking announce second class, of 15 individuals, for Hive Effect, which prepares small business owners to succeed

Featured, key leaders and most of the new members of Hive Effect, an entrepreneur development initiative created by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, following their orientation session on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, at the offices of Grindstone Coworking, located at 506 West University Drive. From left, front row, are: José Chávez; Gerardo González; Donica Landa; Renee Sánchez; and Dani Marrero. From left, back row: Cooper Thompson; Steven De Los Santos; Agustín García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Daniel Rivera, Founder, Grindstone Coworking and Director of Hive Effect in Edinburg; Elizabeth Martínez; Marco Barrios-Espinoza; Mark Laguñez; Pete Díaz; and Cirano Lagunas. Not shown in this image are Noé Ramos, Mark Harris, and Mauricio Atilano.

Photograph By JENNIFER CABRERA

The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with Grindstone Coworking, has announced the second cohort (new set of members) of the Hive Effect, which is an innovative entrepreneur development initiative designed to help local businesses, particularly small firms and sole proprietors, to succeed and prosper.  According to its website (http://hiveeffect.com/about-us/): Hive Effect uses a three-pronged approach to cultivate the entrepreneurial ecosystem and promote regional collaboration. It utilizes coworking, education, and mentorship to help both startups and existing businesses; Hive Effect conducts a six-month education program called the Hive Effect Learning Program (HELP). Applications for HELP are reviewed for acceptance twice each year to select cohort participants. Hive Effect partners with local and regional entrepreneurial organizations and businesses with programs and events that aim to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the Rio Grande Valley; and Grindstone Coworking, located at 506 West University Drive, is a membership-based office in Edinburg. Designed for mobile workers, freelancers, and startups, the office provides workspace, phone booths, private suites, conference rooms, training rooms, a copy center, mailboxes and other amenities for today’s modern businesses. “The EDC is excited to again partner up with Grindstone Coworking to promote this second, six-month initiative,” said Agustín García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. “Hive Effect has become a valuable resource for some of our city’s most exciting new businesses.” Daniel Rivera, founder of Grindstone Coworking and Director of Hive Effect, added: “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with Hive Effect since its launch in September 2016. Our coursework, mentorship and implementation of the coworking concept last year helped 10 entrepreneurs achieve great things for their respective businesses, and we’re happy to announce our second cohort (new set of members) of 15 individuals to our growing community.” The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, which includes Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr. Councilmember Richard Molina, and Councilmember David Torres. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised 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. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Agustín García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC: City, school district, UTRGV begin efforts to help with disaster relief for countless Texans hurt by Hurricane Harvey

IDL TIFF file

As Hurricane Harvey approached the shores over coastal Texas on Thursday, August 24, 2017, Edinburg and Rio Grande Valley were alarmed over the possibility that it could strike close to home. Instead, deep South Texas was spared from what became one of the most powerful hurricanes in history – a category 4 storm thaton Friday night, August 25, 2017 packed wind gusts up to 132 miles per hour northeast of Corpus Christi, and which has caused billions of dollars in damages and human suffering from flooding in the Houston region in the following days. 

Photograph By NASA

Local officials and organizations are pulling together resources as part of a national effort to help the countless Texans hurt by Hurricane Harvey, which on Friday, August 25, 2017 slammed into the Texas Coastal Bend, anchored by Corpus Christi, threatened metropolitan areas of San Antonio and Austin, and has produced epic flooding in the Houston region, including the displacing of thousands of homeowners, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. “We wish all those (affected by Hurricane Harvey) well, and we ask that you put them in your prayers, because God knows they need it,” Agustín García, Jr., Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, said Monday, August 28, 2017, during the Edinburg EDC Facebook live broadcast, “Edinburg Connects”. In response to the humanitarian disaster that has taken place elsewhere in Texas, the City of Edinburg, the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, which has its main campus and its School of Medicine in Edinburg, have announced their respective assistance plans, which began on Monday, August 28, 2017 and will continue through the upcoming weekend and beyond. The Edinburg EDC 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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