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RAIL - INTERMODAL - TRUCKING - TRANSLOADING - WAREHOUSING Rio Valley Switching Co. 101 N. 21st Street McAllen, TX 78501 956-971-9111 Phone 956-971-9114 Fax www.RioValleySwitching.com

“The Valley Logistics Solution”


CONTENTS The Region

7

President’s Welcome. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Economic Allies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Mission: An International Gateway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 COVER STORY

Aviation & Aerospace - SpaceX Writing a New Chronicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 San Juan - Moving Forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 A New Dawn in San Benito . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The City With a Smile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 RGV Construction Trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Gateway To The RGV

38

Topography Map. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Where Availability Meets Opportunity . . . . . . . . . . 40 The Skies Are NOT Our Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Valley International Airport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 What’s in the Box. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 The Rio Valley Switching Co. Evolution . . . . . . . . . . 48 Port of Brownsville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 I-69: An Interstate Highway with International Significance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Traffic Counts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Our Communities

Labor Force Training

Beyond the Numbers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 State’s Relative Strength . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Top Financial Institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Accolades. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 State & Local Economic Development Incentive Programs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

The Corporate Community

64

Training, Colleges & Universities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Labor Resource . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Future Texas Workforce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 South Texas College: Fostering Student & Community Success. . . . . . . . 68 Business Profiles By County. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Income By Industry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 A New University. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

87

Lone Star National Bank: The Valley’s Bank . . . . . . 87 Corporate Business Climate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Harlingen’s Conceptual Industry Clusters. . . . . . . . 90 Major Employers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Projected Cost Estimate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Finding a Local Contractor or Architect. . . . . . . . . . 96 Hidalgo County Drainage District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

Border Bridges (POE)

102

COVER STORY

State of the Art - International Bridges . . . . . . 102 Worlds Apart But on the Same Page . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Progreso LPOE & Cold Storage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Border’s First Rail Line in Over a Century . . . . . . . 114

57

City & County Population. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Regional Population. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Projected Population Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 RGV Demographics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

78

Our Economy

Trade Clusters

117

Gearing Up! Diversifying Our Economy & Talent Base . . . . . . . 117 One of a Kind Tire Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 A Brighter Tomorrow - NAAMREI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 FibeRio Spins a Future of Nanofibers. . . . . . . . . . . 126 RGV Industrial Parks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Healthcare. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Valley Baptist Medical Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Texas Oncology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 Strength in Retail Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 Exploring an Investment in Retail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 We’re Lobbying for Your Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 Annual Retail Sales Exceed $13.5 Billion. . . . . . . . 148 Everything is Bigger in Texas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 A Passion, An Obsession (Valley Golf) . . . . . . . . . . 155 Economic Impact of Nature Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . 156 Gateway Reaching New Heights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158

Quality of Life

159

Cost of Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 It Doesn’t Get Any Better . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 Hike & Bike Trails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 Theatre & Performing Arts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 Hidalgo Celebrates 10 Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 How Great Thou Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 McAllen Chamber’s Creative Incubator. . . . . . . . . 169 Museums & Attractions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170

Home Sweet Home

172

Housing Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172 Housing Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 Choices in Housing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 The Weslaco Advantage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176

Our Youth (K-12)

178

School Districts: Coordinate Your School & Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . 178 RGV School Districts K-12. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 It All Started With An Idea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 PSJA ISD: College Ready/ College Connected/College Complete . . . . . . . . . 184 McAllen ISD Lauded as National Leader . . . . . . . . 188

RGV Utilities

192

Electricity Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 MVEC Concern for Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 Brownsville PUB Undertaking Resaca Restoration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196 RGV Water Suppliers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 Knowing Our Water & Sewer Rates. . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Demystifying Desalination Drought & Diversification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 Harlingen Irrigation District Touted as Global Leader. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 Telecom & Broadband. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206 Fiber Optic Technology is Here . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209

Photo: Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts

4

Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


Rio Grande Valley Partnership • Publisher/Editor ©2013 All Rights Reserved. Rio Grande Valley Economic Development Guide® Is published biennially Rio Grande Valley Partnership - Regional Chamber 322 South Missouri Ave., Weslaco, TX 78596 956-968-3141 • www.rgvpartnership.com Printed at Gateway Printing

Chairman of the Board Spencer Bell President/CEO Julian Alvarez Admin. Assistant/Business Barometer Sandra De Los Santos Publication/Media Director Fawn Foudray-Golich Membership Director Daniela Villarreal Finance Director Febe Zepeda

The Rio Grande Valley Economic Development Guide® is published biennially and distributed by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership - Regional Chamber, 322 South Missouri Ave., Weslaco, TX. Copyright 2013 filed by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership - All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, disseminated, published, or transferred in any form or by any means, except with prior written permission of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership - Regional Chamber. The publisher gratefully acknowledges the contributions of each community and artist made toward the esthetic compilation of this issue. The Rio Grande Valley Partnership publishing is neither a sponsor of or committed to the views expressed in these articles. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information and listings contained herein, the Rio Grande Valley Partnership - Regional Chamber assumes no liability for errors or omissions. We extend our most sincere gratitude and appreciation to The University of Texas-Pan American Data Center, notably Michael Uhrbrock and Saigiridhar Mullapudi who contributed countless hours gathering facts, data and graphics for the vividly detailed charts. Additionally, the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center at UTPA; Henry Oh, Regional Director and Michael Blum, Partner & Managing Broker of NAI Rio Grande Valley for their guidance, patience and encouragement throughout the development of this project. Furthermore; we thank our State and Federal Officials, City and County Officials, Navigation Districts, School Districts, Ports of Entry, MPO’s, EDC’s and connected allies of the Rio Grande Valley.

Photo: Port of Brownsville, Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts, McAllen International Airport, IDEA Public Schools

6

Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


THE REGION

Rio Grande Valley Partnership’s President’s Welcome Message The Rio Grande Valley Partnership was formed in 1944 to advocate for the region by coordinating programs to advance regional economic development. No job is more important than safeguarding the past and leading the way. We have united civic-minded citizens and separate municipalities Julian Alvarez with a conviction that our President/CEO region is far stronger when banded together. Today, the mission of the Partnership still echoes the founding words of Lloyd M. Bentsen, Sr., its first chairman of the board: “For a long time public-spirited citizens have spent a great deal of their individual time and effort trying to further projects that were of inestimable value to the entire citizenship of the Valley. The inattention of the average citizen to those efforts must have been heartbreaking to those who were making this tremendous unselfish sacrifice and we must all realize that had the Valley been united in one large organization to support these workers and work for the general good and advancement of the Valley, the task would have been much easier and the results tremendous by comparison.” The Partnership advocated the construction of a causeway to South Padre Island in 1945; and soon after, it compiled more accurate weather forecasting and improved regional mail service, bringing airmail service to the Valley. By 1951, the Partnership secured the Port Isabel Lighthouse state park designation; and a year later, it hosted the Valley-wide Highway Conference, surveying future infrastructure needs and submitting them to the State Highway Department. Additionally, the Partnership developed a Waste Disposal Program to safely remove citrus canning refuse from fifty Valley plants unaccepted by municipal plants because of high acidity content.

In succeeding decades, the Partnership continued its work conducting an underground water survey of the four counties; spearheaded and fundraised for El Morillo Drain, which still makes water drinkable; obtained a four-year status for Pan American College; and secured the first international flight from the Valley. In 1975, we brought the first Legislative Tour to the Valley, introducing state representatives and senators to the region, a tradition the Partnership still coordinates biennially. The Partnership also aligned the first "Rio Grande Valley Day" in Austin during 2013. In 1983 we published “Valley Goals 2000,” a 148-page master plan for the region; to date, all those goals, including a medical school, have been realized. In 1986, the Partnership created a Commercial Zone covering four Valley counties so that Mexican trucks could travel freely, facilitating Maquila work which had been limited to only twenty of eighty packing sheds. The Partnership facilitated the Empowerment Zone application in 1994, bringing a $40 million federal investment towards infrastructure and job development. This vision of regional unity for regional advancement endures. Perhaps most notably, the Rio Grande Valley Mobility Task Force, organized by the Partnership to initiate the I-69 project over fourteen years ago, presented to the Texas Transportation Commission a comprehensive Mobility Plan. Drawing on convictions of our founders and strength of our members, we have created a legacy of opportunity and accomplishment. YOUR Regional Chamber is committed to being a partner in business - whether advocating at the legislative level or supporting your expansion projects, the Partnership Board and staff want to ensure - we are your one voice in this region. Julian Alvarez, President/CEO Visit us: www.rgvpartnership.com or call (956) 968-3141

South Padre Island CVB

Economic Development Guide

7


THE REGION

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ALLIES The Core Values of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership - Regional Chamber of Commerce have been: • To promote the economic and strategic importance of the Rio Grande Valley as a region; • To provide quality research and technical support to business, industry, and government; • To continue an aggressive role in the promotion of Valley agriculture, education, manufacturing, trade and tourism.

REGIONAL PARTNERS LOWER RIO GRANDE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL 301 W. Railroad Weslaco, TX 78596 Phone: (956) 682-3481 Fax: (956)631-4670 www.lrgvdc.org RIO SOUTH TEXAS ECONOMIC COUNCIL P.O. Box 4360 Edinburg, TX 78540 Phone:956-928-0641 www.riosouthtexas.com info@riosouthtexas.com

CAMERON COUNTY BROWNSVILLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL 301 Mexico Blvd., Suite F-1 Brownsville, TX 78520 Phone: (956) 541-1183 Fax:(956) 546-3938 www.bedc.com info@bedc.com

GREATER BROWNSVILLE INCENTIVES CORPORATION P.O. Box 911 Brownsville, TX 78522-0911 Phone: (956) 548-6020 HARLINGEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 2424 Boxwood St., Suite 125 Harlingen, TX 78550 Phone: (956) 216-5081 Fax: (956) 216-5085 www.harlingenedc.com info@harlingenedc.com LA FERIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 115 E. Commercial La Feria, TX 78559 Phone: (956) 797-2261 Fax: (956) 797-1898 www.cityoflaferia.com LAGUNA VISTA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 122 Fernandez Street Laguna Vista, TX 78578-2676 Phone: (956) 943-1793 LOS FRESNOS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 200 North Brazil Street Los Fresnos, TX 78566 Phone: (956) 233-5768 PORT ISABEL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 305 E. Maxan St. Port Isabel, TX 78578 Phone: (956) 943-2682 Fax: (956) 943-2029 www.portisabel.org edcadministrator@copitx.com PRIMERA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 22893 Stuart Place Road Primera, TX 78552-2520 Phone: (956) 423-9654 SAN BENITO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 401 N. Sam Houston Blvd. San Benito, TX 78586 Phone: (956) 361-3804 Fax: (956) 361-3817 www.sbedc.com

10 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 600 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, TX 78597 Phone: (956) 243-8416 Fax: (956) 761-4523 www.southpadreislandedc.com info@southpadreislandedc.com

HIDALGO COUNTY OFFICE OF HIDALGO COUNTY JUDGE RAMON GARCIA 1615 S. Closner – Ste. J Edinburg, TX 78540 Phone: 956.318.2600 Fax: 956.318.2699 ALAMO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 715 E. Business 83 Alamo, TX 78516 Phone: (956) 787-6622 Fax: (956) 787-7766 www.alamoedc.org CITY OF ALTON DEVELOPMENT CORP. 509 South Alton Blvd Alton, TX 78573 Phone: (956) 432-0760 DONNA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 307 S. 12th Street Donna, TX 78537 Phone: (956) 464-6917 Fax: (956) 464-6921 www.ci.donna.lib.tx.us CITY OF EDCOUCH 211 W. Southern Ave. Edcouch, TX 78538-0100 Phone: (956) 262-2140 EDINBURG ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 602-B West University Dr. Edinburg, TX 78539 Phone: (956) 383-7124 Fax: (956) 380-2738 www.edinburgedc.com info@edinburgedc.com


THE REGION

ELSA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. P.O. Box 427 Elsa, TX 78543-0427 Phone: (956) 262-2127 HIDALGO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 800 E. Coma Hidalgo, TX 78557 Phone: (956) 843-2302 Fax: (956) 843-2722 LA JOYA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. P.O. Box H La Joya, TX 78560-0160 Phone: (956) 580-7000 MCALLEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 6401 S. 33rd St. McAllen, TX 78501 Phone: (956) 682-2875 Fax: (956) 682-3077 www.medc.org info@medc.org MERCEDES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 417 S. Ohio Mercedes, TX 78570 Phone: (956) 565-2230 Fax: (956) 565-3252 www.investinmercedes.com MISSION ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 901 Business Park Dr., Ste 200 Mission, TX 78572 Phone: (956) 585-0040 Fax: (956) 581-0470 www.missionedc.com PALMVIEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 400 W. Veterans Boulevard Palmview, TX 78572-8778 Phone: (956) 581-7494 PEテ選TAS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 111 S. Main St. Penitas, TX 78576 Phone: (956) 581-3349

PHARR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 1215 South Cage Blvd. Pharr, TX 78577 Phone: (956) 402-4332 Fax: (956) 475-3441 www.pharredc.com info@pharredc.com CITY OF PROGRESO P.O. Box 699 Progreso, TX 78579-0699 Phone: (956) 565-0241 SAN JUAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 430 N. Standard San Juan, TX 78589 Phone: (956) 783-3448 Fax: (956) 783-5413 www.sanjuanedc.com info@sanjuanedc.com SULLIVAN CITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 500 Cenizo Sullivan City, TX 78595 Phone: (956) 485-2828 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. OF WESLACO 275 S. Kansas St., Ste. A Weslaco, TX 78596 Phone: (956) 969-0838 Fax: (956) 969-8611 www.weslacoedc.com

STARR COUNTY ESCOBARES INDUSTRIAL FOUNDATION P.O. Box 907 Escobares, TX 78584 Phone: (956) 847-1222 RIO GRANDE CITY 4B ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 101 South Washington Street Rio Grande City, TX 78582-4415 Phone: (956) 487-0672

Source: Economic Development Corporation Report - Fiscal 2010-2011

12 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

RIO GRANDE CITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 405 E. Mirasoles Rio Grande City, TX 78586 Phone: (956) 487-3476 Fax: (956) 487-3526 www.rgcedc.org ROMA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 77 Convent, Roma, TX 78584 Phone: (956) 849-1411 Fax: (956) 849-3963 www.cityofroma.net STARR COUNTY INDUSTRIAL FOUNDATION 601 E. Main St. Rio Grande City, TX 78582 Phone: (956) 487-2709 Fax: (956) 716-8560 www.starrcounty.org info@starrcounty.org

WILLACY COUNTY RAYMONDVILLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP. 700 FM 3168 Raymondville, TX 78580 Phone: (956) 689-1862 Fax: (956) 689-1863 www.raymondvilletx.us/EDC.html rayecodev@prontonet.net


THE REGION

MISSION Mission, Texas is an international gateway with worldclass infrastructure connecting your business to local, international and global communities. Tech Plastics or the 100 new jobs that will be created later this year.

Entrepreneurship

©MPC Studios

Business Retention and Expansion In April 2012, Mission EDC played a role in assuring that the newly formed alliance between Hi-Tech Plastics and Royal Technologies had a smooth transition. Hi-Tech Plastics, a custom molder in Mission, Texas and Royal Technologies, a supplier to automotive, office furniture and consumer products companies in Hudsonville, MI formed this alliance to better serve their customers in this region. The alliance resulted in significant capital investment and an increase of approximately 30 jobs. This alliance proved to be a great match and in early December 2012, Royal Technologies acquired Hi-Tech plastics with the intention of increasing their presence in the RGV. In April 2013, Royal Technologies announced they had chosen to expand its operations in Mission where they acquired 12 acres in the Mission Expressway Business Park. They plan to construct a Class A, 325,000 square foot manufacturing facility and create at least 100 jobs. Royal Technologies has about 900 employees throughout the U.S, not including the 85 jobs that were included in the acquisition of Hi-

In early 2012, the Mission Economic Development Corporation and the Mission City Council unanimously approved the creation of Ruby Red Ventures, a $100,000 small business fund that aims to nurture entrepreneurial spirit and promote the creation of innovative businesses in the City of Mission. In particular, it sought to encourage entrepreneurially oriented Rio Grande Valley residents to expand and/or launch new ventures in Mission. The goal of Ruby Red Ventures is to allow participants to gain a better understanding of how to develop and follow a realistic business plan, as well as, provide the participants with forums in which they develop skill in presenting their ventures.

Infrastructure and Transportation One of the first actions taken by our forward thinking board of directors was to establish the Mission Corridors Fund. The Mission Corridors Fund allowed the EDC to set aside $1million to be used specifically on the Shary Retail Corridor (Shary Rd beginning on Business Hwy 83 to Military Rd.) and the Anzalduas International Corridor (beginning on HWY 83 and ending at the port of entry). Further, Mission EDC believes in strengthening the vital regional transportation arteries. Mission EDC continues to serve as a member of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership which

14 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

lobbies for regional mobility at both the state and federal level and the 281 Coalition that garners support for the highway’s inclusion in plans for Interstate 69, a trans-national trade route envisioned to be the shortest and fastest link between the economic centers of the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Recruitment Mission has seen unprecedented growth in the last several years; hence, the continued interest from the retail industry. Due to the steady rise in population, Mission is continuing to see an influx of eateries, such as, Freebirds World Burrito, Genghis Grill, and Dickey’s BBQ, as well as, the staple chain pharmacies, CVS and Walgreens. Thanks to assets such as the Cimarron Country Club and the 6,000-acre master-planned community, Sharyland Plantation, Mission remains one of the most attractive cities in the Rio Grande Valley with its high population density, above average household incomes, and ever increasing traffic counts. It is for this reason that Mission EDC maintains a strong presence at the various International Council of Shopping Centers conferences. Nonetheless, Mission EDC remains focused on strengthening its industrial base. Its proximity to Mexico and an international gateway with world-class infrastructure, Mission is perfectly situated to attract new manufacturing businesses.

Source: Mission EDC


Our justice system is intended to make people whole, not rich. Unfortunately it is too often abused by those who view our legal system as a lottery where even dubious claims can lead to a huge payday. We all pay the price when our civil justice system is abused.

