Featured, from left: Jorge Correa, Rio Grande Valley Area Director for Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers; Letty Rodríguez, Escrow Officer/Public Relations/Sales Representative, Edwards Abstract and Title Co., and a member of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Elva Jackson Garza, Vice President and Marketing Manager, Edwards Abstract and Title Co., and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Richard Molina; Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, who also serves as President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and Elijah Edwards, Edinburg General Manager, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. The elected officials and business leaders are shown here during the grand opening of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, located at 718 W. University Drive, on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Seventy-eight employees – with about half of them enrolled as students at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – were hired as a result of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers establishing their first restaurant in Edinburg. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is a fast-food restaurant chain specializing in chicken fingers and which is known for active community involvement. It was founded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by Todd Graves and Craig Silvey on August 26, 1996.
Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
Area leaders, Edinburg residents and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley community may soon receive a major public update on the $5.4+ million Edinburg Transit Terminal under construction, which is being built at 617 W. University Drive between 6th and 7th streets, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Tom Logan, Director of Valley Metro, said that initial plans call for a presentation to be made about the Edinburg Transit Terminal during the Tuesday, December 19, 2017 public meeting of the Edinburg City Council at Edinburg City Hall. “Everything is still on schedule,” Logan said. “We are excited. It will definitely improve the quality of life in Edinburg. It will create a transportation hub for the city along with synergy (teamwork) with other components that can come into play there.” The promising future for the community officially began on Thursday, May 11, 2017, with the groundbreaking of the multi-million dollar Edinburg Transit Terminal, said City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, who also serves as President, Board of Directors for the Edinburg EDC. “The 15,000-square-foot, two-story complex, located on a 1.2 acre tract donated by the Edinburg EDC, will serve as a home for Valley Metro, which is the publicly-owned bus service for deep South Texas that is administered and operated by the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council,” said Enríquez. “One of the many key needs the Edinburg Transit Terminal will fulfill when it opens for business in 2018 will be to help improve vital transportation services into and near the city’s downtown during the work week.” The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge Salinas. In addition to Enríquez, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Dr. Noé Sauceda as Members.
Featured, from left: Bob Becquet, President of Coastal Deli, Inc. of Corpus Christi, which operates 16 Jason’s Deli franchises in Texas and New Mexico, including the latest one which opened in Edinburg on October 2, 2017; Edinburg City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, who also serves as President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, and Johnny Rodríguez, a former President of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, who serves as a public relations professional for the Bert Ogden Dealership Group in Edinburg. The three men were participating in a preview tour of the city’s latest national restaurant chain, which has locations in 266 delis in 28 states, including Jason’s Deli in Edinburg, located at 1618 W. University Drive. The Edinburg restaurant currently employs 70 staff members.
Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
Edinburg posted an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent in October 2017, representing 36,693 jobs for that month, and both figures are improvements over the previous month, when the unemployment rate in September 2017 was 5.5 percent, with 36,578 persons employed that month, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy.These latest figures, prepared by the Texas Workforce Commission and released on Thursday, November 17, 2017, showed that there was an increase of 115 people employed in Edinburg in October 2017 (36,693) compared with September 2017 (36,578). Also, Edinburg saw a growth of 554 jobs when comparing the monthly total for October 2017, (36,693) and October 2016 (36,139), according to the Edinburg EDC. In addition, the October 2017 unemployment rate of 4.7 percent is the second-best showingin Edinburg for that month since 2007, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Edinburg and McAllen, which posted an unemployment rate for October 2017 of 4.2 percent, compared favorably with other large population centers in the Valley, which reported unemployment rates ranging from 5.3 percent (Harlingen) to 6.1 percent (Pharr). 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 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 as Members. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy.
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: Several members of the Hive Effect in Edinburg: Juan F. Rodríguez, Mako Media; Michelle Vallejo, Common Culture, RGV; Harvey Rodríguez, Jr., Vice President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Eduardo Robles, Web & Tech Consulting; and Rubén Morales, Surface Web Development, pose for an image taken at Grindstone Coworking, located at 506 W. University Drive, on Tuesday, September 23, 2016. According to its website, http://hiveeffect.com/intro/, Hive Effect is an entrepreneur development initiative developed as a partnership between the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and Grindstone Coworking. Hive Effect, in turn, 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. The Edinburg EDC serves local companies by providing assistance with expansion plans, programs to help retain business, and advocating for policies that enhance the region’s economic competitiveness.
Photograph By DANIEL RIVERA
A recent decision by the Texas Water Development Board to approve a $5.4 million loan for Edinburg’s water treatment services also provides additional independent and positive light on the strength of the city’s economy, and the integrity of its city government, according to the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The Edinburg EDC, whose Executive Director is Agustín García, Jr., 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. According to the required analysis by that state agency, “the financial sustainability indicators for the city are strong. The city shows that it has the ability to repay its debt. The city scored well on other indicators showing the overall health of the city.” Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, who on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, was reelected to a new four-year term, reflected on how the action by the Texas Water Development Board is further evidence of the vitality of Edinburg as a place in which to invest, work and live. “I applaud Mayor Richard García and the Edinburg City Council for working together with the State to invest in infrastructure for the city’s future growth and provide safe drinking water to the citizens of Edinburg,” said Hinojosa. “Clean water and wastewater services are essential to the development and health of our communities. The impact of this infrastructure improvement will promote economic development and safeguard against public health concerns.”
Featured: Leaders gathered in front of the Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg in support of migrant farmworkers from the Rio Grande Valley during the 1966 melon strike that featured a walk from Starr County through Edinburg to Austin seeking better working conditions and pay for workers, which helped ignite the Chicano Movement in Texas.
Photograph Courtesy LA UNÍON DEL PUEBLO ENTERO (LUPE)
Edinburg and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Friday, September 9, 2016, will serve as sites for the 50th anniversary celebration of the 1966 melon strike by Texas farmworkers that resulted in more civil rights for labor and Hispanics, and helped ignite the Chicano Movement in Texas.The event, which is being hosted by the United Farmworkers, will begin at 9 a.m. at the courtyard of the International Trade and Technology Building at the Edinburg university, 1201 West University Drive. At 9:30 a.m., participants will continue with a march to the Edinburg City Hall Courtyard, followed by a program inside the adjacent City Auditorium, located at 415 W. University Drive, beginning at 10 a.m. The announcement of the upcoming celebration came on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, during the public comment portion of the Edinburg City Council meeting at Edinburg City Hall. As part of that news, Mayor Richard García and the City Council – Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember J.R. Betancourt, and Councilmember David Torres – unanimously approved a city proclamation recognizing the impact and importance of the 1966 melon strike on the Valley and Texas. García also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Mayor and Edinburg City Council.