Select Page
Futuro RGV to host “Building a Thriving RGV: the Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force Forum” at South Texas College on Thursday, July 13, 2023, announces Dr. Nedra Kinerk - Titans of the Texas Legislature

FEATURED, FROM LEFT: Former McAllen Mayor Jim Darling; Dr. Nedra Kinerk, President, Futuro RGV, and McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos. This image was taken on Thursday, June 16, 2022 at the Radison Hotel McAllen Airport, following a Futuro RGV event.

Photograph Courtesy FUTURO RGV Facebook


Futuro RGV to host “Building a Thriving RGV: the Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force Forum” at South Texas College on Thursday, July 13, 2023, announces Dr. Nedra Kinerk

[email protected]

Futuro RGV – a group of citizen volunteers who provide information regarding issues and concerns in deep South Texas – will be hosting “Building a Thriving RGV: the Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force Forum” at South Texas College in McAllen on Thursday, July 13, 2023.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the South Texas College Ballroom, 3201 W. Pecan Boulevard, McAllen.

“This is a Futuro RGV conference with partners South Texas College, Rio Grande Valley Partnership, and Atlas, Hall & Rodríguez presenting to our communities the vision and support that will be available with our Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force,” said Dr. Nedra Kinerk, President, Futuro RGV. “The emphasis is on our communities finding resources from our Hidalgo County leadership. We are stronger by working together and sharing resources and information.

“Our goal is to foster collaboration, share knowledge, and promote innovative solutions that contribute to the economic prosperity and overall well-being of Hidalgo County,” she added.

Futuro RGV is among numerous prominent public affairs organizations in deep South Texas. It began as Futuro McAllen as an advocacy citizen group in 1999 for quality-of-life issues that were in danger of being side tracked due to the tremendous growth taking place in that city.

Quality of life is a highly subjective measure of happiness that is an essential component of many financial decisions. Factors that play a role in the quality of life vary according to personal preferences, but they often include financial security, job satisfaction, family life, health, and safety.

According to Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, who created The Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force in 2022, that group is made up of nearly 150 policymakers and community leaders broken up into 12 different subgroups with the aim of helping low income residents through training, job opportunities and the development of human capital.

In general, the term human capital refers to the economic value of a worker’s experience and skills. Human capital includes assets like education, training, intelligence, skills, health, and other things employers value such as loyalty and punctuality. As such, it is an intangible asset or quality that isn’t (and can’t be) listed on a company’s balance sheet.

Registration will be from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and will include coffee and breakfast for participants as well as for the public. The forum will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Advance registration is recommended.

Registration on the day of the event will only take place if there is seating available.

To register in advance for the forum, please email Futuro RGV leadership at [email protected].

For those who cannot make it in person, the gathering will be broadcast and a videotape of the event will be available on the respective Facebook pages of Futuro RGV and South Texas College.

Futuro RGV was asked by Mario Reyna, Chair, Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force, to help put together this major session to inform people of the help available and being developed to improve the quality-of-life in our region, especially low-income individuals and families, and we agreed to do so,” Kinerk said.

Keynote speakers and the topics they will discuss, and in the order of the presentations, follow:


Welcome by Nedra Kinerk, President, Futuro RGV;
Welcome by Dr. Rodney Rodríguez, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Economic Development South Texas College;
Alex Garrido,Futuro RGV, Live-Stream Information; and
Mario Reyna, Chair, Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force.


Daniel Silva
President, CEO
Rio Grande Valley Partnership

Topic: Looking at the Future.

The RGV Partnership is a business-friendly nonprofit organization that encourages cooperation among the four population centers of its region – Cameron County, Hidalgo County, Starr County, and Willacy County.

The RGV Partnership drives for the strengthening of its members to increase the return on their investment and improve the quality of life in deep South Texas.

The RGV Partnership is a business-friendly nonprofit organization that encourages cooperation among the four population centers of its region – Cameron County, Hidalgo County, Starr County, and Willacy County.


Dr Kevin Peek
South Texas College

Topic: Future Industries for Hidalgo County.

Founded in 1993, South Texas College offers more than 127 degree and certificate options, including associate degrees in a variety of liberal art, social science, business, math, science, technology, advanced manufacturing, and allied health fields of study. Additionally, South Texas College is the only community college in the State of Texas to offer 5 baccalaureate degrees. South Texas College has a faculty and staff of more than 2,200 to serve the college’s five campuses, two higher education centers, and one virtual campus.

Since 2000, the Dual Credit Programs has served 130,000 high school students at 70 high school partners, saving families over $340 million dollars in tuition.


Sergio Contreras
Atlas, Hall & Rodríguez, LLC

Broadband and Economic Development for Hidalgo County.

Atlas, Hall & Rodríguez, LLP, has spent 70 years building a foundation from hard work, tenacity, and trust. It is full service law firm in the Rio Grande Valley, ready to offer comprehensive legal counsel in corporate, litigation and business law.

The strength of the law firm is from the diverse fields of law its attorneys practice, which allows that business to be the bridge that connects South Texas to regional, national and international entities. The attorneys at Atlas, Hall & Rodríguez in McAllen and Brownsville offer “out of the box” insight and practical solutions for issues that are important to its clients.


Presentations after the keynote speakers will be provided from members of the following subgroups of the Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force:

• Housing;
• Health Care/Services;
• Counseling;
• Higher Learning;
• Mentoring;
• Financial;
• Economic Development; and
• Food Insecurity Group.

In February 2023, the county judge explained the background and goals of the Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force before the statewide leadership of the Texas Family Leadership Council.

In order to address the complex issue of poverty, Hidalgo County must create an environment in which people take care of one another, Cortez told a group of more than 40 child and family-focused organizations, community leaders and influencers from across the state on Thursday, February 9, 2023.

“We cannot have our welfare lines growing faster than our taxpayer lines,” Cortez told the group during a teleconference meeting Thursday morning. “If we don’t tackle this problem that is affecting Hidalgo County, then Texas is going to have many more problems in the future.”

Cortez pointed out that demographic trends suggest that Hidalgo County is a microcosm of what the future of Texas will look like demographically. And as the state’s 8th most populous county, Hidalgo County has a disproportionate share of people living in poverty because of a variety of social conditions including language barriers, education and immigration status.

“That’s why we created the Prosperity Task Force,” Cortez told the group. “We wanted a way to analyze and review the complex issues of poverty.”

Armed with that information, Cortez said, the goal of the 160-member strong Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force, made up of community leaders and policymakers, is to mitigate the effects of poverty in Hidalgo County and, where possible, provide vocational training and education to help people escape the bonds of poverty.

As an example, the way to help a disabled elderly veteran, Cortez said, is to find the appropriate services that are available to them and put those services to use.

At the same time, people on the front lines of helping the impoverished must be trained to assess those constituents needing help and identify potential training programs to create what Cortez calls “human capital” that can escape poverty by learning skills for better paying jobs.

The Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force is composed of 13 subgroups that are focused on everything from providing social services to training career counselors to mentoring those undergoing job training to increasing the capacity of higher paying jobs in Hidalgo County.

“This is what our group is all about,” Family Leadership Council member Kevin Hatterly, who heads the Boys and Girls Club of Houston, told Cortez in thanking him. “It’s about hearing best practices.”


(Carlos Sánchez contributed to this report. For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories that affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (

Titans of the Texas Legislature

Share This

Share this post with your friends!