Lawsuit abuse costs jobs. Lawsuits and the threat of liability make it that much harder for employers to succeed and provide the jobs we need. We need more jobs, not more lawsuits.

Lawsuit abuse hurts patients. Patients pay the price as doctors leave the state or stop practicing because of the fear of lawsuits.

Lawsuit abuse costs families. Every lawsuit means higher liability costs that are passed along as higher prices on the goods and services we all need. When it comes to lawsuit abuse, we all pay – and we all lose. That is why we can’t give up this fight now! Bill Summers (1938-2009) considered CALA among the most important projects undertaken by the group now known as the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. 16 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


During the 1980s, the Rio Grande Valley became a magnet for frivolous lawsuits that ended in windfall awards for plaintiffs. The expense of fighting spurious claims threatened to push some businesses into bankruptcy, while others were forced to close because of skyrocketing liability insurance premiums. In 1990, Sam Sparks told Alan Johnson, chairman of the Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce, that the organization should do something to stop the barrage of lawsuits. The idea was presented to the Chamber’s executive committee, which immediately approved the idea as a chamber project. Bill Summers, Chamber President/CEO, suggested the name, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse or CALA. Summers became the public face of CALA as the grassroots organization worked on its goals: to educate the public about the costs to consumers of out-of-control litigation, and to advocate for tort reform, changing state laws to make the justice system more reasonable and less costly.

“We wanted people to understand what lawsuit abuse means to…Mom-and-Pop businesses, to you and me as consumers,” Summer’s said. “All we’re talking about is putting back some common sense into our civil justice system.” Letters were mailed to every Valley business explaining CALA’s two-prong plan. Individuals and small businesses responded with contributions that ranged from $25 to $1,000 to further CALA’s goals. Through radio interviews, billboards, and bumper stickers, CALA told the story that, “When it comes to lawsuit abuse, we all pay - we all lose.” Unwarranted lawsuits resulted in lost jobs and lost businesses. The Valley medical community was hit hard by unwarranted lawsuits. In fact 86 percent of claims against Texas physicians resulted in no payment to the patient, however; the financial cost and impact to reputations were devastating. Doctors and hospitals gave enthusiastic financial and vocal support to CALA, which caught the attention of the American Tort Reform Association. The group bought rights to the CALA name and began building statewide and national sup-

port. In 1995 the Texas Legislature passed civil justice reforms, followed in 2002 by tort reform which addressed medical malpractice issues. Texas emerged as a national model for reform.

Fighting Lawsuit Abuse Matters Lawsuit abuse affects us all by reducing access to health care, driving up the cost of consumer goods, and limiting job creation. Lawsuits can force doctors out of the exam room, leaving communities without the health care they need. We pay more for everyday products and services because of junk lawsuits. Employers look closely at a state's legal climate when choosing a location to expand or relocate. When it comes to lawsuit abuse, we all pay – and we all lose.

Mission and History CALA is a non-profit, grassroots coalition dedicated to educating the public about the cost and consequences of lawsuit abuse, challenging those who abuse our legal system, and returning common sense and fairness to our courts. Created by citizens concerned about junk lawsuits and the price we all pay for lawsuit abuse, CALA is supported by small businesspeople, health care providers, consumers and taxpayers. Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) groups are located throughout the state. Launched in Texas' Rio Grande Valley in 1990, the CALA movement has spread across the country. In the Lone Star State alone, more than 25,000 Texans support CALA chapters in East Texas, Houston, Central Texas, Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grande Valley. Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Rio Grande Valley P.O. Box 1499, Weslaco, Texas 78599-1499 Phone: (956) 968-3141 Fax: (956) 968-0210 Website: http://www.rgvcala.com For more information, contact: Febe Zepeda, Executive Director Economic Development Guide

17


THE REGION

Writing A New Chronicle The Most Successful Commercial Aerospace Startup In History Could Add Brownsville To Its Portfolio of Sites By Brownsville Economic Development Council

company, which could be the case for Brownsville vying for a rocket launch site. And SpaceX, the commercial space industry’s most successful start-up, has proven to the world that a young Nine days, 7 hours and 58 minutes. entrepreneur with a childhood dream, can in fact launch a From the launch to splashdown, it was the first chapter of rocket to space, connect a capsule to the International Space what will be the commercialization of space transportation, Station, deliver cargo, and return to Earth, both successfully and otherwise known as space history. profitably. He also did it by way of naming the Falcon 9 rocket And the Brownsville Borderplex is eagerly hopeful and after the famed ‘fastest ship’ the Millennium Falcon, a spaceship optimistic the next chapter will be written here. from one of his favorite films as a child – Star Wars. “In economic development, this is a project called a “Welcome home baby,” SpaceX Founder, CEO and Chief community changer,” said Sandra Lopez Langley, chair of the Designer Elon Musk said in a post-flight briefing after the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, which is working Dragon capsule returned to earth by splashing into the Pacific with the Brownsville EDC in maintaining a competitive edge as Ocean. “It’s like seeing your kid come home.” Brownsville is one of four areas in contention for a rocket launch The Dragon was named after the fictional “Puff the Magic site and launch command center. Dragon,” from the hit song by music group Peter, Paul and Mary. “In my time living in South Texas, never have I seen an Musk said he used the name because many critics considered opportunity come our way such as SpaceX. We hope this his goals impossible when he founded SpaceX in 2002. project is the beginning of an aerospace cluster and hope to Today, SpaceX holds a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to one day be referred as the next ‘Space City USA,’” she said in make 12 robotic supply missions to the space station. This regards to the nicknames flight, though, was a of Houston and Titusville, demonstration flight and Florida. not part of the 12. It also In economic was SpaceX’s second development, two types of demonstration flight under projects are handled by the 2006 COTS (Commercial cities, those that are Orbital Transportation generated from the Services) program with current industries that are NASA. the genetic makeup of a SpaceX is headquartered certain community or in Hawthorne, California, in region. Such as the case for Courtesy of SpaceX a former facility used to Brownsville, it would be in assemble fuselages for traditional manufacturing, An artist rendition of the Falcon 9 with mounted Dragon Capsule is depicted traveling Boeing 747s in the outskirts in space. On May 22, Space X performed a successful launch of its Falcon 9 Rocket from where a company hires of Los Angeles. Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida hundreds to design, He also has a research and engineer, manage and manufacture from start to finish a certain rocket test center in McGregor, Texas, just west of Waco, a product. launch site at Cape Canaveral, and is building a second launch Best put, Brownsville makes things. site at Vandenberg, California. The other type of project is one that's outside of the box, or Cape Canaveral was the site where the Falcon 9 launched the outside of the norm. Dragon capsule and forever carved it into the chronicles of Such would be the case of the relationship between SpaceX space history. and Brownsville, having no presence of a space industry in the When asked for his initial thoughts on Dragon’s capture and region but with hopes this company will be the catalyst for move into the history books, Musk stated “just awesome.” sparking the aerospace cluster. The process starts with one Two words that clearly define the culture of SpaceX.

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Courtesy of NASA With one second to go, the Falcon 9 Rocket is shown lifting off on May 22 on NASA TV. The launch was SpaceX’s second demonstration flight under the 2006 COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) program with NASA.

Launching the Falcon 9 A towering white rocket, with SpaceX etched in blue on its side along with the U.S. flag and the emblem of the Dragon, the nose cone covering the Dragon capsule and the countdown begins at around 20 seconds. Hardly being able to contain the excitement, the last five seconds are the longest. A split of a second before the countdown, the launch Courtesy of NASA begins with a slight flash of the 9 Merlin rocket engines A training Space Shuttle sits idle on the parking lot of the Kennedy Space Center at Cape nestled at the base of the 180-foot space-bound Canaveral, Florida on May 22 as the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket leaves a trail of light on its way vehicle. to orbit Earth and eventually connect to the International Space Station. In just another half-second, the pitch black night sky capsule to the International Space Station. lights up and its jet-like noise reverberates through the dense The launch occurred shortly after 3:44 a.m., EST, from Cape brush and shallow flats. Canaveral, Florida. “The streak from the rocket just lit up the night sky,” said “Today marks the beginning of a new era in exploration,” said Jason Hilts, BEDC President & CEO, who was on hand with Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, after the liftoff at the Cape. SpaceX for the historic launch. “And while there is a lot of work ahead to successfully Off is the Falcon 9 Rocket carrying the Dragon capsule into complete this mission, we certainly are off to a good start,” he space. A few minutes later, it’s safely and strategically orbiting added. the planet we call home – Earth. Good start indeed. The dragon was successfully maneuvered Now, imagine it in Brownsville, Texas, says Hilts. and put in a position for the ISS astronauts to “grab it” with the SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., made mechanical arm. space history on May 22 by becoming the first private Musk said the Dragon performed very well, exceeding enterprise to launch a spacecraft and connect an unmanned Economic Development Guide

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expectations on some fronts, including solar panels SpaceX announced the first commercial contract for that produced more power than expected. There were the Falcon Heavy rocket. a few problems during the mission, starting with an “SpaceX is very proud to have the confidence of aborted first launch attempt as the Falcon 9’s rocket Intelsat, a leader in the satellite communication engines were starting. A problem with the Dragon’s services industry,” Musk stated in a press release. laser range-finding device that caused some “The Falcon Heavy has more than twice the power unplanned maneuvers during the approach to the of the next largest rocket in the world. With this new station was also fixed, according to Musk. vehicle, SpaceX launch systems now cover the entire Days later, the spectrum of the launch needs Dragon was emptied of for commercial, civil and its contents, repacked national security customers,” he with materials coming added. back to earth, detached If developed in Brownsville, and on its way back to the Falcon Heavy would be the Pacific Ocean for flying twice from the proposed splashdown. launch site at Boca Chica beach. On June 13, the This is also the first capsule was on exhibit commercial contract for at SpaceX’s testing and SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch research center in vehicle. Under the agreement, McGregor. an Intelsat satellite will be The capsule served as launched into geosynchronous the backdrop for a press transfer orbit (GTO). conference hosted by “Timely access to space is an Courtesy of NASA essential element of our Musk and joined by Bolden to deem the commercial supply chain,” said Elon Musk smiles from the Launch Command Center at the mission a success. Thierry Guillemin, Intelsat CTO. SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California when the The Dragon “As a global leader in the Dragon Capsule connects with the International Space Station With the success of satellite sector, our support of on May 25. the demonstration successful new entrants to the mission, SpaceX now needs the official confirmation commercial launch industry reduces risk in our from NASA and then it will begin fulfilling cargo business model. Intelsat has exacting technical resupply missions to the ISS later this year. standards and requirements for proven flight heritage SpaceX plans another launch from the Cape in for our satellite launches. We will work closely with September. SpaceX as the Falcon Heavy completes rigorous flight The company has a contract for 12 cargo missions tests prior to our future launch requirements,” Thierry while it continues to develop the manned version of said. Dragon for flying astronauts to the ISS and elsewhere The Falcon Heavy in low Earth orbit. Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket in the While the Dragon was attached to the Space world and historically is second only to the Apollo-era Station, astronauts unloaded 1,146 pounds of cargo, Saturn V moon rocket. Capable of lifting 53 metric including food and other crew provisions, student tons (117,000 pounds) to low Earth orbit and more experiments and a laptop that Dragon had delivered than 12 metric tons (26,000 pounds) to GTO, Falcon from Cape Canaveral. That, among other checklist Heavy will provide more than twice the performance items crossed off, helped prove to NASA that its plan to low Earth orbit of any other launch vehicle. to turn over such tasks to private companies could be This will allow SpaceX to launch the largest successful and may ultimately allow the space agency satellites ever flown and will enable new missions. to save the money it pays Russians for transportation. Building on the reliable flight proven architecture of The Dragon is the only spacecraft capable of the Falcon 9 vehicle, Falcon Heavy is also designed for returning a significant amount of cargo from the exceptional reliability, meeting both NASA human space station. Other cargo vehicles serving the space rating standards as well as the stringent U.S. Air Force station, those from Russia, Japan and the European requirements for the Evolved Expendable Launch Space Agency, can carry cargo, however, all vehicles Vehicle (EELV) program, making it an attractive are destroyed after leaving the station. solution for commercial, civil and military customers. Intelsat signs contract New commercial-only launch site Shortly after the successful launch, Intelsat, the In April of 2012, the site selection of a proposed world's leading provider of satellite services, and launch site for SpaceX became public after a notice of

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a public scoping hearing in Brownsville was posted with the U.S. Federal Register. The Notice of Intent to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement was filed by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation. Since, Brownsville has received considerable national attention and is being monitored closely by its competitors for the project – Puerto Courtesy of NASA Rico, Georgia and Florida. The notice states the site would Bystanders cheer as the Falcon 9 makes its historic support up to 12 commercial launches launch and lights up the night sky on May 22 at the per year, including two Falcon Heavy Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida launches and ten Falcon 9 launches. It also states that “before anything could be done on the project, an environmental impact statement, a public scoping period and a public scoping meeting would need to be held.” The EIS process took a little over a year and in April of 2013, the FAA published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the SpaceX Launch Site and found “no impacts would occur” that would prevent the FAA from issuing a permit to SpaceX for rocket operations in Brownsville. The FAA’s 350-page draft environmental impact statement on the proposed SpaceX project at Boca Chica beach details possible ways a rocket launch site there might affect the environment, including threatened or endangered species. The document also recommends actions that could minimize those impacts while still allowing SpaceX to proceed, if a permit were granted by the FAA. As of press time, the federal agency was preparing to host a second a final public hearing on May 7, 2013, to solicit feedback on the Draft EIS. The FAA was expected to finalize the report in August and make a decision to let SpaceX launch or not in September. The company plans to make an announcement in regards to a site location after the FAA’s decision on the EIS. The first public scoping meeting was May 15 at the ITEC Campus where more than 550 showed at the event and many of which personally met the SpaceX delegation of six which were on hand for questions about the project. Of the 550, about 75 signed up to speak, of which 73 spoke in favor of the project, one neutral and one negative. The project is at the hands of the FAA as it continues to collect data from federal public agencies in regards to risks which would need to be mitigated in order to build a launch site near Boca Chica beach. The proposed site is a private tract of land, just south of Highway 4 about a quarter-of-a-mile before the Gulf of Courtesy of NASA Mexico. The site is three miles north of the Rio Grande and five miles south of South The Falcon 9 hovers in space directly above Morrocco during its orbit and before it connected to the Padre Island. International Space Station. The long stretch of baron land before getting to Boca Chica beach is extremely similar to the long stretches of protected wildlife property at Cape Canaveral, an

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The city of San Juan offers a developing and growing consumer base as the center of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo urban area. Because of this ideal location, San Juan has great locations to exploit market opportunities. With an average annual population growth rate of 2.5% per year, an expected increased internal demand for products and services will provide business opportunities in coming years. Marked improvements in educational attainment from our youth have the potential to translate into higher purchasing power over time as they find more and better employment opportunities in the area that stem from current initiatives by the ISD and the EDC. There are over a million visitors to the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle - National Shrine with minimal seasonality effects. San Juan’s industry cluster of high-end luxury car-dealerships attracts high-end purchasing power market(s) into the area with over $75 million in gross sales for the first three quarters of 2012. Its School District, PSJA-ISD, the second largest in South Texas, is preparing the next generation of well-trained certified skilled labor force. It has been recognized as a State and National leader in early college work and dual enrollment.

Emerging Labor Force Availability Health Sciences • Medical Billing & Coding • Certified Nursing Assistant Law and Public Safety Corrections and Security • 911 Emergency Telecommunications Operator • Security Services STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math • Automotive Technology • Construction Technology • Welding

GROWING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES • Luxury Car Dealership Industry, Tourism, Retail INDUSTRY • Luxury Car Dealerships (Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi) EMERGENT INDUSTRIES • Allied Medical, Cyber Security, Dispatch/Phone Operators, Retail (Shopping, Dining) TOURISM • Religion (Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle - National Shrine), Historical/Heritage (San Juan Downtown), Winter Texans, Birding/Outdoors

SAN JUAN EDC 420 N. Standard Ave., San Juan, TX 78589 • (956) 783-3448 DISTANCE TO MAJOR CITIES

LOCAL COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES

McAllen...................................3 miles Reynosa ...............................15 miles San Antonio ........................244 miles Houston ..............................358 miles Austin .................................318 miles

South Texas College offers a range of Certificates and Associates Degrees, as well as a Bachelor of Applied Technology.

24 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

The University of Texas Pan-American offers 57 Bachelors and Master's Degrees, as well as three Doctorates in Business Administration.


