Featured: Researchers in the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences are working to develop a next generation of anti-HIV drugs that are more effective and have fewer side effects. Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) remains one of the leading causes of death globally. To further support studies into HIV-1, the National Institutes of Health awarded UTRGV a grant for the project, called “Nanodiamond Based Anti-HIV Drug Delivery Targeted Towards the Brain,” The grant is for $432,729 starting July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2021. The principal investigator is Dr. Upal Roy, Assistant Professor at the UTRGV Department of Health and Biomedical Science. From left are some of the students majoring in Biomedical Science who will be working on the research – Jonathan Abshier, Roberto DeLa Garza, Dr. Upal Roy, Jesus Hernandez and Hari Das. he 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.
Featured: Conrad Brown, Assistant Director, Ambulatory Services, SED, representing South Texas Health System, and Mayor Richard Molina led the traditional ribbon-cutting during the grand opening ceremony for the hospital system’s open house and health fair event held on Saturday, January 6, 2018 of STHS ER Monte Cristo, a new stand-alone emergency room located at 3615 N. Interstate 69-C in north Edinburg. The facility is providing 24-hour emergency services year-round, and is staffed and equipped with the same diagnostic technology available in STHS’s hospital-based emergency rooms. The new STHS location is the first in north Edinburg and will serve approximately 60,000 residents in the area. From left, first row, are: Fabian Borrego, Market CFO, STHS; Martha Pérez, House Supervisor, STHS; Conrad Brown, Assistant Director, Ambulatory Services, SED, STHS; and Mayor Richard Molina. Other hospital officials in attendance were Daniel Caldwell, CEO, McAllen Heart Hospital; Doug Matney, Regional Vice President of South Texas Health System; Jennifer Garza, CEO, Edinburg Regional Medical Center/Edinburg Children’s Hospital; and Lance Ames, COO, Edinburg Regional Medical Center/Edinburg Children’s Hospital. STHS ER Monte Cristo, which represents an $8.6 million private investment, was among the more than $271 million in construction activities that took place in Edinburg in 2017.
Photograph Courtesy SOUTH TEXAS HEALTH SYSTEM
Total construction activities in Edinburg for the year – January through December 2017 – including more than $8 million for the month of December, were valued at more than $271 million, compared with more than $209 million during 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The building permits do not include the value of the land for the homes and buildings. 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. The top categories in Edinburg for 2017, which led to the total figure of $271,400,571, were: $84,537,000 – Non-Taxable New (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine); $61,972,808 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction; $59,715,790; Single-Family Residences New Construction; $37,456,294; Commercial New Construction; $13,180,161; Commercial Alterations; $8,653,359 – Non-Taxable Alterations (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine); and $5,885,159 – Residential Alterations. During 2017, building permits were issued for 496 new single-family residences, valued at $59,715,700, and building permits were issued for 325 multi-family residences, representing 938 units, valued at $61,972,808. 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 City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D., as Members.
Featured: An artist’s rendition of the city-owned Bert Ogden Arena, a first-class indoor multi-purpose center being built at the corner of Interstate Highway 69-Central and Alberta Road in east Edinburg, which according to building permits issued by the City of Edinburg, is valued at an estimated $88.3 million. On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, representatives for The Vipers Arena, LLC will present an update on the project before the Edinburg City Council at Edinburg City Hall. The city council session begins at 6 p.m.
Illustration Courtesy of THE VIPERS ARENA LLC
Representatives for The Vipers Arena LLC, which is overseeing all aspects of construction of the $88.3 million, city-owned Bert Ogden Arena, on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, are scheduled to make a major presentation on the progress of the complex before the Edinburg City Council, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Vipers Arena LLC of McAllen, whose principal agent is Alonzo Cantú of McAllen, is serving as the private investor in the Public-Private Partnership. Vipers Arena LLC is overseeing all aspects of the construction of the facility, with Cantú Construction of McAllen, which is a company owned by Alonzo Cantú, building the Bert Ogden Arena. Vipers Arena LLC will also serve as the major tenant of the Bert Ogden Arena, and will be responsible for the operations, maintenance, scheduling of events, and marketing of the facility, which will feature 8,500 fixed seats, which includes 1,200 club seats, 12 luxury suites, a restaurant/club area, locker rooms, offices for sports team personnel, and marquee signs by the expressway. 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 City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.
