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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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As first class of UTRGV medical students participates in “White Coat” ceremony at local campus, Edinburg reports it’s lowest June unemployment figure in almost a decade

07_23_16 ___ Dr. Bailey, Chancellor McRaven, Provost Rodriguez
Featured: Guy Bailey, Ph.D, President, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; William H. McRaven, Chancellor, The University of Texas System; and Havidán Rodríguez, Ph.D.,  Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, on Saturday, July 23, 2016. The three UT System leaders were among hundreds of other dignitaries, family, and well-wishers who gathered at the UTRGV  Performing Arts Complex auditorium in Edinburg to congratulate the inaugural class of 55 students who are beginning their first year of medical school in Edinburg. The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and Edinburg Economic Development Corporation played key roles in 2013 in securing a full-fledged medical school from the Texas Legislature for deep South Texas. Rodríguez also is a former member of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors.

Photograph By DAVID PIKE

For the first time in almost a  year, Edinburg’s unemployment rate rose above five percent, based on the June 2016 estimate by the Texas Workforce Commission, but that figure still represents the best showing for that month in the city since June 2008, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Edinburg, with a 5.4 percent monthly unemployment rate, along with McAllen (5.1 percent) and Harlingen (5.7 percent), were the only three cities in deep South Texas to post figures for June 2016 under six percent, the Texas Workforce Commission reported on Friday, July 22, 2016. According to the latest data, there were 36,322 people employed in Edinburg during the month of June 2016. That performance represents an increase of 612 jobs in Edinburg when comparing the employment figures for June 2016 (36,322) and June 2015 (35,710).

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