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Courtesy of NASA The Dragon capsule is seen on the earth’s horizon connected to the International Space Station

26 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

environmentally sensitive area which has flourished due to the presence of the launch sites there. The drive out to Vandenberg from Lompoc, three hours northwest of Los Angeles, also is long and desolate, however, with mountains. The difference between a site in Brownsville and the current SpaceX launch sites in Florida and California is accessibility. “It would be a purely commercial launch site, whereas Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg are actually Air Force bases – in the case of Cape Canaveral, it’s sort of a joint NASA-Air Force activity,” Musk recently told MSNBC. “So it makes sense to have NASA and Defense Department launches occur from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg, but then probably shift most of our commercial launches to a purely commercial launch site that’s really aimed at being the best customer for a commercial provider,” he said. “Just as there are Air Force bases and commercial airports … there’s some logic to separation.” Economic Impact Casually decked out in jeans Official Launch Patch and a short-sleeve shirt, Musk hosted a press conference at his McGregor facility to showcase the charred Dragon capsule. A few hours later, a personal twitter message from Gov. Rick Perry shows a photo him and a suited Musk together at the Texas Capitol where they discussed SpaceX’s proposed commercial launch site for the Brownsville area. “Great meeting with SpaceX’s Elon Musk, a true space pioneer,” stated the Governor in his twitter shortly after them getting together. In the meeting, it was noted that South Texas is the leading candidate for a launch site for the company. The two met in regards to potential incentives and other issues for the project. Earlier in June, Perry wrote to Musk “Please be assured that as you seek to expand the capabilities of SpaceX to launch spacecraft, whether unmanned or manned, the State of Texas stands ready to support you and the work of your talented employees who are blazing a new trail into space.” Texas, however, is facing stiff competition from Florida and Puerto Rico. As the newspaper The Orlando Sentinel recently reported: The ongoing rivalry only has intensified I the weeks since SpaceX became the first; None of the rivals have made


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public the incentives each is offering; And the stakes are high – hundreds of good paying jobs at SpaceX, the supporting companies that would pop up around its operation, as well as the prestige. Space Florida, the economic development entity courting SpaceX, has publicly said it intends to be aggressively competitive by way of financial incentives. Florida also plans to offer converting a pad formerly used by the space shuttle at Kennedy Space Center into a facility for SpaceX, recently reported by The Sentinel. In addition to significant financial incentives and tax breaks, Puerto Rico’s economic and commerce department is selling its geographic location for the project, being that it’s closest to the equator than Brownsville for Cape Canaveral. A key for the launch site is being close to the equator, in a remote and unpopulated area, and next to a major body of water where a rocket can launch in an easterly direction. “Brownsville and the Governor’s Official Launch Patch Office have collaborated in the past for major projects. Our city and state is well known for being assertive in corporate recruitment and now is the time to aggressively go after a project, such as SpaceX,” said Mayor Tony Martinez, who since day one, has been instrumental in directing different public and private entities to support the project in the Greater Brownsville Borderplex. The company plans to invest $80 million in a launch site and launch command center on a footprint no larger than 5 acres of land. Once fully operational, SpaceX would create upward of 600 direct jobs with a direct economic impact of more than $51 million annually. SpaceX, which employs about 1,800, first started with 10 employees in 2002. Of those 10 was Steve Davis, the project leader for the Brownsville site. “It is really important to go to a place that wants us to be there and to know both the positive impacts and the negative impacts and really judge that,” Davis told The Brownsville Herald during an interview at the May 15 public scoping hearing. “That is kind of the stage we are in right now. It has been very, very positive, which has been great.”

This article appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of the Brownsville Economic Journal, a publication of the Brownsville Economic Development Council. For more information visit: www.BEDC.com Economic Development Guide

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A New Dawn in San Benito The City of San Benito is achieving noteworthy progress in virtually every aspect of its economic development, from a resurgence of construction to quality of life improvements. By maintaining high-grade marks in its financial standing from Fitch, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s bond ratings, the City has demonstrated its continued fiscally sound performance over the past decade.

Benito offers tremendous opportunities in academic success for youth, while a variety of skills, science, medical and professional-based institutions of higher learning are also available nearby for academic advancement.

With three separate and distinct, highquality school districts in the city, San

The construction of a $30 million fouryear medical school adjacent to San

CENSUS DATA Current Population (2013)........................................................25,200 Population Projection (2018)...................................................27,575 Youthful Population (between ages of 10 and 50).........41.92% Population Change Since 1990.................................................37.76 Labor Force (2013) .........................................................................9,949 Employment Rate (2013).............................................................85.59 Unemployment Rate (2013).......................................................14.38 Labor Force (2018).......................................................................11,106 SALES TAX TRENDING UP Total 2010.........................................................................$3,557,853.46 Total 2011.........................................................................$3,656,542.50 Total 2012.........................................................................$3,824,529.39 2010 RETAIL SALES HEALTHY General Merchandise Stores.........................................$20,597,000 Gasoline Stores ..................................................................$15,685,000 Food and Beverage Stores.............................................$13,422,000 Motor Vehicle Stores........................................................$10,617,000 Food Services .....................................................................$13,422,000 WEATHER Annual Average Temperature..................................73.8 degrees F

32 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Benito is scheduled in the near future adding to the area’s limitless educational and growth opportunities. Yet another means of economic development is the continued growth of tourism and ecotourism, which will expand the Winter Tourist presence in San Benito. Miles of waterfront land situated on the scenic Resaca that meanders through San Benito remains ripe for development and opportunity.

MAJOR EMPLOYERS 2012 ................Market/Taxable Value AEP Texas Central Co. ......................................................$13,094,372 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ...........................................................$8,315,753 Curves International ..........................................................$7,624,188 Wal-Mart Stores East Inc...................................................$5,965,238 HE Butt Grocery Co.............................................................$5,782,611 MHC Fun N Sun Resort LLC..............................................$5,258,188 Ballenger Const. Co. ...........................................................$5,258,188 Delphi Automotive Systems LLC ...................................$4,736,290 Villages at Paso Real Apartments..................................$4,279,507 GilldUp II LLC Auto Sales ..................................................$4,279,507 CERTIFIED TAX ROLLS 2012 Land (Homesites/Non-homesites/Ag.)...................$193,850,494 Improvements.................................................................$389,034,742 Non Real (Personal)..........................................................$97,817,611 Market Value ....................................................................$689,702,847 U.S. COST OF LIVING INDEX (2012) Least Expensive Ranking Urban Areas...................................Index 1. Harl-San Benito, TX......................................................................81.8 2. McAllen, TX ....................................................................................85.4 3. Norman, OK....................................................................................86.6 4. Ardmore OK ...................................................................................85.9 5. Memphis, TN..................................................................................86.0


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Heavin Resaca Trail features a picturesque waterfront walkway for walkers, joggers and bicyclists seeking a healthier lifestyle. • The planned Paso Real Retail District on US Expressway 77 offers retail prospects an outstanding location. • Downtown San Benito is undergoing a revitalization campaign involving business owners and managers. • The San Benito Industrial Park offers an impressive diversity of companies serving local, regional and export markets and quick commercial access to Mexico through the city-owned Free Trade International Bridge.

Photos and copy courtesy of City of San Benito and San Benito EDC

San Benito’s Rich Cultural Heritage San Benito History Museum Learn how San Benito grew from a harsh arid environment to a thriving agricultural and cultural center in the tropical Magic Valley of Texas. Hear about the development of the Spiderweb Railroad that brought pioneers to and from the Valley. Find out how San Benito was known under several different names before it took its official moniker...all at the San Benito History Museum.

Freddy Fender Museum Visitors will get a rare glimpse of who Freddy Fender was at the museum carrying his name. From a musical career ignited in the late 1950s when he was known as the BeeBop Kid, Freddy Fender evolved into a multi-Grammy Award Winner with recordings of Before the Next Teardrop Falls and Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.

Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame & Museum The Conjunto sound is a unique style of American folk music, originating in San Benito, Texas. Developed by Narciso Martinez and Santiago Almeida, the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame & Museum presents the progression of the artists who made these melodies into songs that were performed around the region and the world. The vibes of those musicians are found in the solid, bright, snappy and rhythmic tunes that are perfect for dancing and romancing.

Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and development of the rich and cultural heritage of South Texas. An annual Conjunto Music Festival attracts large crowds, a Writers’ Forum cultivates chronologies of local lifestyles, accordion lessons perpetuate the unique music of the area and arts are regularly showcased in this distinctive center. Economic Development Guide

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The City with a Smile

RAYMONDVILLE ©MPC Studios

EDC Assistance We offer application assistance for infrastructure, real estate property and trained workforce as well as assistance in expansion or remodeling and assistance with new construction. Apply for State and Federal Funding.

Tax Abatements Tax abatements are incentive tools used by the city and county to induce economic development in the area. Consideration for abatements is directly linked to the quality of primary jobs created and the amount of investment made in the community. Tax abatements and/or other economic development incentives are granted to companies on an individual basis. This allows for specially tailored incentive packages created based on proposed projects and again, the quality of primary jobs created and amount of investment made in the community.

Once an incentive package is deemed appropriate, the terms and conditions shall be put forth in writing for presentation to the governing bodies of the entities for approval. Discussion for consideration of tax abatements must be done prior to the start of any project relocation or expansion.

• Removing semidry county statutes to become a WET CITY • NEW - Truck Stop • Global Company - created 65 new jobs • Texas Capital Fund (TCF) Grant awarded for above mentioned project • Applying for 2nd TCF Grant manufacturing company relocating from Portland, Oregon

Significant Projects

Education Projects

• Wind Turbine expansion - moving into 15,000 sq. ft. building. The project, located approximately 5 miles east of Raymondville and the first wind energy (Magic Valley Wind Farm) project in Willacy County, is powered by 112 Vestas 1.8 megawatt turbines providing more than 200 megawatts (MW) of power - enough to provide clean power to more than 60,000 households in Texas.

• Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Texas State Technical College (TSTC) for Distance learning, GED, Tutoring and Accuplacer • MOU with Texas Southmost College (TSC) for Distance learning, Dual enrollment for RISD, San Perlita ISD, Lasara ISD, Lyford ISD • CIAP Grant County for Land Coastal Project/Laguna Madre

Source: Raymondville EDC

Top Ten Employers Raymondville ISD ................................................................................387 Bureau of Prisons.................................................................................397 City of Raymondville ............................................................................71 Wal-Mart.................................................................................................135 Willacy Co. Regional Detention Center .......................................220 Corrections Corporation of America ............................................155 Willacy County .....................................................................................155 Valley Telephone Co-op....................................................................170 HEB..............................................................................................................97 BCFS............................................................................................................60 34 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Raymondville, Texas Date of incorporation March 3, 1921 Date first charter adopted March 30, 1955 Date present charted adopted March 30, 1955 April 2, 1963 amended April 17, 1970 amended Form of government Commission - Manager Area 2.85 sq. miles – 1.832 acres


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©MPC Studios

©MPC Studios


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RGV CONSTRUCTION TRENDS Combined Residential & Commercial Buildings are inspected for compliance with Building, Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical, Energy and Zoning Codes, and any special inspections needed to address unusual hazards. BID is the approval authority for all inspections regulated by the following Technical Codes: Commercial Building Code (International Building Code) Applies to all structures other than one-and-two-familydwellings and townhomes, and applicable to construction when a building is remodeled or there is a change of occupancy.

Residential One-and-Two-Family Dwelling Code (International Residential Code) - Applies to all one-andtwo-family-dwellings and townhouses, and includes mechanical, plumbing and energy system requirements. The remainder of the codes are as follows: Plumbing Code (Uniform Plumbing Code) Commercial Mechanical Code (Uniform Mechanical Code) Electrical Code (National Electrical Code) The Energy Code (International Energy Conservation Code)

CITY

YTD 2008

YTD 2009

YTD 2010

YTD 2011

YTD 2012

Alamo Brownsville Donna Edinburg Elsa Harlingen Hidalgo La Feria La Joya Los Fresnos McAllen Mercedes Mission Palmhurst Palm Valley Palmview Pharr Progreso Rancho Viejo Raymondville Rio Grande City Roma San Benito San Juan South Padre Weslaco

2,024,935.00 170,127,927.00 8,738,680.00 92,313,721.00 11,619,501.00 53,227,611.00 22,425,533.00 80,551,321.00 373,800.00 3,750,285.75 158,540,212.00 15,798,525.93 70,479,882.34 455,000.00 185,197.00 100,000.00 68,655,434.00 193,000.00 5,553,115.68 843,917.88 3,148,485.00 983,000.00 12,665,210.00 11,215,989.39 80,597,281.24 34,286,460.00

7,728,012.00 92,539,249.00 4,327,720.00 87,555,077.00 257,000.00 78,586,188.00 26,830,660.00 13,204,795.00 1,191,528.00 2,183,580.29 97,838,037.00 19,009,333.88 57,713,469.77 2,549,230.00 128,900.00 79,521,375.00 82,482,128.00 N/A 2,089,437.04 18,073,236.00 12,659,267.00 2,406,650.00 8,644,076.00 16,062,357.00 26,842,694.44 29,189,363.00

34,248,162.57 119,114,505.00 59,991,505.00 112,336,281.00 102,600.00 41,350,257.00 16,414,706.00 775,730.00 N/A 2,666,441.80 135,705,194.00 25,245,588.00 72,598,511.51 2,576,075.00 3,085,650.00 1,187,214.00 65,672,194.00 N/A 6,285,864.71 149,391.00 17,153,831.00 160,000.00 19,050,239.00 25,099,614.00 81,155,606.60 43,450,658.01

19,004,030.00 166,652,427.00 2,170,499.00 120,344,194.00 163,374.00 47,892,909.00 7,945,260.00 2,808,755.00 N/A N/A 144,027,853.00 14,365,958.50 58,599,434.90 2,000,000.00 0.00 1,708,308.00 110,795,865.00 N/A 2,742,575.42 4,152,003.00 8,865,696.00 955,500.00 5,815,216.00 21,835,283.00 25,690,904.00 15,201,816.00

41,598,539.00 88,117,287.00 4,705,211.00 100,406,474.00 N/A 80,635,407.06 14,545,950.00 144,808,125.00 N/A 4,298,198.00 172,333,430.00 4,526,894.00 47,841,004.08 6,248,872.00 173,350.00 1,024,249.00 121,309,287.14 N/A 4,510,502.27 2,013,116.00 N/A 5,290,000.00 7,241,102.00 10,014,998.00 10,390,572.70 18,506,202.00

TOTALS

908,854,025.21

769,613,363.42

885,575,819.20

783,737,860.82

890,538,770.25

Source: Business Barometer/Sandra De Los Santos - RGV Partnership

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GATEWAY TO THE RGV

Rio Grande Valley Topography

Topography and Soils - Four major physiographic subdivisions of North America are found in Texas: the Gulf Coastal Plain in the east and southeast, the North Central Plains running north to southeastward in the center of the state, the Great High Plains in the northwest, and the TransPecos Mountains to the extreme west and southwest. The topography of Texas rises gradually from east to west, reaching its highest point in Guadalupe Peak (2,667 m/8,749 ft.) in the Trans-Pecos. The Gulf Coastal Plain, extending about 80 to 100 km (50 to 60 mi) inland from the Gulf of Mexico, from sea level to an altitude of about 150 m (500 ft), has a rolling-to-hilly surface. Its western part consists of a fertile belt of land of irregular width known as the Blackland Prairie. Inland from the Coastal Plain, the North Central Plains of Texas are the southern extension of the Great Plains and reach southwestward across the entire state to the Rio Grande. The plains' southern portion is known as the Edwards Plateau. The border of the North Central Plains on the west is the Staked Plain, or Llano Estacado in Spanish. It consists of a flat-topped tableland with an elevation of about 1,200 m (4,000 ft). Lying between Mexico and New Mexico, the barren Trans-Pecos region in southwestern Texas alternates between rolling hills in the Pecos River valley and the isolated high ridges of the Guadalupe and Davis mountains. Texas is divided into 14 land resource areas that have similar or related soils, vegetation, topography, and climate. The soils vary greatly in depth from one region to another and show different physical properties; all need fertilizing, however, and some need irrigating to make them productive. Source: Western Governors University - Austin

38 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


GATEWAY TO THE RGV

Source: Tobin Map Collection, University of Texas At Austin Geology Library

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GATEWAY TO THE RGV

Where Availability Meets Opportunity

Railroad The Valley offers three rail systems for accessibility to the Port of Harlingen and Port of Brownsville. Rio Valley Switching Company transports from Mission to Harlingen (from south McAllen and to north Edinburg), Union Pacific a Class 1 Railroad; transfers from Harlingen to Brownsville and is the main line coming from Corpus Christi into the Valley, and Border Pacific Railroad Company passages west of Mission to Rio Grande City. Additionally, once inside the Port of Brownsville, Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad moves the freight from Olmito, TX to the Port of Brownsville. Rio Valley Switching Company, Border Pacific Railroad Company and Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad are Short Line Railroads.

When Abraham Lincoln is a founding father of your company, people expect great things from you. From building the nation's transcontinental railroad to delivering the goods Americans use every day, the men and women of Union Pacific continually work to exceed those expectations. Union Pacific Railroad is prepared to ship just about anything: coal and chemicals, food and forest products, automobiles and agricultural products - safely and on time. No rail? No problem. Their shipping capabilities are not limited to their extensive system map.

McAllen Foreign Trade Zone The McAllen Foreign Trade Zone (MFTZ), a not-for-profit corporation, was the first non-seaport foreign trade zone in the United States. A foreign-trade zone is a “free port� that is regulated by U.S. Customs. Raw materials and/or finished goods may be brought into the Zone from another country duty-free and then may be stored, assembled, repackaged, graded, manufactured, or re-exported without payment of U.S. Customs duties. Source: City of McAllen, Union Pacific, RGV Partnership - Regional Chamber of Commerce Photos: Rio Valley Switching Co.