Featured: Twenty-eight employers, ranging in size from small business owners to local governments, state and federal agencies, along with 413 area residents, participated in a successful major job fair held at the Michael Dustin Sekula Memorial Library on Thursday January 25, 2018, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The event, which was held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., was free and open to the public. Also at no charge to area residents were a Résumé Writing Workshop held on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 and a Job Interview Workshop which took place on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. The workshops and the job fair were organized by the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, the City of Edinburg, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Workforce Solutions. There was no charge to the 28 employers who participated in the job fair. “The Edinburg EDC job fairs are designed to make it easier and more convenient for employers and prospective employees to get together,” said Jennifer Cabrera, who leads the Edinburg EDC’s marketing efforts. “The workshops and job fair were for every kind of person, from people who want to get a job for the first time, to individuals who are already employed, but are looking for a better job or a different career.” Leticia S. Leija, Director of Library & Cultural Arts, said the city library staff takes great pride in hosting the employment gathering. “The Michael Dustin Sekula Memorial Library is committed to empowering our community, and by providing these Job Readiness workshops, in conjunction with the UTRGV Career Center, and then following up with the Job Fair coordinated with the Edinburg EDC and WorkForce Solutions, two dedicated partners, we help provide our residents with a life-changing opportunities,” said Leija.
Photograph Courtesy MICHAEL DUSTIN SEKULA MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Two of the six applicants who were interviewed on Tuesday, January 28, 2018 for the position of Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, will be back for further consideration by the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors during a special meeting, set to begin at 6 p.m. at Edinburg City Hall, on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. The interviews will take place, as allowed by state law, in executive session, along with three other items: deliberate the offers of financial or other incentives to business prospects; deliberate authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to amend the Development Agreement with Oceangate; and consultation with attorney. The meeting, whose agenda also is posted online (http://edinburgedc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Jan-31st-Agenda.pdf), will be held in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall, which is located at 415 W. University Drive. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.
Featured: U.S. Border Patrol’s “Head of the Class” program recently honored four students from the Edinburg Independent Consolidated School District. Border Patrol officials said that the program recognizes the academic excellence of 69 high-achieving seniors from high schools throughout the Valley. Students were nominated by their respective schools and selected by a committee. The students were selected based on being well-rounded students, who are involved in their schools and communities, as well as excelling in academics and promoting a drug-free lifestyle. From left, front row, are: Vela High School senior Eric Anthony Jackson; Edinburg North High School senior Olivia Vela; Economedes High School senior Ángela María López; Edinburg High School senior Bryan López; and U.S. Border Patrol Agent Rubén García Jr.; Back row, from left, are: U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert R. Galván; Vela High School Principal Sylvia Ledesma; Edinburg North High School Principal Mark Micallef; Edinburg High School Principal Yesenia Molina; and Economedes High School Principal Dr. Raúl D’Lorm. The students will compete with dozens of other Valley honorees for at least three $1,000 scholarships, which the Border Patrol expects to award in the spring. Miguel “Mike” Farías, Vice President of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Edinburg school district, and Edinburg City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, who serves as President of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, is a former longtime member of the Board of Trustees of the Edinburg school district. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. In addition to Enríquez and Farías, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR
Edinburg posted an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent in December 2017, representing 37,232 jobs for that month, making the city, along with McAllen, the only two major economies in the Rio Grande Valley which came under the five percent level, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. These latest figures, prepared by the Texas Workforce Commission and released on Friday, January 19, 2018, showed that there was an increase of 265 people employed in Edinburg in December 2017 (37,232) compared with November 2017 (36,967). Also, Edinburg saw a growth of 756 jobs when comparing the monthly total for December 2017, (37,232) and December 2016 (36,476), according to the Edinburg EDC. In addition, the December 2017 unemployment rate of 4.9 percent represents the sixth time during that month that the city’s unemployment rate has been below five percent since 2005, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The number 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 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. 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 unemployment rates 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 rate among all Valley cities. Edinburg’s December 2017 unemployment rate of 4.9 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including November 2017 (4.8 percent); October 2017 (4.7 percent), September 2017 (5.5 percent), August 2017 (6.2 percent), 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 Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.