Featured: Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, helped salute the estimated 2,401 graduates at the McAllen Convention Center on Saturday, May 13, 2017 as they walked the stage during the Spring 2017 Commencement Ceremonies to accept the degrees they worked so hard for over the years. More than 700 graduates also were honored during an evening ceremony on Friday, May 12, 2017 on the UTRGV Brownsville Campus. A combined total of more than 3,100 UTRGV graduates were celebrated in four ceremonies over a two-day period. Rodríguez is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg Council.
Photograph By PAUL CHOUY
With the month of May featuring graduation ceremonies from local and area high schools, South Texas College and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, one of the most influential supporters of publication in the Valley – the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation – will hold its public meeting on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, at Edinburg City Hall. The session, which begins at 12 p.m., will be held at Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 West University Drive. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is the 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. According to the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors’ agenda, which is also posted online at: http://edinburgedc.com/meetings-agendas/, they will meet to consider the following: Open Session: Call meeting to order; Roll Call; Presentation by Capable Kids Foundation; Discuss and consider authorizing the Executive Director to renew the Professional Services Agreement with Signature Public Affairs, Inc.; Discuss and consider approval of termination of the Interlocal agreement with the City of Edinburg regarding Project Wildcat; and Discuss and consider approval of a sponsorship for the Valley Symphony Orchestra. Executive (Closed) Session: Deliberate the offers of financial or other incentives to business prospects; Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Dennis Owens; and Consultation with Attorney.
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, from left: Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler; Rep. Mike Lang, R-Grandbury; Rachel Wetsel, Clerk, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence; and Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg. Canales was serving as Chair of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Subcommittee on Asset Forfeiture during its meeting in Austin on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, along with a bipartisan supermajority of the Texas House of Representatives, wants President Trump and Congress to avoid any actions that would threaten almost $92.5 billion in annual Texas exports to Mexico, which is the largest trading partner for the Lone Star State. Exports are goods or services sent to another country for sale. Mexico’s relationship to Texas is so important to state lawmakers that they want to make sure their federal counterparts in Washington D.C. also don’t jeopardize hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs because of negative stereotypes or ignorance of Mexico’s roles in creating jobs and prosperity for all Americans. Through the use of a legislative measure, House Resolution 1025 by Canales, the Texas House of Representatives is urging the nation’s top elected leaders to recognize the huge significance of trade between Texas and Mexico. “As Texans, we understand the importance of the Texas-Mexico relationship to the economic success of state. 382,000 Texas jobs are supported by trade with Mexico” said Canales. “Should this relationship be impacted negatively, the social and economic security of the Texas border region would be devastating.” HR 1025, which is being sent to President Trump and Congress, calls on national leaders – many who are unfamiliar with U.S. international commerce involving Mexico – “to fully evaluate the impact of proposed federal trade policies, legislation, executive orders, and other actions on Texas-Mexico commerce.”
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.