40 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


GATEWAY TO THE RGV

Ports of Entry Seaport: The Port of Brownsville provides the most efficient services to facilitate the international movement of goods between Mexico and the United States. At the Port of Brownsville, the land transportation of Mexico is linked with the Inland Waterway System of the United States. Open since 1936, the Port of Brownsville is located at the southernmost tip of Texas at the end of a 17 mile (27 kilometers) channel that meets the Gulf of Mexico at the Brazos Santiago Pass. The City of Brownsville is 2 miles (3 kilometers) to the southwest, and lies adjacent to the Rio Grande River providing a convenient gateway to Mexico. The Port of Harlingen is a shallow draft barge port that provides efficient and economical transportation to points as close as Corpus Christi and as far as the Great Lakes. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway provides over 1,300 miles of protected waterway. The Harlingen channel is maintained to a width of 125 feet and a depth of 12 feet and is supplied by the Arroyo Colorado, a fresh water river. Terminal docks and other facilities ease shipments into and out of The Port of Harlingen. Over 150 acres of on-and-off channel sites are available for industrial firms requiring economical transportation and attractive land lease rates. The port is also an important link in the comprehensive transportation network of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

Customs Ports of Entry Veteran's International Bridge Gateway International Bridge Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge Free Trade International Bridge at Los Indios Donna - Rio Bravo International Bridge Progreso - Nuevo Progreso International Bridge Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge McAllen-Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge Anzalduas International Bridge Los Ebanos Ferry Rio Grande City - Camargo International Bridge Roma - Ciudad Miguel Alemรกn International Bridge

Other Ports Servicing Site Altamira, Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo, Mexico

Reynosa, Mexico - Reynosa is the first city directly located on the I-69 Corridor, the shortest route between the Industrial Northeast of the United States, Canada, and the largest market in the center of Mexico. The Reynosa area is considered the best place to locate your National Distribution Center. These centers could potentially source Asia, Europe, Mexico, South America, and the United States. Reynosa is home to: 4 Major Highways, Airport, Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus, Railroad Systems and Intermodal Terminals. Source: Photos: Port of Brownsville (top), Harlingen EDC (right)

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GATEWAY TO THE RGV

1. Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport 700 Amelia Earhart Dr, Brownsville, TX (956) 542-4373 FlyBrownsville.com FlySouthpadre.com 2. Gulf Aviation 5001 Bodenhamer Avenue Harlingen, TX 78550 (956) 423-7317 www.gulf-aviation.net

The Skies Are NOT Our Limit Since March 9, 1929 Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport has been a leader in air cargo and domestic and international passenger service. It is also home to the largest foreign trade zone in the United States. Tomorrow, Brownsville’s airport will play a major role in the launch of spacecraft into outer space. The airport almost touches the border and it is a short twenty miles to South Padre Island, by far the closest airport to America’s best family beach (according to the Travel Channel), which is served by a one-dollar Airport-Island shuttle service. The airport also features an award-winning restaurant. American Airlines, United Airlines, and AeroMexico provide non-stop service to Dallas, Houston and Monterrey with connections to hundreds of destinations all over the world. McAllen International Airport (MFE) is owned and operated by the City of McAllen and serves over 700,000 passengers annually. United and American Airlines offer daily, non-stop service from McAllen to Houston and DallasFort Worth. Allegiant Air offers non-stop service to Las Vegas four to five times’ weekly and seasonal service to Orlando, Florida during the summer months and winter holidays. Aeromar offers non-stop service from McAllen to Mexico City three times per week and will increase its frequency to five times per week beginning June 1st. Valley International Airport (VIA) is the largest airport in South Texas with nonstop service from Southwest Airlines, United Express, and Sun Country. Nearly 700,000 passengers and visitors walk through this terminal annually. Air cargo is serviced by a wide-body fleet from FedEx and DHL. It is the only airport in the Rio Grande Valley offering above and below wing, ground handling service for airlines. VIA launched its Ground Services Department as part of a strategic business decision to offer carriers more options when considering flights to Harlingen. Source: Photos: Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport, Valley International Airport Copy: Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport, City of McAllen, Valley International Airport

42 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

3. McAllen Miller International Airport 2500 S Bicentennial Blvd. McAllen, TX 78503 (956) 681-1500 www.mcallenairport.com 4. McCreery Aviation Co., Inc. 2400 S 10th Street McAllen, TX 78503 Phone: (956) 686-1774 Fax: (956) 686-3221 Emergency Number if main line is out of service: (956) 369-3026 www.mccreeryaviation.com 5. Rio Grande City Airport 381 North FM 3167 Rio Grande City, TX 78582 (956) 487-0672 6. South Texas International Airport at Edinburg 1300 E FM 490 Edinburg, TX 78542 Phone: (956) 292-2047 Fax: (956) 292-2016 www.cityofedinburg.com/airport 7. Valley International Airport 3002 Heritage Way Harlingen, TX 78550 (956) 430-8600 www.flythevalley.com 8. Weslaco Mid-Valley Airport 1909 Joe Stephens Ave Weslaco, TX 78596 (956) 969-0291 www.weslacoairport.com


GATEWAY TO THE RGV

Rio Grande Valley Airports

6

5

7 2 3

8 4

1

Source: Mike Blum, Texas A&M

Highways The Valley is served by U.S. Expressway 83, in McAllen it is a 6 lane divided highway that connects to and U.S. 281, a 4 lane divided roadway, which is a designated I-69 Corridor. U.S. Hwy 281 and 83 connect with I-37 and I-35 running North and South. The I-69 Corridor, extends from Mexico City to Canada, will run through McAllen and connect with other Interstate Highways throughout the U.S. Highway 281 is a designated leg of the I-69 Corridor.

Source: City of McAllen

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GATEWAY TO THE RGV

The 2,300-acre Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas is strategically located in the center of the Rio Grande Valley. We offer an on-site customs facility and 600 acres in a state enterprise zone

VIA. Where business comes to take off.

and foreign trade zone with full city utilities. We’re close to the port of Harlingen, the port of Brownsville, and the Free Trade International Bridge at Los Indios. Call us today to ďŹ nd out what VIA can do to help move your business forward.

#VTJOFTT%FWFMPQNFOU0GmDFt)FSJUBHF8BZt)BSMJOHFO 59t

w w w . f l y t h e v a l l e y. c o m

VALLEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT The Rio Grande Valley’s Most Business-friendly Airport Valley International is the largest airport in South Texas and located in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley with proximity to important strategic infrastructure: • 4 mi. to US Expressway 77/83 (I-69) • 3 mi. to Port of Harlingen • 27 mi. to Port of Brownsville • 14 mi. to Free Trade International Bridge at Los Indios • Borders FM 509 The onsite industrial air park is ideal for new industry and manufacturing. It offers existing infrastructure or the ability to build to suit, as well as

incentives from the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation. State training funds are also available through Texas State Technical College, located immediately west of the airport. VIA is the largest airport in South Texas and offers nonstop service from

44 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Southwest Airlines, United Express, and Sun Country. Nearly 700,000 passengers and visitors walk through our terminal annually. Air cargo is serviced by a wide-body fleet from FedEx and DHL. To learn more, call VIA Aviation Director, Michael Browning today at: 956-430-8605.


GATEWAY TO THE RGV

We Deliver What’s in the Box Border Transload and Freight Services, LLC Border Transload and Freight Services (BTFS), is a comprehensive truckload carrier that services throughout the continental United States and intermodal service throughout the Texas Valley and Northeast Mexico. Whether it’s a once a month truckload shipment or a unique, customized dedicated lane, BTFS meets their client’s specific needs. If you’re looking for intermodal capacity options on lanes moving into or out of the Texas Valley region, they can help. Their asset based truckload product offering includes the following equipment types to meet multiple transportation mode demands throughout the United States: Dry-van Trailers, Flatbed Trailers, Drop-deck Trailers

and Bulk Plastic Trailers. They understand their role in the supply chain process and their ultimate goal is to be the transportation partner that adds value to your operation. Ironhorse Resources, Inc. - IHR logistics, LLC Use Ironhorse Resources experience to help you determine the most efficient transportation modal for your supply chain needs. They scrutinize every partner carrier thoroughly to bring you capacity and the peace of mind that your freight will reach your customer intact and on-time. They pride themselves on honest, open communication to provide you cost-effective supply chain results. Across town, or coast to coast, IHR Logistics is here to help. Source: Photos: Rio Valley Switching Co.

Bus Service Valley Transit is a full-service bus company serving South Central Texas and Northern Mexico with intercity, charter, tour and transit operations and Package Express service.

service throughout the City of Brownsville with 16 bus routes running from 6:30 A.M. - 8:00 P.M., Monday through Saturday.

The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council provides public transportation in urbanized and nonurbanized areas of the lower Rio Grande Valley through its transit department Valley Metro. Valley Metro operates routes in Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties.

Additionally, the City of McAllen’s Transit Department operates the Central Station, the City’s International Transit Terminal Facility. The bus system hub out of the downtown terminal facility connects passengers to an array of international, national, regional, and intercity destinations. The peak annual number of trips provided was 426,593.

The City of Brownsville encourages everyone to try using the transit service. Brownsville Metro provides bus

Source: Photo: McAllen Metro

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M c A llen I N T E R N AT I O N A L

A I R P O R T

YOUR TRAVEL IS OUR BUSINESS

McAllen International Airport Border Business - One of the most effective economic development tools the City of McAllen provides is air service to and from important Mexican cities. Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world and Aeromar offers non-stop service so international travelers can easily commute. Through the partnership Aeromar holds with United Airlines, passengers can earn miles in the MileagePlus frequent flyer program and redeem for travel to over 1,250 destinations worldwide. Aeromar also offers vacation packages, special VIP flights and “FastPaq” cargo and courier service.

www.allegiantair.com 1-702-505-8888

Cargo Operations - The McAllen Airport announced a new partnership with United Parcel Services (UPS). Founded in 1907, UPS is currently the world’s largest packing delivery organization and provides specialized transportation and logistics services. UPS operates daily cargo flights to and from the McAllen International Airport, providing faster shipping delivery times to McAllen and Rio Grande Valley residents.

www.aa.com 1-800-433-7300 (English) 1-800-633-3711 (Spanish)

Recognizing Our Future - McAllen International Airport entered a construction phase of its terminal expansion project in July of 2012, with completion expected in 2014. The construction project will add an additional gate to the existing terminal, for a total of 6 gates and much needed space. The renovation will nearly double the TSA area for quicker processing, add a post-security concession area for better food and retail, increase the hold room/seating areas for passengers and improve the look and feel of the terminal.

www.united.com 1-800-525-0280

Tourism - McAllen continues to be one of the top performing locations for Allegiant’s Las Vegas route. They will resume the Orlando route at the end of May for the Summer 2013.

www.mcallenairport.com • 956.681.1500

www.aeromar.com.mx 1-855-237-6627


METRO McALLEN HOURS Monday-Saturday, 6 A.M. - 11 P.M. Sundays, 8 A.M. - 8 P.M.

1501 W HWY 83, McAllen, TX For More Info: (956)681-3500

Serving the City of McAllen

Adults..........$1.00 Elderly..........$0.50 w/ ID

Student........$0.50 w/ ID

Medicare......$0.50 w/ ID

Visit us at: metromcallen.com & facebook.com/metromcallen

Children.......$0.00 7 & under w/ Adult


GATEWAY TO THE RGV

RIO VALLEY SWITCHING

The Rio Valley Switching Co. Evolution From the original railroad that made way through brush and isolated land into the fertile farming ground of the Rio Grande Valley, the Rio Valley Switching Co. (RVSC) was born. A number of contractors took 10 mile track sections at a time, completing a total of 40 track miles each month. Johnston Brothers was one of the core contractors connecting the RGV to the rail system that ended in Robstown, TX. In those days, the railroad was called St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Railway Co. (SLB&M); connecting the Southern tip of Texas into the rail network. On July 4th, 1904 the SLB&M rail delivered its first passenger train into Brownsville, TX from Robstown, TX. Competition came about in 1927 when the Southern Pacific railroad extended its tracks from the old San Antonio to Aransas Pass line, from Falfurrias to Brownsville. SLB&M rail started construction in May of 1904 from Harlingen, TX to connect Sam Fordyce, culminating in December of that year. SAM FORDYCE, TX was ten miles west of Mission in southwest Hidalgo County. Samuel Fordyce, Sr., was a St. Louis financier who, along with others, promoted construction of the SLB&M, creating a transfer point for merchandise bound for Rio Grande City. Railroad names and ownerships have changed from “St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Railway Co.” to the “New Orleans, Texas & Mexico Railway, Co.” then “Missouri Pacific Railroad” to the current owner “Union Pacific Railroad”. Rio Valley Switching Company has a long term lease to operate this branch line with Union Pacific. The railroads back then brought many benefits to an area, such as property values and shorter transit time between points. In 1904 an acre of land worth $2.50 per acre, would increase after a rail was laid. The adjacent acreage increased someplace between $10.00

48 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


Today, RVSC moves a more diverse variety of products for both local and Mexican businesses that benefit significantly by shipping via railroad. RVSC is a family run company that takes pride in providing unbeatable service and a commitment to support growth in the markets they serve. In 1993, RVSC took over a long term lease from Union Pacific Railroad to operate the rail lines from Harlingen

heading west to Mission and south McAllen heading north to Edinburg. The RVSC had established customers on the rail line that when combined moved 2,300 loaded railcars in 1993 as operations started. Working to find ways to meet customers’ needs through innovation and creativity the RVSC rapidly grew volume to 5,080 loaded railcars in 1994. Steady growth of existing clientele and new corporations added to the line by means of direct rail connections and “Transloading”. RVSC moved over 10,000 loaded railcars in 2003. To put transporting loads of goods into perspective; one rail car can transport 150,000 Lb. of goods, equivalent to three truckloads in weight and in some cases railcars have a capacity of 200,000 Lb. equivalent to four truckloads depending on the commodity and type of vessel. RVSC added “Transloading” services in early 1999 to help non-rail connected customers in the USA and Mexico take advantage of freight savings through rail and to be able to receive rail shipment quantities, cross dock their merchandise into trailers and/or store their merchandise for a brief period of

time at company owned facilities for furtherance into their establishments. This includes palletized products, bulk commodities and liquids. Due to its big success, this department grew into its own company name what is now known as Border Transload and Transfer, Inc. (BTT). BTT operates on a 35 acre site in the Donna, TX and currently handles a wide range of paper products, lumber products, ferrous & nonferrous metals, bulk & packaged plastics, bulk and packaged silica sands & Proppants (ceramic sand), gypsum and canned goods among others. They have also added intermodal ramp services and trucking solutions through Border Transload and Freight Services, LLC which enables them to provide complete logistic solutions for companies on and across the border. Therefore, RVSC and family businesses can provide rail, truck, transloading, warehouse and intermodal solutions. For more information, contact: (956) 971-9111 or see advertisement on the inside front cover of this publication. www.RioValleySwitching.com Photos and copy courtesy of Rio Valley Switching Co.

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GATEWAY TO THE RGV

and $30.00 an acre on a typical 5 mile swath of land on either side of the railroad. A trip to Alice, TX on stagecoach from the Valley took 40 hours of continuous ride time and with the train, a similar trip to Robstown was accomplished in under 10 hours. Now, a variety of fruits and vegetables could move to northern markets quicker and more affordably which helped boost both production and sales. Volumes started with 761 railcars in 1908; making an explosive jump to 16,016 railcars in 1926 and reaching a peak of 62,332 railcars in 1946. Other commodities also benefited from the railroads. Cotton, oils and cattle could reach markets quicker, cheaper, fresher and better condition. The main drivers that helped the Rio Grande Valley grow during this era where irrigation systems and railroads.


GATEWAY TO THE RGV

A Deepwater Facility that Continues to Grow and Keep up with the Ever-Changing Global Marketplace Opened in 1936, the Port of Brownsville is located at the southernmost tip of Texas at the westernmost terminus of a 17 mile (27 kilometers) channel that flows into the Gulf of Mexico at the Brazos Santiago Pass. The City of Brownsville is two miles (3.3 kilometers) to the southwest, and lies adjacent to the Rio Grande River and provides a convenient gateway to Mexico.

The Port of Brownsville is a deepwater seaport located directly on the U.S./Mexico border. It is a major center for intermodal transportation and industrial development. The Port is in the business of facilitating the movement of cargo world-wide by offering vessel, barge, rail, truck and pipeline transportation. The Port offers excellent development opportunities with 40,000+/- acres of land. Infrastructure includes 12 cargo

50 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

docks, 5 liquid cargo docks, 650,000 square feet of covered storage and 2.85 million square feet of laydown and/or open storage. As a bulk commodity port, the Port of Brownsville has developed a versatile marine terminal operation for both liquid and dry bulk cargo. Petroleum products, gasoline, diesel, LPG, steel, bulk materials, ores, scrap and aluminum are some of the many


The Port of Brownsville is Grantee to Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) # 62. While at the FTZ, foreign or domestic merchandise can be stored, assembled, tested or otherwise manipulated or destroyed without duties being paid. The Port’s FTZ # 62 is one of the leading Foreign Trade Zones in the Nation having ranked in the Top 25 for merchandised received and ranked number 4 in the Nation for handling exports. The leading commodities include petroleum products, steel and lubricating oils.

commodities routinely handled at the Port. The Port offers excellent services to facilitate the international movement of goods between Mexico and the United States. The land transportation system of Mexico is linked with the world via ocean going vessels arriving and departing at the Port of Brownsville. Mexico’s land transportation system is also linked to the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway and the Inland Waterway System of the United States via the Brownsville Ship Channel.

The current economic importance of the Port of Brownsville is clearly shown in an economic impact report prepared by Martin Associates/John C. Martin Associates, LLC of Lancaster, PA, summarizing the economic impacts generated by the marine cargo activity at the Port. According to the report, vessel and cargo activity at the marine cargo facilities and ship repair/oil rig maintenance operations generated 21,590 jobs in Texas in 2011. Of these 21,590 jobs, 11,230 jobs directly impact the local and regional economy. The economic impact of direct business revenue generated by the marine cargo activities and the

GATEWAY TO THE RGV

demands as needed. BRG interconnects with Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) for northbound cargo and with Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM) for southbound cargo.

impact locally is an estimated $925 million. Overall, marine cargo activity at the marine terminals at the Port of Brownsville and the ship and rig repair operations generated a total of $2 billion of total economic activity in the State of Texas. In addition to overall jobs and economic activity, income and local expenditures are estimated at $771.3 million. Local and State taxes generated by the economic activity at the Port of Brownsville totaled $134.1 million. The Port of Brownsville offers multiple modes of transportation which include ocean-going vessels, major U.S. and Mexican truck lines, rail service by the KCSM, UP and BNSF to destinations in Mexico and the U.S., barge service via the U.S. Intracoastal and Inland Waterway System, shortsea shipping via the M-10 Marine Highway, pipeline access to U. S. and Mexican terminals, and air freight service at the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport. Port services include fuel bunkering, construction and refurbishing of offshore drilling rigs, domestic and international container service, bulk terminaling for liquids, ship repairing and dismantling/recycling, breakbulk/heavy lift/project cargo, steel fabrication, grain handling and storage, LPG storage/distribution, crane maintenance and repair, and towing & tug services, to name a few. For additional information, visit: www.portofbrownsville.com.

As a subsidiary of the Port of Brownsville, the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad (BRG) has provided Port customers efficient and reliable railroad service since 1984. Railroad operations are 24/6 and with its qualified personnel and extensive fleet of locomotives, the BRG is ready to meet its customers’ Economic Development Guide

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GATEWAY TO THE RGV

An Interstate Highway with International Significance In 1991, political alliances connecting Port Huron Michigan, Evansville, Indiana, Memphis, Tennessee, Texarkana, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo began in earnest. Congress established the I-69 as a high priority corridor in 1991 and it remains a federal priority. By 1994, the Alliance for I-69 Texas was successful in securing funding and legislation to advance the development of the idea of I-69. The Alliance is a non-profit made up of local governments, economic development groups, port authorities and private sector associate members. The main driver behind the alliance was back in 1994-1995 over 75% of

US-Mexico trade traveled diagonally across the states slicing a corridor between Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas without a designated interstate. It was clear then that as NAFTA took hold the need for high-speed and safe highways was of a national importance. Local and state support for I-69 development is at an all-time high as the pace of tangible progress quickens. In the summer of 1999 a delegation of 50 Hidalgo County elected officials made a trip to Washington DC at the invitation of Congressman Ruben Hinojosa and Solomon Ortiz. At a luncheon with then Secretary Transportation Rodney Slater, the attendees heard

52 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

from the Secretary that he had called the chairman of Texas Highway commission to direct TxDot to install I-69 corridor signs along US 281, US 77 and US 59. Several months later those signs went up and have been a continuous reminder of the importance of I-69 to the South Texas Border region.  It remains the front door to the US from Mexico, not the back door.  More than a decade has passed and in the interim, milestone federal legislation approved in 2012 and supported by the Alliance, removed a requirement that completed highway segments must be connected to an existing interstate highway before they could be


GATEWAY TO THE RGV

added to the Interstate Highway System. To underscore the significance of I-69 consider these facts: • There are 165 Ports of Entry in the US. Since NAFTA was adopted in 1994, most of the ports have enjoyed substantial growth in binational trade between NAFTA partners. • In 2011, Rio Grande Valley Ports, (Brownsville-Roma) taken as a whole, rank 5th nationally, in binational trade with $34.5 billion. • Hidalgo County alone, ranked 7th with $23.5 billion. • Tens of thousands of American jobs are directly linked to this CROSS BORDER trade “Texas stands alone as the leader in economic development and job creation and providing the infrastructure for that activity is a daily undertaking for our team.  We are moving forward with multiple mega projects across the state, including the I-35 corridor expansion and I-69 from South Texas to East Texas. Activities like these undoubtedly helped us surge to the top of the ranks;” said Ted Houghton, Transportation Commission Chairman. Executive Director Phil Wilson of TxDOT said, “Texas is making the proper investment in infrastructure and being recognized as a national leader proves we are on the right track.” Access to all modes of transportation is the key to getting products to market and people on the move. CNBC measured the vitality of each state’s transportation system by the value of goods shipped by air, land and water. They also looked at the availability of air travel in each state,

and the quality of the roads. “Good transportation infrastructure is vital to achieving economic development in our state. It’s nice to see our efforts are paying off here in Texas,” said Representative Larry Phillips, Chair of the House Transportation Committee. “We will continue to work hard in the upcoming session to ensure good policy and funding is available to help TxDOT succeed.” “We continuously work with all of our partners to address transportation needs throughout the state—from highways to ports to rail to aviation,” Wilson said. “Through the collaboration with local communities, we are able to deliver needed improvements now and provide the foundation for the future. Economic development, commerce, safety and quality of life are all tangible benefits Texans will experience with the development of the interstate. I-69’s expansion means growth for communities in Texas and attracting businesses that want to move products in all directions throughout Texas and the nation. Additionally, I-69 will serve as a vital artery for exporting Texas products,”he stated.

As part of a recent I-69 Day in Austin, Gov. Rick Perry stepped forward to thank members of the Alliance for I-69 Texas, members of the Legislature and others for their persistence in 20 years of pursing an interstate highway from Texarkana to the Rio Grande. “To all who fought this good fight, some of whom are not here, we say thanks to all of them for their vision, for their stick-to-itiveness, for their love of Texas. We need to continue to invest in transportation projects like I-69," Perry said. He also conveyed; investments will enable Texas to maintain the prosperity that we've seen for generations to come. He noted that I-69 is contributing to that prosperity as existing highways are upgraded into new area including the Rio Grande Valley which has never been served by the Interstate Highway System.

Source: Alliance for I-69 Texas

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GATEWAY TO THE RGV

Average Daily Traffic Volume by County

TRAFFIC COUNTS Traffic count information is imperative for both impulsive and destination businesses. The volume and direction of traffic can mean the difference between success and failure for a business. Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) counts can make a site viable to use for a commercial model, or the absence of AADTs may render a great site with visibility and accessibility infeasible.

Starr County

Road Conditions & Emergency Contact Information from TxDOT Shelters and Special Needs Call 2-1-1 Emergency Alert Stations Pharr: CURV 710 AM Corpus Christi: KLUX 89.5 FM San Antonio: WOAI 1200 AM

Hidalgo County

State of Texas www.texasonline.com Texas Department of Transportation www.txdot.gov Highway Road Conditions and Evacuation Routes www.drivetexas.org 1-800-452-9292 Texas Department of Public Safety www.txdps.state.tx.us Governor’s Division of Emergency Management www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem American Red Cross www.redcross.org 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767) For Emergencies: Call 9-1-1

Source: UTPA Data Center

54 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


GATEWAY TO THE RGV

Willacy County

Cameron County

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Source: TX Comptroller, US Census

The South Texas region’s population is growing faster than the state’s, spurred by growth in metropolitan areas. South Texas is over 86 percent Hispanic, and is relatively young compared to the state as a whole. While the region’s educational attainment and personal income are below state averages, they have been increasing at an impressive rate in recent years. The Hispanic population in Texas has increased through immigration, including illegal immigration. The state has the second largest Hispanic population in the United States, behind California. The Hispanic population contributes to Texas having a younger population than the American average, because Hispanic births have outnumbered non-Hispanic white births since the early 1990s. In 2007, for the first time since the early nineteenth century, Hispanics accounted for more than half of all births (50.2%), while non-Hispanic whites accounted for just 34%.

TRADE AREA MAP • 10.3 Million People • 2.7 Million Households • Market within 150 Miles

2000 - 2011 CITY & COUNTY POPULATION CENSUS 2000

CENSUS 2010

CENSUS 2011

2000-2010 2000-2010 Growth % Growth

STARR COUNTY ESCOBARES LA GRULLA RIO GRANDE CITY ROMA

53,597 1,954 1,211 11,923 9,617

60,968 1,188 1,622 13,834 9,765

61,715 1,203 1,642 13,966 9,886

7,371 -766 411 1,911 148

13.8% -39.2% 33.9% 16.0% 1.5%

HIDALGO COUNTY ALAMO ALTON DONNA EDCOUCH EDINBURG ELSA GRANJENO HIDALGO LA JOYA LA VILLA MCALLEN MERCEDES MISSION PALMHURST PALMVIEW PENITAS PHARR PROGRESO PROGRESO LAKES: SAN JUAN SULLIVAN CITY WESLACO

569,463 14,760 4,384 14,768 3,342 48,465 5,549 313 7,322 3,303 1,305 106,414 13,649 45,408 4,872 4,107 1,167 46,660 4,851 234 26,229 3,998 26,935

774,769 18,353 12,341 15,798 3,161 77,100 5,660 293 11,198 3,985 1,957 129,877 15,570 77,058 2,607 5,460 4,403 70,400 5,507 240 33,856 4,002 35,670

797,810 18,895 13,969 16,274 3,256 79,147 5,831 303 11,533 4,105 1,993 133,742 16,175 79,368 2,685 5,632 4,537 72,513 5,671 248 34,872 4,122 36,721

205,306 3,593 7,957 1,030 -181 28,635 111 -20 3,876 682 652 23,463 1,921 31,650 -2,265 1,353 3,236 23,740 656 6 7,627 4 8,735

36.1% 24.3% 181.5% 7.0% -5.4% 59.1% 2.0% -6.4% 52.9% 20.6% 50.0% 22.0% 14.1% 69.7% -46.5% 32.9% 277.3% 50.9% 13.5% 2.6% 29.1% 0.1% 32.4%

CENSUS 2000

CENSUS 2010

CENSUS 2011

2000-2010 2000-2010 Growth % Growth

WILLACY COUNTY LYFORD RAYMONDVILLE SAN PERLITA

20,082 1,973 9,733 680

22,134 2,611 11,284 573

22,095 2,604 11,259 573

2,052 638 1,551 -107

10.2% 32.3% 15.9% -15.7%

CAMERON COUNTY BAYVIEW BROWNSVILLE COMBES HARLINGEN INDIAN LAKE LA FERIA LAGUNA VISTA LOS FRESNOS LOS INDIOS PALM VALLEY PORT ISABEL PRIMERA RANCHO VIEJO RIO HONDO SAN BENITO SANTA ROSA SOUTH PADRE ISLAND

335,227 323 139,722 2,553 57,564 541 6,115 1,658 4,512 1,149 1,298 4,865 2,723 1,754 1,942 23,444 2,833 2,422

406,220 383 175,023 2,895 64,849 640 7,302 3,117 5,542 1,083 1,304 5,006 4,070 2,437 2,356 24,250 2,873 2,816

414,123 386 178,430 2,952 66,122 653 7,405 3,174 5,652 1,104 1,330 5,110 4,127 2,486 2,443 24,729 2,928 2,871

70,993 60 35,301 342 7,285 99 1,187 1,459 1,030 -66 6 141 1,347 683 414 806 40 394

21.2% 18.6% 25.3% 13.4% 12.7% 18.3% 19.4% 88.0% 22.8% -5.7% 0.5% 2.9% 49.5% 38.9% 21.3% 3.4% 1.4% 16.3%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Population Estimates; 2000 & 2010 Census; NAI Rio Grande Valley

Economic Development Guide

57

OUR COMMUNITIES

86% of Cameron County, 90% of Hidalgo County, 97% of Starr County, and 86% of Willacy County are Hispanic.

CITY & COUNTY POPULATION


OUR COMMUNITIES

REGIONAL POPULATION The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) or the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas is casually called The Valley. Located at the southern tip of Texas, it sits along the northern shore of the Rio Grande located where Texas meets Mexico; separating Mexico from the United States. The border region is a unique area of America; for over two and a half centuries, since the Spaniards first settled in the area, its inhabitants have blended into a community with

a culture as unique and diverse as the original ethnicities that met there. The Valley is not really a valley, but a delta or floodplain containing many oxbow lakes or resacas formed from pinched-off bends of the Rio Grande. In the early days, land developers, attempting to capitalize on unclaimed land, used the name "Magic Valley" to attract early settlers and allure investors. The Rio Grande Valley is also called El Valle, the Spanish translation of "The Valley", by those who live there.

As of July 1, 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau has estimated the population of the Rio Grande Valley at 1,305,782. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2009-2011 American Community Survey, 88 percent of Cameron County, 90.6 percent of Hidalgo County, 98.5 percent of Starr County, and 87 percent of Willacy County are Hispanic. The largest city is Brownsville (Cameron County), followed by McAllen (Hidalgo County). Other major cities include: Edinburg, Mission, Harlingen, Rio Grande City and Pharr.

The region is made up of four counties: Starr County, Hidalgo County, Willacy County, and Cameron County.

Each area outlined in orange below is 200mi x 500mi. The upper area has a population of 10.6 million*. The lower area that extends into Mexico and includes the Rio Grande Valley has a population of 56.6 million.*

STARR 2000-2010 % Change COUNTY 13.8% 61,715 Roma 9,886

Rio Grande City 13,966

Population 10,609,246

Alton 13,969

Penitas 4,537 Palmview 5,632

Del Rio Bridge Bridg ge P

P

McAllen 133,742

Mission 79,368

Eagl Eagle g e Pass Bridg ge Bridge

Columbia-Delores C Co lum mb bia-Dellores Bridge Bridg ge P Laredo d #3 ((UC) UC)) U

P P

Laredo Lar La redo 1 & 2

´

I-69 East

I-69 C entra r l Central

´ Roma Bridge Bridg ge

P

Rio Grande City Bridge Bridg ge

P

Los Ebanos Eb banos -Ferry y

Anzalduas A nzalldu d as Proposed Hidalgo Hi idallgo Bridge Bridg ge

P P

P

Progr Progreso g eso Bridge Bridg ge Los Indios Bridg ge Bridge

Pharr Bridge Bridg ge

P

P

P

Gateway G ateway & Bridg ge B&M Bridge

P

Proposed Port Bridge g P Los Tomates Bridge Bridg ge ((UC) UC) U C)

Population 56,612,540

TOP 25 CITIES

IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY BY POPULATION

58 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Edinburg 79,147

Hidalgo 11,533

Pharr 72,513


OUR COMMUNITIES

did you know... Hidalgo and Cameron Counties had a combined population of 1,266,000 which makes it larger in population than Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, District of Columbia and Wyoming.

HIDALGO 2000-2010 % Change COUNTY 36.1% 797,810

WILLACY 2000-2010 % Change COUNTY 10.2% 22,095 Raymondville 11,259

Elsa 5,831

CAMERON 2000-2010 % Change COUNTY 21.2% Primera 4,127 Harlingen 414,123

San Juan 34,872 Alamo 18,895

Weslaco 36,721 Donna Mercedes La Feria 16,274 7,405 16,175 Progreso 5,671

66,122

San Benito 24,729 Los Fresnos 5,652

Port Isabel 5,110

Brownsville 178,430 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Population Estimates; 2000 & 2010 Census; NAI Rio Grande Valley

Economic Development Guide

59


OUR COMMUNITIES

PROJECTED POPULATION GROWTH Career Opportunity is Simultaneous with Projected Population Growth The South Texas region occupies a diverse landscape including beaches, ports, ranches and vibrant cities. Its diverse scenery is reflected in its economy. The region is home to an assortment of industries that make South Texas not only unique but also competitive.

Despite the waning importance of manufacturing in most parts of the U.S., several manufacturing industries have been able to retain jobs in the region. This is particularly true in the food-processing sector, whose products benefit from strong consumer demand in the region. The region’s geographic proximity to Mexico makes industries allied with international trade extremely

important. Its transportation sector, particularly truck transportation, is an engine of local economic growth as well as a lifeline to the national economy. Service industries, particularly education and health care services, also are important.

Source: TX Comptroller

Source: esri

60 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


OUR COMMUNITIES

30 Year Regional Population Forecast 2010

RGV

MEXICO

2040

RGV

MEXICO

7 MILLION

3 MILLION

Source: Cameron County Mobility Study

McAllen MSA Population

Hidalgo & Cameron Counties

1970 Projected to 2020

Population Forecasts

Source: NAI Rio Grande Valley

Source: NAI Rio Grande Valley

RGV Employment Projections 2010-2020 Growth Rate by Industry Self-Employed & Unpaid Family Workers Natural Resources & Mining Construction Manufacturing Trade, Transportation, & Utilities Information Financial Activities

8.5% 10.1% 12.3% 8.2% 13.7% 7.4% 14.4%

Professional & Business Services Education & Health Services Leisure & Hospitality Other Services, Ex. Government Government Total Employment Estimates

17.4% 25.0% 22.5% 15.4% 17.4% 19% Source: Texas Workforce Commission

Economic Development Guide

61


OUR COMMUNITIES

RIO GRANDE VALLEY

DEMOGRAPHICS

285,732 Over 1.4 million People will live in the RGV by 2017

Residents were added from 2000 to 2010 2012 Population

1,298,614

AGE

0–19 Years 20–34 Years 35–54 Years 55–74 Years 75+ Years Median Age

36.8% 21.0% 23.1% 14.6% 4.6% 29.4

FOREIGN-BORN

Foreign-Born Population Europe Asia Africa Oceania Latin America North America

27.7% 0.7% 2.6% 0.1% 0.0% 95.7% 0.9%

RACE / ETHNICITY

White Black or African American Asian Some Other Race Alone Two or More Races Hispanic Origin (Any Race)

87.6% 0.8% 0.9% 8.9% 1.4% 90.0%

Region of Birth

LABOR FORCE

Management Business, Computer & Engineering Education, Training & Library Healthcare Practitioner & Support Food, Cleaning & Personal Care Svcs

6.7% 7.0% 8.3% 8.4% 19.2%

EDUCATION

Less than 9th Grade 9th to 12th grade, no diploma High School Graduate/GED Some College/No Degree

26.8% Associate's Degree 13.5% Bachelor's Degree 24.2% Graduate/Professional Degree 16.2%

4.7% 10.1% 4.6%

HOUSEHOLDS / INCOME

< $15,000 $15,000 - $24,999 $25,000 - $34,999 $35,000 - $49,999 $50,000 - $74,999

28.7% 17.7% 12.9% 13.7% 13.6%

$75,000 - $99,999 $100,000 - $149,999 $150,000 - $199,999 $200,000+ Median Household Income

5.8% 5.2% 1.5% 1.0% $27,244

16+ Years

25+ Years

Average Household Size: 3.49

Sales & Office Support Farming, Fishing and Forestry Construction, Installation & Repair Production & Transportation

26.0% 1.6% 11.4% 11.2%

Source: ESRI Demographic and Income Profile, ESRI ACS Population Summary, Census Bureau ACS 2009-2011; Census Bureau, 2000 and 2010 Census, 2011 Population Estimates; ESRI Demographic and Income Profile, 2012

62 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


Annual Rate (in percent)

3 2.8 2.6 2.4 2.2 2 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0

Trends 2012-2017

Area State USA

<$15K 37.2%

$200K+ 0.5% $100K - $149K 3.0% $75K - $99K 2.8%

$25K - $34K 12.9% $35K - $49K 11.1%

Population

HouseholdsHouseholds Families

Annual Rate (in percent)

Trends 2012-2017

2012 Household Income

Area State USA

<$15K 27.8%

$15K - $24K 17.8%

$200K+ 1.1%

2 $25K - $34K 12.4%

1.5 1

$150K - $199K 1.6% $100K - $149K 5.3%

$35K - $49K 13.4%

0.5

$50K - $74K 14.4%

Population

HouseholdsHouseholds Families

Annual Rate (in percent)

Trends 2012-2017

Area State USA

<$15K 29.2%

$15K - $24K 18.1%

Annual Rate (in percent)

2012 Household Income

$200K+ 1.5% $150K - $199K 0.9% $100K - $149K 3.9%

$25K - $34K 15.1%

$35K - $49K 13.7%

Population

HouseholdsHouseholds Families

$50K - $74K 12.4%

Trends 2012-2017

$75K - $99K 5.1%

Median HH Owner HHsFami Income

CAMERON County 3 2.8 2.6 2.4 2.2 2 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0

$75K - $99K 6.3%

Median HH Owner HHsFami Income

WILLACY County 3 2.8 2.6 2.4 2.2 2 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0

$50K - $74K 7.7%

Owner HHsFami Median HH Income

2.5

0

2012 Household Income $150K - $199K 0.6%

$15K - $24K 24.3%

HIDALGO County 3

OUR COMMUNITIES

STARR County

2012 Household Income

Area State USA

$15K - $24K 16.4%

<$15K 29.2%

$200K+ 1.0%

$25K - $34K 13.6%

$150K - $199K 1.5% $100K - $149K 5.3%

$35K - $49K 14.6%

Population

HouseholdsHouseholds Families

$50K - $74K 13.1%

$75K - $99K 5.3%

Owner HHsFami Median HH Income

Source: Data and Information Systems Center, UTPA U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2010 Summary File 1. Esri forecasts for 2012 and 2017

Economic Development Guide

63


LABOR FORCE TRAINING

TRAINING, COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES

Rio Grande Valley Colleges & Universities Texas Southmost College 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX 78520 (956) 544-8200 www.utb.edu The University of Texas at Brownsville 80 Ft. Brown, Brownsville, TX 78520 (956) 882-8200 www.utb.edu

Everyone knows Texas is a big state and thousands of students choose to attend college or university in Texas annually. Texas ranks near the top of the list in terms of the number of colleges and universities and the number of students enrolled. Students enjoy our mild winters and warm springs as well as the variety in landscape, culture and people the state offers. In addition to being a national leader in business, technology, agriculture, aerospace, and biomedicine, Texas also has the advantage of being one of the safest and most affordable states to live in.

The University of Texas-Pan American 1201 West University Drive, Edinburg, TX 78539 (956) 441-UTPA www.utpa.edu Texas State Technical College-Harlingen 1902 North Loop 499, Harlingen, TX 78550-3697 (956) 364-4000 www.harlingen.tstc.edu South Texas College P.O. Box 9701, McAllen, TX 78502-9701 (956) 872-8311 www.southtexascollege.edu Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Enrollment & Awarded Degrees South Texas College

Texas Southmost College

Texas State Technical College, Harlingen

University of Texas Pan American

University of Texas at Brownsville

29,812

5,893

5,509

19,302

8,146

Bachelor’s

n/a

n/a

n/a

2,462

1,149

Master’s

n/a

n/a

n/a

685

234

Doctoral

n/a

n/a

n/a

18

8

Bachelor of Applied Technology

111

0

0

n/a

n/a

Associate’s

2,312

937

427

n/a

n/a

Certificate 1

1,346

161

211

n/a

n/a

Certificate 2

198

61

41

n/a

n/a

Adv Tech Certificate

0

0

0

n/a

n/a

ESC Completer

0

0

0

n/a

n/a

Core Completer

1,057

625

128

n/a

n/a

FOS Completer

539

0

0

n/a

n/a

Fall 2012 Enrollment Degree / Certificate Awarded Fiscal Year 2012

Source: UTPA Data Center

64 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


LABOR FORCE TRAINING ©MPC Studios

Vocational-Technical Schools ACTION CAREER TRAINING, II

1403 West Ferguson, Pharr, TX 78577

(956) 782-6800

IMAGING SKILLS INSTITUTE

216 East Expressway 83, Suite E, Pharr, TX 78577

(956) 223-2563

KAPLAN COLLEGE

1500 South Jackson Road, Mcallen, TX 78503

(956) 630-1499

LHCT TRAINING CENTER

328 East Frontage Road, Alamo, TX 78516

(956) 782-0070

MCALLEN CAREERS INSTITUTE

1101 East Dallas, Suite 1, Mcallen, TX 78501

(956) 618-5800

NEW START SCHOOL, THE

709 North Main, Mcallen, TX 78501

(956) 682-5695

NIGHTINGALE SCHOOL OF NURSING

3001 N. Westgate, Weslaco, TX 78596

(956) 447-3830

RGV CAREERS AN INSTITUTE FOR HIGHER LEARNING

1200 West Polk Avenue, Suites P & Q, Pharr, TX 78577

(956) 781-6800

SOUTH TEXAS NURSING ACADEMY

200 East Expressway 83, Suite J-1, Pharr, TX 78577

(956) 781-6100

SOUTH TEXAS SCHOOL OF BARTENDING

421 South International Blvd, Weslaco, TX 78596

(956) 492-8356

SOUTH TEXAS TRAINING CENTER

213 East Ferguson Street, Pharr, TX 78577

(956) 782-7100

SOUTH TEXAS VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL INSTITUTE

2400 West Daffodil Avenue, Mcallen, TX 78501

(956) 631-1107

SOUTH TEXAS VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL INSTITUTE

2419 East Haggar, Weslaco, TX 78596

(956) 969-1564

SOUTHERN CAREERS INSTITUTE SOUTH TEXAS, INCORPORATED

1500 North Jackson Road, Pharr, TX 78577

(956) 687-1415

SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND TECHNICAL CAREERS-SOUTH TEXAS

3900 North 23rd Street, Mcallen, TX 78501

(956) 687-7007

VALLEY ACADEMY FOR DENTAL ASSISTANTS, L.L.C.

5529 North McColl Road, Mcallen, TX 78504

(956) 630-2702

VALLEY GRANDE INSTITUTE FOR ACADEMIC STUDIES

345 South Texas, Weslaco, TX 78596

(956) 973-1945 Source: Texas Workforce Commission

Economic Development Guide

65


LABOR FORCE TRAINING

LABOR RESOURCE Workforce Solutions, a not-for-profit corporation under the direction of the Texas Workforce Commission, is the local workforce development board that serves Hidalgo, Starr, Willacy and Cameron counties. The primary goal of Workforce Solutions is to respond to the needs of employers, job seekers and workers, and provide the resources necessary for success. Workforce Solutions offers a multitude of services at no cost! All employers, and job seekers and workers are encouraged to take advantage of these services and programs; which are all tailored to meet the region's workforce needs.

Our Business Service Representatives work with employers and offer customized business consulting services. This includes, but is not limited to, addressing human resource challenges, identifying the skills sets needed by industry, labor market information, and recruitment workforce services. On the other hand, our Career Counselors and workforce staff work with job seekers and workers to assess their skills set, maximize their workforce and training opportunities, and connect them with employers. Whatever your workforce need, Workforce Solutions may be able to assist you. If for some reason we cannot, we will find someone that can!

information...â&#x20AC;&#x2122;Likeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; us on facebook.com/WFSolutions, and 'Follow' us on twitter.com/WFSolutions. Workforce Solutions is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. Program Auxiliary Aids available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Relay Texas 1800-735-2989 TDD 1800-735-2988 Voice

To locate the Workforce Solutions office nearest to you, please visit us online at wfsolutions.org or call tollfree at (877) 687-1121. Stay connected for the latest workforce

Source: Texas Workforce Commission

Employment Inflow / Outflow by County

Starr County

Hidalgo County

Willacy County

Cameron County

6,669

177,867

1,324

93,585

people live and work in Starr County.

people live and work in Hidalgo County.

people live and work in Willacy County.

people live and work in Cameron County.

14,424

50,365

12,235

39,677

people live in Starr County, but work elsewhere.

people live in Hidalgo County, but work elsewhere.

people live in Willacy County, but work elsewhere.

people live in Cameron County, but work elsewhere.

5,156

50,417

1,984

31,759

people live elsewhere, but work in Starr County.

people live elsewhere, but work in Hidalgo County.

people live elsewhere, but work in Willacy County.

people live elsewhere, but work in Cameron County. Source: NAI Rio Grande Valley

66 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


LABOR FORCE TRAINING

Future Texas Workforce Surplus Workforce vs. Deficit of Workers The View From Texas: (The Effect of Baby Boomers Leaving the Workforce)

Source: NAI Rio Grande Valley TIP Strategies; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; TX Comptroller of Public Accounts; TX State Data Center

Rio South Texas Working Age Population Ages 18-64 U.S. Only

Source: NAI Rio Grande Valley

Economic Development Guide

67


LABOR FORCE TRAINING

SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE Fostering Student and Community Success

South Texas College has become a significant part of the Rio Grande Valley’s growth and prosperity. Originally known as South Texas Community College, the institution opened its doors in fall 1993 with only one location on Pecan Blvd. in McAllen. The college grew by leaps and bounds, showing the region’s need for a community college. In September 2001, voters approved a $98.7 million bond issue, which led to an aggressive construction and expansion program.

It was a sign of the times in 2005 when STCC became South Texas College - STC. The name change was a result of the college’s selection as one of only three community colleges in Texas to pilot a four-year bachelor’s program in applied technology. STC became accredited as a fouryear baccalaureate degree-granting institution and is very proud to be the only community college in the state of Texas accredited to offer the

Bachelor of Applied Technology Degrees. Students can pursue a degree in Technology Management, Computer and Information Technologies, Medical and Health Services Management, and a new degree in Organizational Leadership Presently, South Texas College serves Hidalgo and Starr counties with five physical campuses—the Mid-Valley Campus in Weslaco, the Starr County Campus in Rio Grande City, and the Pecan, Dr. Ramiro R. Casso Nursing and Allied Health, and Technology campuses in McAllen. Evening courses are also conveniently offered at satellite teaching sites including Main Place in McAllen, the Jimmy Carter Building in La Joya and the College & Career Center in Pharr. Through the College’s eSTC Virtual Campus, students have access to more than 500 online course sections. eSTC offers students access to full online library services, registration, advising, counseling,

68 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


Today, STC services more than 30,000 college credit students and offers more than 100 degree and certificate program options in a variety of liberal art, social science, business, math, science, technology, advanced manufacturing, and nursing and allied health fields of study. The College’s Workforce and Continuing Education Programs provide employers with customized training, helping the region become a leader in economic development and rapid response manufacturing. STC is ranked as one of the top colleges in the nation, having earned accolades from Washington Monthly, the MetLife Foundation, San Antonio Express News, Community College Week, and Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, just to name a few. The College was one of the initial 27 institutions of higher learning across the country invited to participate in the national Achieving the Dream movement. In 2013, the College received the Leah Meyer Austin Award for demonstrating systemic institutional changes that have resulted in noteworthy increases in student success.

efforts and commitment, STC is the largest higher education institution south of San Antonio and is larger than all other Valley public higher education institutions combined. Because STC believes that it’s never too early to get on the path to college, opportunities for academic dual enrollment are offered in partnership with many school districts throughout Hidalgo and Starr counties. Through the College’s dual Enrollment Program, eligible high school students are able to enroll in college courses while attending high school and take courses in place of, or in addition to the normal course load at their high school. Continuing, professional and workforce education programs are designed for lifelong learners who want to upgrade their skills, change careers, renew licenses or certifications, or seek personal enrichment. Additionally the division also offers customized training to area businesses, industries and the community. Training programs are tailored to a client’s specific needs in terms of content, schedule and location.

STC’s student population is predominantly Hispanic and firstgeneration students. Over 75 percent of the entire student population is the first in their family to attend college, and as many students are participating in needbased financial aid. The students of STC are “heroic” and rise to the challenge of high expectations established for them by STC. Their success can be seen in STC’s increasing number of graduates and university transfers. South Texas College is proud to be a premier learning-centered higher education institution where student and community success are paramount. The principals of serving as the cornerstone for the economic vitality of South Texas, fostering an environment for the students and community to achieve a better quality of life and nurturing a culture where collaboration is valued and achievement is recognized will continue to create a better quality of life for our communities.

Photos and copy courtesy of South Texas College

Throughout STC’s 20 year history, it has established a longstanding tradition of staying focused on institutional successes and achievements. These accomplishments are the result of the professional commitment and dedication of the entire STC faculty, staff, executive and administrative leadership team, and the Board of Trustees. As a result of collective Economic Development Guide

69

LABOR FORCE TRAINING

payment services, financial aid, bookstore, testing and so much more. Students can earn one of 15 degree and five certificate options so online students need never set foot on an STC campus to fulfill their dreams of a higher education.


The Labor Market & Career Information Department (LMCI) of Texas Workforce Commission provides statistics and analyses on the Texas labor market as well as informational products that support informed educational and career decisions. LMCI also provides a wide array of career information through software programs and publications. Visit the LMCI website at www.lmci.state.tx.us for more information or questions about their data, contact by phone at 1-866-938-4444, or email lmci@twc.state.tx.us.

Came ron

1,127 11,626

19,822 223,722

Businesses Employees

Agriculture & Mining Construction Manufacturing Transportation Communication Utility Wholesale Trade

Willa cy

Hida

Total Businesses Total Employees

lgo

Source: Texas Workforce Commission

Starr

LABOR FORCE TRAINING

BUSINESS PROFILES BY COUNTY

429 5,084

Businesses Employees

10,541 116,874

Businesses Employees

Businesses Employees

2.1% 2.5% 1.1% 3.4% 1.2% 0.8% 4.1%

1.8% 1.7% 0.9% 2.8% 0.6% 0.6% 2.1%

1.5% 4.6% 2.1% 3.5% 1.2% 0.3% 6.9%

1.7% 3.4% 2.5% 2.9% 0.9% 0.3% 6.1%

5.1% 1.2% 1.6% 4.4% 1.2% 0.5% 3.3%

6.9% 0.5% 2.3% 2.3% 2.3% 0.3% 1.8%

1.3% 4.7% 2.6% 3.6% 0.9% 0.3% 5.7%

0.6% 3.8% 9.3% 3.6% 0.5% 0.5% 3.7%

Retail Trade Summary Home Improvement General Merchandise Stores Food Stores Auto Dealers, Gas Stations, Auto Aftermarket Apparel & Accessory Stores Furniture & Home Furnishings Eating & Drinking Places Miscellaneous Retail

30.0% 1.7% 1.4% 7.0% 4.1% 1.2% 0.7% 7.5% 6.3%

25.4% 1.0% 4.5% 4.4% 1.8% 0.6% 0.5% 9.0% 3.5%

26.1% 1.2% 1.1% 3.8% 4.3% 2.3% 1.4% 6.4% 5.6%

26.3% 1.1% 3.7% 3.8% 3.0% 1.5% 0.9% 9.4% 3.0%

20.5% 0.5% 1.2% 5.4% 1.6% 0.5% 0.9% 5.8% 4.7%

16.8% 0.3% 4.3% 3.6% 1.2% 0.1% 0.3% 5.3% 1.7%

25.0% 1.3% 1.2% 2.6% 4.3% 2.0% 1.2% 7.0% 5.5%

25.5% 1.4% 3.9% 2.8% 2.9% 1.1% 0.7% 10.0% 2.8%

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate Summary Banks, Savings & Lending Institutions Securities Brokers Insurance Carriers & Agents Real Estate, Holding, Other Investment Offices

7.5% 3.5% 0.4% 2.4% 1.2%

3.4% 2.1% 0.2% 0.9% 0.4%

8.8% 2.8% 0.7% 2.4% 2.8%

4.8% 2.1% 0.3% 0.9% 1.5%

10.3% 3.7% 0.2% 2.6% 3.7%

3.2% 1.3% 0.1% 0.6% 1.2%

10.2% 2.9% 0.5% 2.6% 4.2%

5.7% 2.1% 0.2% 1.2% 2.2%

37.6% 1.0% 4.8% 1.3% 7.7% 1.6% 5.6% 15.6%

50.9% 0.5% 1.4% 0.7% 9.7% 0.8% 31.0% 6.9%

39.4% 1.0% 3.4% 2.3% 6.8% 1.8% 3.1% 21.1%

43.9% 1.0% 1.3% 1.1% 10.3% 0.8% 17.1% 12.3%

37.3% 2.3% 2.3% 2.8% 4.9% 0.5% 5.4% 19.1%

33.2% 1.1% 0.4% 0.3% 5.4% 0.1% 18.7% 7.2%

39.5% 1.5% 3.1% 2.7% 5.7% 1.9% 3.0% 21.7%

39.0% 1.8% 1.0% 1.7% 8.6% 0.8% 12.3% 12.9%

Government Other

8.2% 1.5%

9.2% 0.4%

3.4% 2.3%

6.5% 0.7%

11.9% 2.8%

29.9% 0.6%

4.3% 1.9%

7.2% 0.6%

Totals

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Services Summary Hotels & Lodging Automotive Services Motion Pictures & Amusements Health Services Legal Services Education Institutions & Libraries Other Services

Source: Data and Information Systems Center, UTPA; Business data provided by Infogroup, Omaha NE Copyright 2012, all rights reserved. Esri forecasts for 2011

70 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


Since 1993 South Texas College has established a longstanding tradition of staying focused on institutional successes and achievements. These accomplishments are the result of the professional commitment and dedication of the entire STC faculty, staff, executive and administrative leadership team, and the Board of Trustees. As a result of our collective efforts and commitment, STC is the largest higher education institution south of San Antonio and we are larger than all other Valley public higher education institutions combined. The many successes over the years have led to STC being recognized as a premier, world-class college focused on improving the quality of life in the communities we serve. STC remains committed to helping transform the region by expanding the middle class, serving as the pathway to prosperity, and helping create highskill, high-wage jobs.

Changing Lives & Changing Communities since 1993

Whether you are enrolling in college for the first time or returning to continue your college education, we invite you to discover all that STC has to offer.

1-800-742-7822 â&#x20AC;˘ discover.southtexascollege.edu


LABOR FORCE TRAINING

INCOME BY INDUSTRY New employers who do not acquire compensation experience from a previously liable employer begin with a predetermined tax rate set by the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act. That rate is set by the Texas Legislature and is the greater of the average rate for all employers in the NAICS code to which they belong or 2.70%. This percentage is multiplied by the taxable wages for each quarter to determine the amount of tax due for that quarter. Source: Texas Workforce Commission

MANAGEMENT

LEGAL

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 7,570 MEDIAN - $73,996

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 1,230 MEDIAN - $56,045

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 3,900 MEDIAN - $69,253

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 520 MEDIAN - $61,439

U.S. MEDIAN

U.S. MEDIAN

- $92,880

- $75,470

BUSINESS & FINANCIAL OPERATIONS

EDUCATION, TRAINING & LIBRARY

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 5,390 MEDIAN - $48,510

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 28,430 MEDIAN - $46,844

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 3,360 MEDIAN - $48,997

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 12,710 MEDIAN - $43,240

U.S. MEDIAN

U.S. MEDIAN

- $61,700

- $46,060

CONSTRUCTION & EXTRACTION

COMPUTER & MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES

ARTS, DESIGN, ENTERTAINMENT, SPORTS & MEDIA

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 7,080 MEDIAN - $27,130

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 1,320 MEDIAN - $48,380

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 1,670 MEDIAN - $29,023

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 3,020 MEDIAN - $25,238

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 720 MEDIAN - $50,216

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 700 MEDIAN - $30,988

U.S. MEDIAN

U.S. MEDIAN

U.S. MEDIAN

- $39,820

- $75,080

- $43,640

INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE & REPAIR

ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING

HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONERS & TECHNICAL

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 6,830 MEDIAN - $26,334

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 1,030 MEDIAN - $47,926

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 15,740 MEDIAN - $56,067

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 4,170 MEDIAN - $26,557

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 680 MEDIAN - $42,282

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 7,430 MEDIAN - $54,724

U.S. MEDIAN

U.S. MEDIAN

U.S. MEDIAN

- $40,600

PRODUCTION HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 6,900 MEDIAN - $20,636 CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 3,940 MEDIAN - $24,482 U.S. MEDIAN

- $30,670

- $72,070

LIFE, PHYSICAL & SOCIAL SCIENCES HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 940 MEDIAN - $47,449 CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 300 MEDIAN - $49,816 U.S. MEDIAN

COMMUNITY & SOCIAL SERVICE

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 14,880 MEDIAN - $19,333

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 3,640 MEDIAN - $39,175

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 7,570 MEDIAN - $19,669

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 2,160 MEDIAN - $35,429

U.S. MEDIAN

U.S. MEDIAN

72 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

HEALTHCARE SUPPORT HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 15,720 MEDIAN - $18,257 CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 6,820 MEDIAN - $18,329 U.S. MEDIAN

- $25,140

- $59,330

TRANSPORTATION & MATERIAL MOVING

- $28,760

- $59,570

- $39,880

PROTECTIVE SERVICES HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 7,270 MEDIAN - $36,297 CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 4,990 MEDIAN - $37,633 U.S. MEDIAN

- $36,740


KEY OCCUPATIONS IN RGV TARGET INDUSTRIES

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 19,450 MEDIAN - $17,962 CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 10,660 MEDIAN - $17,791 U.S. MEDIAN

- $18,900

BUILDING & GROUNDS CLEANING & MAINTENANCE HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 6,550 MEDIAN - $19.220 CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 4,060 MEDIAN - $18,374 U.S. MEDIAN

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY

LABOR FORCE TRAINING

FOOD PREPARATION & SERVING RELATED

CAMERON COUNTY

(COMBINED)

OCCUPATION

WORKERS

MEDIAN

WORKERS

MEDIAN

General & Operations Manager

2,870

$73,970

1,400

$68,876

Sales Managers

260

$68,878

70

$71,885

Human Resources Managers

60

$69,906

20

$83,604

Loan Officers

370

$51,903

270

$48,612

Network & Computer Systems

270

$52,074

110

$57,914

Accountants & Auditors

1,120

$46,690

540

$52,196

Registered Nurses

5,330

$69,551

2,300

$66,900

Home Health Aides

8,380

$17,511

2,840

$17,644

Medical Assistants

2,140

$19,901

920

$20,949

Cooks, Restaurant

1,500

$17,894

1,090

$17,539

First-Line Supervisors/ Managers of Retail Sales

2,780

$34,056

1,470

$32,556

- $22,620

PERSONAL CARE & SERVICE HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 20,300 MEDIAN - $17,670 CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 12,450 MEDIAN - $17,592 U.S. MEDIAN

- $20,730

Retail Salespersons

10,720

$18,157

4,830

$18,502

HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 27,540 MEDIAN - $18,943

Executive Secretaries & Administrative Assistants

970

$40,064

770

$37,758

CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 12,930 MEDIAN - $19,300

Construction Laborers

1,340

$20,637

460

$18,744

U.S. MEDIAN

First-Line Supervisors/ Managers of Production

440

$31,667

420

$40,015

Industrial Machinery Mechanics

190

$31,837

110

$32,975

Machinists

120

$24,786

160

$27,600

Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

420

$23,848

570

$31,747

Truck Drivers, Heavy & Tractor-Trailer

3,210

$30,439

1,290

$36,222

Installation, Maintenance, & Repair Workers

90

$27,349

110

$22,832

Laborers & Freight, Stock & Material Movers

3,590

$18,214

2,450

$18,403

Total, All Occupations

241,620

$22,661

124,420

$22,443

SALES & RELATED

- $28,840

OFFICE & ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 40,220 MEDIAN - $22,294 CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 21,010 MEDIAN - $22,814 U.S. MEDIAN

- $31,250

FARMING, FISHING & FORESTRY HIDALGO, STARR, WILLACY COUNTY WORKERS - 1,930 MEDIAN - $18,216 CAMERON COUNTY WORKERS - 320 MEDIAN - $17,962 U.S. MEDIAN

- $19,460

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2011

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LABOR FORCE TRAINING

NEW UT UNIVERSITY AND MEDICAL SCHOOL WILL TRANSFORM RIO GRANDE VALLEY The University of Texas Board of Regents and UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa are working together on a ground-breaking initiative that promises to transform the Rio Grande Valley and provide incredible opportunities in education and healthcare. The UT System’s plan to establish a new university and medical school is a game-changer for South Texas, and the institution - which will automatically be the No. 2 largest Hispanic-serving institution in the country - could soon build a national and international reputation with a unique ability to capitalize on a binational presence.

create a new emerging research university that has the potential to become a Tier One university in the next decade. It creates incredible opportunities to capitalize on the bicultural heritage of the Rio Grande Valley and build a university for the Americas.”

The move will create a new university that includes the University of Texas at Brownsville, the University of TexasPan American and the future South Texas School of Medicine. It will result in a single institution that spans the entire Rio Grande Valley, with a presence in each of the major metropolitan areas of Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen and McAllen. The UT Board of Regents has approved the allocation of $100 million over the next 10 years to accelerate the pace of transitioning the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen to a school of medicine. “This is a bold plan that, if accomplished, will put our Rio Grande Valley campuses on equal footing with other UT institutions,” Regents Chairman Gene Powell said in December 2012 when the Board approved going forward with the new institution. “This is an opportunity to 74 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Jon Hockenyos, founder and president of the economic analysis and public policy consulting firm TXP, estimated that the new university and school of medicine would likely account for 7,000 new jobs in the Rio Grande Valley – 10,000 if economic development impact of the new university is factored in. “The ability to access and manage knowledge is really the key to success for the modern economy,” Hockenyos said. “I think this could very well be, if not the largest, one of the largest economic development opportunities for the Rio Grande Valley.”


LABOR FORCE TRAINING

state needs to offer enough resident spots for all graduates of Texas medical schools and then some, in order to increase the state’s physician population, Shine said.

From left to right: UT Pan American President Robert Nelsen, UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, UT Brownsville President Juliet Garcia, UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell

The idea of creating a new institution came to life during a brainstorming session where UT System officials were discussing how to bring more education funding to the Rio Grande Valley. UT Brownsville and UT Pan American are currently not eligible for revenue from the Permanent University Fund, a public endowment created by the Texas Constitution. A new university would be eligible for PUF funding – a major catalyst for building a worldclass research university, complete with a school of medicine. As an emerging research university, the new institution would also be eligible for more funding sources such as the National Research University Fund, the Texas Research Incentive Plan and matching UT System money. UT Pan American President Robert Nelsen said the new university is for a generation of Valley children who will transform the region if they are given the opportunity and the education to do so. “If we don’t get this right in the Valley, we won’t get it right anywhere,” Nelsen said, alluding to the nation’s changing demographics which are beginning to mirror those of South Texas. “This is literally about saving

lives. This is literally about the future of America. I’m honored to be here at this historic moment.” And speaking of saving lives, the new medical school will help fill Texas’ desperate need for physicians. “We don’t have enough doctors, and that’s going to affect everybody,” Dr. Kenneth Shine, UT System’s executive vice chancellor for health affairs, said in a report to the Board of Regents in February 2013. “We have an urgent need for physicians.” Shine said in his report that Texas ranks 47th in the nation based on the number of primary care physicians per 100,000 people. And it’s only going to get worse given the state’s fast population growth, the increase in chronic diseases such as diabetes, and the retirement of the baby boomer generation of physicians. UT System leaders are also working aggressively to secure residency slots in South Texas, so medical students can continue to train in the region. Available residency slots are expected to grow from 33 to almost 150 within the next few years. Because physicians typically practice where they do their residency, the

Texas already is doing a great job of attracting and keeping residents. In fact, of those students who attend medical school and complete their residencies in Texas, 80 percent (third highest in nation) will stay in Texas to practice. A remarkable 62 percent (second highest in the nation) of Texas medical school students who go out of state to complete their residencies come back to the Lone Star state to practice. The first students on the South Texas track through UT Health Science Center at San Antonio are scheduled to graduate in 2018. Once the new medical school achieves accreditation, it will become a standalone medical school. In addition to training much-needed physicians, the new medical school will benefit the community by providing jobs and bringing in millions of dollars of funding for research, which potentially could create more jobs. Statewide, Texas medical schools and teaching hospitals have an economic impact of more than $35.8 billion, which is fifth highest in the nation, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The new university’s overall size and portfolio would be similar to other existing UT emerging research universities with a student population of 28,000, research expenditures of $11 million, an endowment of $70.5 million and a total operating budget of $419 million. Chancellor Cigarroa told the Board of Regents when he presented the idea in December that there are challenges and opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley and taking advantage of UT Economic Development Guide

75


LABOR FORCE TRAINING campuses with a bi-national presence on the border of Mexico in one of the fastest-growing regions in Texas has been part of his vision since becoming chancellor in 2009. “We have to think globally, not regionally,” Cigarroa said. “We have an opportunity to make the Rio Grande Valley a center for bicultural programs in economics, business, medicine, biomedical sciences, energy, environmental studies, Latin American studies and a host of other areas. “If we focus our attention on this crucial region of Texas, we can create new jobs, attract new federal and private funding, launch new facilities construction and, most importantly, provide higher education and training – and a stronger future – for this generation and generations to come.” UT Brownsville President Juliet Garcia has said the new university will be strategically positioned to become the epicenter of and the gateway to the Americas. “While we did not invent the global economy, we need to take advantage of it,” Garcia told Regents in December. “Once in a great while, we have the profound opportunity to make a difference in the world. Your action today is one of those opportunities.” In his State of the State address before a joint session of the 83rd Texas Legislature in January, Governor

Rick Perry embraced the mission, calling for the Legislature to pass a bill giving South Texas access to Permanent University Funds.

Powell the day after the Regents’ vote and the presentation of the new initiative drew multiple standing ovations.

“This area of the state is critical to our state’s future,” Perry said in his speech. “And our investments in the children of South Texas will return to us a thousandfold.”

Dozens of key groups have passed resolutions supporting a new university in South Texas and many more have resolutions and letters of support in the works. Those that have already passed a resolution include the Commissioners’ Courts of both Cameron and Hidalgo counties, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, UT Brownsville’s Faculty Senate, UT Pan American’s Faculty Senate, the Texas Association of Business and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

Since then both the Texas House and Texas Senate have approved bills to create the new institution. Bishop Daniel E. Flores of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville said higher education is critically important for the young people of the Rio Grande Valley and it is an issue that he discusses with residents across South Texas. “This initiative for a new university in South Texas is important to help unify and solidify the opportunities for our young people,” he said. “They get discouraged very easily about the possibility of getting a good education and we need them to be educated so they can contribute to the greater good of the entire Valley. I’m very happy to hear the governor express his support and particularly to highlight the unique potential of the Rio Grande Valley to contribute to the success of the entire state.” South Texas leaders have enthusiastically supported the plan from the beginning. Hundreds turned out at UT Brownsville and UT Pan American for visits from Cigarroa and

76 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Members of the Rio Grande Valley Legislative Delegation held a joint news conference at the Texas Capitol in February announcing the filing of companion bills in the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives to create the new university. It was a remarkable show of bipartisan support by lawmakers from across the Valley and around the state. “To be able to bring the PUF fund to our kids is something that will be a lasting legacy of this session,” said state Rep. Rene Oliveira, DBrownsville. “It will be one that will be felt for decades and decades and decades to come.”

Photos and copy courtesy of The University of Texas System


OUR ECONOMY

BEYOND THE NUMBERS Economic Indicators From food stores to lumber yards, from courier services to water supply systems, the trade, transportation, and utilities industries make up a large portion of private sector employment in the United States. These industries employ 25.6 million workers: 14.9 million in retail trade, 5.6 million in wholesale trade, 4.4 million in transportation and warehousing, and 0.6 million in the utilities industries. Establishments involved in the trade, transportation, and utilities industries engage in a wide range of industrial activities. Retail trade establishments buy and sell end-use products and services, the final step in the distribution of merchandise to consumers; they may also repair and offer installation services to households, businesses, such as retailers. Transportation establishments (compromised of both transportation and warehousing establishments) provide transportation services, such as delivering parcels, hauling bulk cargo, and transporting passengers by planes, trains, ships, trucks, and buses. Utilities establishments generate and transmit electric power, provide natural gas services, treat and distribute potable water, and treat and dispose of sewage.

COST OF LIVING INDEX INDEX ITEMS

MCA-EDI-MIS

BROWNSVILLE

HARLINGEN

COMPOSITE (ALL)

85.3

91.2

81.8

GROCERY

85.6

87.8

83.7

HOUSING

74.0

79.3

75.4

UTILITIES

93.7

97.9

97.3

TRANSPORTATION

88.6

97.7

84.5

HEALTH CARE

88.7

93.6

92.5

MISC. GOODS & SERVICES

90.3

97.7

78.7

Source: Council for Community and Economic Research - C2ER

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT

There’s life and then there’s living, after all 90% is the adventure! Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Photo: ©MPC Studios

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product Estimates

78 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


OUR ECONOMY

LABOR FORCE

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics

POPULATION GROWTH

Source: Census Bureau, 2000 and 2010 Census, Population Estimates

Billions

RETAIL SALES $14 $12 $10 $8 $6 $4 $2

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Retail Sales Tax Collections

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OUR ECONOMY

STATE’S RELATIVE STRENGTH Texas should enjoy another good year in 2013, although job growth will likely be the same or moderately slower. Private sector jobs in Texas expanded 3.7 percent after increasing 3.5 in 2011, exceeding the trend rate of 2.1 percent and the national pace of 2 percent. A significant bounce-back in government jobs in 2012 from sharp declines the year before helped overall job growth rise 3.1 percent from 2.3 percent in 2011. However, private sector employment weakened in the second half of 2012 as a result of slowing in energy and manufacturing, as depicted in the chart. Continued expansion in construction should partially offset the decelerating trends in energy and exports. Recent movements in leading indicators have been mixed, although the overall pattern of growth has been positive. Based on the recent momentum in job growth and changes in the Texas Leading Index, the Dallas Fed’s forecasting model predicts that job growth this year will be between 2 and 3 percent. Given expectations that

the nation’s economy will continue expanding only modestly, Texas will likely grow faster than most other states and the nation this year. Source: Keith R. Phillips, Senior Research Economist, Advisor at the San Antonio Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

80 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Peso vs. U.S. Dollar Trend


OUR ECONOMY

City Tax Rates

Top 10 Financial Institutions by RGV Deposits Financial Institution

Offices

Deposits ($000)

Compass Bank

32

$2,732,987

Lone Star National Bank

25

$1,699,108

Inter National Bank

15

$1,373,634

Wells Fargo Bank

19

$1,345,878

First National Bank

29

$1,216,967

Intâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;l Bank of Commerce (Laredo)

26

$1,177,209

JP Morgan Chase Bank

10

$1,045,947

Intâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;l Bank of Commerce (Brownsville)

14

$647,526

Frost Bank

14

$565,864

Captial One

10

$499,450

Source: FDIC, Summary of Deposits, June 30, 2012

City

County

Bayview Brownsville Combes Harlingen La Feria Laguna Vista Los Fresnos Los Indios Palm Valley Port Isabel Primera Rancho Viejo Rio Hondo San Benito Santa Rosa South Padre Island Alamo Alton Donna Edcouch Edinburg Elsa Granjeno Hidalgo La Joya La Villa McAllen Mercedes Mission Palmhurst Palmview Penitas Pharr Progreso Progreso Lakes San Juan Sullivan City Weslaco Escobares Grulla Rio Grande City Roma Lyford Raymondville

Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Hidalgo Starr Starr Starr Starr Willacy Willacy

Total Tax 0.0725 0.0825 0.075 0.0825 0.0825 0.0775 0.0825 0.0725 0.0725 0.0825 0.0825 0.0725 0.0825 0.0825 0.0725 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0725 0.0825 0.0825 0.0725 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.08 0.0775 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0725 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825 0.0825

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Local Sales and Use Tax Rates, 4/2013.

Economic Development Guide

81


OUR ECONOMY

ACCOLADES The Rio Grande Valley is an unbeatable place to live, work, and play, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take our word for it. The areas communities have been featured and recognized time and again as the best places to live. Year after year the Valley is praised by esteem industry experts from publications such as U.S.A. Today, U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger, Weekly Magazine and Wall Street Journal. Our diverse economic base is driven by an innovative, creative, and educated workforce which draws upon the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest assets: highly ranked schools, world-class healthcare, inspiring cultural attractions and an abundance of natural wonders. Thanks to a low cost of living, we entice a young robust labor force that encourage a business friendly environment. Unite this with a well-developed and diverse transportation network for moving products and people - Enjoy direct airport access to the U.S. Interstate 69 highway system, and the luxury of being just minutes away from seaports, International Bridge Ports of Entry, roads and rails to connect us with markets near and far.

82 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

HARLINGEN RANKED


OUR ECONOMY

THE CITY OF EDINBURG honored honorre ed

Offfe Offers er 3 popularr n ers nature hotspots aturre hotspots ew a wide vvariety ariety a y of bir bird rd an and d to view butterfly species.

Economic Development Guide

83


OUR ECONOMY

State & Local Economic Development Incentive Programs Texas takes the initiative to invest in its future by offering competitive incentives to companies who are creating jobs and driving innovation in Texas. The incentives in this section are a summary of the most commonly utilized regional offerings. However, many local incentives and tax abatements are not included here. For the most current and competing incentives, please contact our economic allies located at the front of this guide.

ŠMPC Studios

CITY OF MCALLEN INCENTIVES 1. City Economic Development Grant 2. City Property Tax Reimbursement 3. Freeport Exemption-Texas Property Tax Code 11.251 4. Goods-In-Transit Incentive

ŠMPC Studios

McAllen

HIDALGO COUNTY INCENTIVES 1. County Property Tax Abatement

TEXAS ENTERPRISE FUND

EMPLOYEE TRAINING INCENTIVES 1. City of McAllen Supplemental Job Training Incentive Program 2. Texas Skills Development Fund 3. Texas Self Sufficiency Fund 4. State of Texas Refund for Employers of TANF Clients 5. U.S. Department of Labor-Apprenticeship Program 6. Work Opportunity Tax Credits 7. On-The-Job-Training Training incentives 1 and 2 are administered through South Texas College (STC), which offers a variety of programs that can be customized to fit your training needs. A few of the programs included in this effort are: tool and die, industrial maintenance, precision manufacturing, plastics, leadership and supervisory training. STC is the only college in the state of Texas to be accredited by National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

Company: Santana Textiles Location: Edinburg Industry: Textile Manufacturing Direct Jobs: 800 Capital Investment: $171,000,000 TEF Award: $1,650,000 Est. Total Jobs: 1,232 Company: CK Technologies Location: Brownsville Industry: Truck Component Manufacturing Direct Jobs: 121 Capital Investment: $18,200,000 TEF Award: $425,000 Est. Total Jobs: 156 Source: Office of the Governor

In addition to STC, the Rapid Response Manufacturing Center located at the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) in the McAllen MSA focuses on new research, advanced manufacturing and customization. The center is one of several strategies, including workforce recruitment and training, of the North American Advanced Manufacturing Research Initiative (NAAMREI). NAAMREI is a network of 47 partners from K-12 and higher education, business, economic development, industry, finance and government focused on offering manufacturers across North America and the globe, access to proprietary, world-class advanced and rapid response manufacturing. STATE OF TEXAS INCENTIVES 1. Texas Enterprise Fund 2. Texas Enterprise Zone Program 3. Emerging Technology Program 4. State Sales & Use Tax Exemptions 5. Tax Exempt Industrial Revenue Bonds 6. Texas Product Development Fund 7. Texas Small Business Fund 8. Texas Economic Development Act 9. Pollution Control Equipment Incentive 10. Economic Development Refund 11. Renewable Energy Incentive 12. Permit Assistance 13. Economic Development & Diversification In-State Tuition for Employees 14. Moving Image Industry Incentive 15. Cancer Prevention and Research Bonds McAllen Economic Development Corporation serves as an advocate and resource for assistance during the application process. Telephone: (956) 682-2875

84 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


OUR ECONOMY

INCENTIVE GUIDELINES The Harlingen Economic Development Corporation, Inc. will customize loans or grants based on the type of project, size, number of jobs created, investment, average wages and/or other pertinent factors.

Harlingen

JOB CREATION GRANTS AND LOANS • Recipients should be a “basic” enterprise with at least seventy-five (75%) percent of sales outside the four county region. • At least fifty (50) new jobs should be created over the first two (2) years of the project. • Jobs should be full time, pay above the county average for the job classifications created and offer benefits. • Projects should result in significant taxable investment. • Preference will be given to firms in target industries: advanced manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, aerospace manufacturing, distribution centers, technical service firms, corporate headquarters and healthcare. • Company must certify that without HEDC assistance, the project will not occur. INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS AND LOANS • HEDC will consider participation in infrastructure development for new, expanded or renovated commercial projects. • HEDC may take into consideration special circumstances regarding the project, such as its location. • Uses of HEDC funds could include, but not be limited to public infrastructure such as water, sewer, streets, drainage, parking and lighting. • In the case of grants, HEDC expects its investment will be recouped through increased sales tax revenue to the 4A Corporation over a three to five year period. CAPACITY BUILDING PROJECTS • HEDC will consider grants or loans for capacity building projects. • Potential projects might include: training and education facilities, transportation or intermodal facilities, healthcare related projects • HEDC should not be the primary source of funding for these projects. HEDC funding will be used only to “fill gaps.” • Projects must improve long term prospects for job creation. SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS AND LOANS • HEDC will consider grants & loans to qualified business owners that may be used for: purchase of land and building, building improvements, purchase of equipment. • HEDC may require a 1st lien on all items purchased with HEDC funds. If you want to learn more, contact the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation. Telephone: (956) 216-5081

BROWNSVILLE 4A ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TAX In 1989, the Texas Legislature amended the Development Corporation Act by adding Section 4A, which allowed the creation of a new type of development corporation. The proceeds from the Section 4A sales tax were dedicated by statute to economic development projects to promote new and expanded industrial and manufacturing activities.

Brownsville

After the passage of the 4A Economic Development Sales Tax in 1992 came the subsequent funding of the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC). Ten years later, the 4A Economic Development Sales Tax was split into a Type A and Type B, going from a half-cent sales tax towards Type A, to a quarter-cent sales tax towards each (Type A and Type B). The latter sales tax, Type B, is used for "quality of life" projects, such as educational endeavors, parks, and museums. TARGETED INDUSTRIAL CLUSTERS In coordination with United Brownsville, five industrial clusters have been identified that if developed in the community, will potentially impact Brownsville’s per capita income by providing sustainable, higher paying jobs. These industrial clusters are Heavy Manufacturing, Light Manufacturing, Logistics, Hospitality/Tourism, and Healthcare. HEAVY MANUFACTURING CLUSTER - an industry that typically carries a high capital cost (capital-intensive) which needs large quantities of often-bulky raw materials. These are usually transported by water or rail. These industries have a high material index (The ratio of the weight of localized materials used in the manufacture of a product to the weight of the finished product). This cluster would include such industries as chemicals and plastics; steel and oil refining production; mining; industrial machinery; and mass transit (railways, airlines, shipbuilders). LIGHT MANUFACTURING CLUSTER - is usually less capital intensive than heavy manufacturing and is more consumer-oriented than business-oriented (i.e., most light manufacturing products are produced for end users rather than as intermediates for use by other industries). The number of products is high. Examples of light manufacturing include the manufacture of clothes, shoes, furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances. Logistics Cluster – involves the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of use in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling and packaging, and often security. Logistics is a channel of the supply chain, which adds the value of time and place utility. HOSPITALITY / TOURISM CLUSTER - is a broad based cluster that encompasses the service industry, which includes lodging, restaurants, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise lines and additional fields within the tourism industry. The hospitality industry is a several billion-dollar industry that mostly depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income. A hospitality unit such as a restaurant, hotel, or even an amusement park consists of multiple groups such as facility maintenance, direct operations. The hospitality industry covers a wide range of organizations offering food service and accommodation. The industry is divided into sectors according to the skill-sets required for the work involved. Sectors include accommodation, food and beverage, meeting and events, gaming, entertainment and recreation, tourism services, and visitor information. HEALTHCARE CLUSTER - this industry is the cluster that provides goods and services to treat patients with curative, preventative, rehabilitative, and palliative care. This cluster is divided into many sub-sectors and depends on various interdisciplinary teams of trained professionals and paraprofessionals to meet the healthcare needs of the community. In addition to the above-identified industrial clusters, the GBIC has traditionally looked at and has supported companies in Aerospace/Aviation, High-End Business Services, Information Technology and Security and Telecommunications. The Greater Brownsville Incentives Program will provide the most current incentives available based on industry type and size. Telephone: (956) 541-1183 or (800) 552-5352

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OUR ECONOMY

LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

LRGVDC

EDA GRANT ADMINISTRATION Economic Development staff can be hired to administer individual grants for the local cities, counties, Economic Development corporations navigation ports and other eligible applicants who lack staff support. Grant administration services can be used for the following EDA programs:

PUBLIC WORKS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM Public Works and Economic Development investments help support the construction or rehabilitation of essential public infrastructure and facilities necessary to generate or retain private sector jobs and investments, attract private sector capital, and promote regional competitiveness, including investments that expand and upgrade infrastructure to attract new industry, support technology-led development, redevelop brownfield sites and provide eco-industrial development. ECONOMIC ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM The Economic Adjustment Assistance Program provides a wide range of technical, planning and infrastructure assistance in regions experiencing adverse economic changes that may occur suddenly or over time. This program is designed to respond flexibly to pressing economic recovery issues and is well suited to help address challenges faced by U.S. regions and communities. LOCAL TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE The Local Technical Assistance Program helps fill the knowledge and information gaps that may prevent leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors in economically distressed regions from making optimal decisions on local economic development issues. PLANNING PROGRAM The Planning Program helps support planning organizations, including District Organizations and Indian Tribes, in the development, implementation, revision or replacement of comprehensive economic development strategies (CEDS), and for related short-term planning investments and State plans designed to create and retain higher-skill, higher-wage jobs, particularly for the unemployed and underemployed in the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most economically distressed regions. UNIVERSITY CENTER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM The University Center Economic Development Program is a partnership between the Federal government and academia that helps to make the varied and vast resources of universities available to economic development communities. For the most up-to-date grant information, contact the LRGVDC. Telephone: (956) 682-3481

WESLACO EDC INCENTIVE FOR CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT (CBD) WESLACO 100 POLICY A. Goal - To have one hundred percent (100%) occupancy of the buildings in the Central Business District (CBD).

Weslaco

B. Objective - To maintain a viable and attractive CBD for retail, commercial, office and loft apartments by focusing resources on a block-by-block strategy, to begin with the 300 block of South Texas. For purposes of this policy, a two story building will be considered to be two buildings. C. Targeted Area - Central Business District / Main Street, defined as south on South Texas from U.S. Business 83 to Sixth Street and the 100 block of Texas from Second Street to Business 83. D. Elements 1. Provide for or facilitate the addition of public parking where needed and feasible. 2. Offer facade improvements to business and building owners. 3. Assist with grants on a cost-sharing basis, up to a maximum of $25,000.00 per floor, to bring a building up to code to include life and safety code, electrical and plumbing systems, mechanical systems, roof, ceilings, and demolition and grease traps. 4. Provide incentives for promising and experienced entrepreneurs to rent/lease, or purchase property for business use in the CBD. 5. Recruit and invite business owners to locate in the CBD. 6. Offer rewards for individual recruiting, identification, and location of businesses to the CBD. 7. Cleanup of sidewalks and adding trash cans. 8. Downtown Merchants Association 9. Organize and implement a plan for market days and festivals. 10. Downtown Manager E. Grant Requirements 1. The maximum grant per building on a 50/50 match is $25,000.00. 2. Requests for Weslaco 100 grants need to be submitted prior to commencement of the work. Works in progress will not be considered. For more information, contact the Weslaco EDC. Telephone: (956) 969-0838

Now serving the Rio Grande Valley, Strategic Capital Solutions (SCS) provides services to government entities, economic development groups, chambers of commerce, non-profits, community organizations and for profits. With a focus on community and economic development, SCS works with clients in addressing local challenges to identify and maximize opportunities to create jobs and improve the quality of life. SCS offers technical assistance to small businesses, access to capital, grant and funding management and additional community and economic development services. Contact: Jason Tomlinson today to learn more at: jason@scapitalsolutions.com

86 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

SCS


THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

Lone Star National Bank The Valley’s Bank

S. David Deanda, Jr. President & Chief Operating Officer Lone Star National Bank

Our History Lone Star National Bank opened for business on January 23, 1983 in Pharr, Texas. Conducting business in a small, 3,000 square-foot, temporary building and with only ten employees, the bank opened its doors with the objective of making the future more prosperous for the community. Over the next two decades, Lone Star National Bank expanded continuously opening banking centers throughout the Valley, beginning with its first banking center in Hidalgo County on April 4, 1994, at 200 Lindberg in McAllen. In August 2000, the bank opened the banking center outside Hidalgo County in Rio Grande City and then entered the Cameron County market in July 2001, with a banking center at 3300 N. Expressway 83 in Brownsville. In March 2010, the bank opened the first banking center in Bexar County at 40 NE Loop 410, Suite 408, in San Antonio. By December 2011, the bank opened the fourth banking center in San Antonio.

stay true to our mission of supporting individuals and small businesses who contribute to the growth of their communities. As a financial institution we are committed to staying at the forefront of technological advances like “LSNB Mobile™” (mobile banking) and “Office Banker™” (remote capture) which allows us bring the bank to our customers. These factors, combined with the support of our stockholders, customers, neighbors and friends, have made Lone Star National Bank a well-known success, and a leader in financial services in South Texas. Lone Star National Bank Corporate Office 520 E. Nolana Ave McAllen, Texas 78504 1-800-580-0322 www.lonestarnationalbank.com

In January 2013, the fifth San Antonio banking center opened located at 15326 Huebner and construction of the sixth location began at 381 N. Loop 1604 W. Today, Lone Star National Bank is a technologically advanced, full-service, independent, community bank with over 600 employees and 33 locations across South Texas. Our rapid growth is attributable to several factors such as offering personal “value added” customer service and providing a rewarding environment for our employees. In addition, we

Photos and copy courtesy of Lone Star National Bank

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THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

CORPORATE BUSINESS CLIMATE

McALLEN-EDINBURG-MISSION HARLINGEN BROWNSVILLE

Those of us in the Rio Grande Valley don’t need to be reminded of the importance of cross-border trade and travel to our region’s economy. After all, Texas in 2012 led all states in surface trade value with Mexico at nearly $146 billion. Much of that trade, from agriculture products to electronics to heavy equipment entered the U.S. through ports right here in the Valley, creating jobs and enhancing our area’s competitiveness along the way. When businesses look to Texas, they see a leader among the states economically and yearn for the Texas advantage. Our job creation and business-friendly climate is legendary!

TEXAS APPROACH TO STATE BUDGET GAP

Overall reduction of state expenditures by 8.1%

CORPORATE INCOME TAX RATE

0%

PERSONAL INCOME TAX RATE

0%

FRANCHISE TAX

1.0% 4

SALES TAX RATE

8.25% 6

RIGHT TO WORK STATE

Yes

STATE LABOR FORCE 7

12,451,504

COST OF DOING BUSINESS 8

95

CNBC STATE BUSINESS RANK 9

#1

CEO MAGAZINE BUSINESS CLIMATE RANK 10

#1

COST OF LIVING INDEX 11 HOUSING COST INDEX 12 PRIMARY STATE INCENTIVE STATE RESERVE FUND

85.3 (McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX) 81.8 (Harlingen, TX) 91.2 (Brownsville, TX) 74.0 (McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX) 75.4 (Harlingen, TX) 79.3 (Brownsville, TX) No Income Tax & Texas Enterprise Fund Cash Grant $6 Billion Texas Rainy Day Fund

TEXAS AND ALL STATES 4

Texas Franchise tax of margin for most taxable entities is applicable to any legal entity that is chartered or organized in Texas or doing business in Texas such as corporation, partnerships and business associations. The tax does not apply to sales proprietorships, general partnerships with individual owners, non profits or entities with $1 million in gross receipts or less 5 The State of New York sales tax rate is 4% + local rate up to 4.75%. NYC total, 8.875%. 6 The State of Texas sales tax rate 6.25% + local rate up to 2% 7 BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS), Not Seasonally Adjusted, Annual 2011 Data 8 Source: Moody's North American Business Cost Review, 2012 (U.S. Average = 100) 9 Source: CNBC Americas's Top States for Doing Business, 2012 10 Source: Chief Executive Magazine, 2012 11 Source: ACCRA Cost of Living Index Published January 2013 – 2012 Annual Average Data 12 Source: ACCRA Cost of Living Index Published January 2013 – 2012 Annual Average Data

88 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

CHICAGO

SAN FRANCISCO

LOS ANGELES

CALIFORNIA

MANHATTAN

ILLINOIS

NEW YORK

$4 billion shortfall, hoping the economy will improve

Significant increase of income tax rates

Reduction of state expenditures by 1%

8.84% 1

7% 1

7.1% 1

9.3% 2

5% 2

8.97% 2

0%

0.1% 3

0.015% 3

7.25% 4

10.25% 4

8.75% 5

No

No

No

18,384,866

6,565,504

9,504,239

106

100

109

#40

#26

#34

#50

#48

#49

132.8 (Los Angeles, CA) 162.7 (San Francisco, CA)

114.7 (Chicago, IL)

218.8 (Manhattan, NY)

196.7 (Los Angeles, CA) 283 (San Francisco, CA)

133.8 (Chicago, IL)

413.5 (Manhattan, NY)

Tax Credits

Tax Credits

Tax Credits, loans & grants

$0

$0

$0

CALIFORNIA

NEW YORK

1 Min tax is $800 (no min. for 1st yr of corps. Incorporated in CA after 12/31/99) S Corps. Pay 1.5%. Alternative min. tax (not S Corps.) is 6.65% 2 CA income tax had tax brackets ranging from 1% - 9.3%. A worker earning the median income of $60,883 (US 2006 - 2010 Census Data) pays 9.3% ($5,662.119) 4 The State of California allows up to 2.5% local tax

1 The State of New York's corporate income tax is 7.1% of entire net income. Other minimums: (a) 1.5% of apportioned minimum taxable income; (b) 1.78 mills on value of apportioned business and investment capital; (c) fixed dollar min. tax depending on receipts. Special rules apply for small business and S corporations. Added tax: 0.9 mills per $1 subsidiary capital. 2 The State of New York has a bracketed personal income tax structure with tax rates ranging from 4%8.97%. The widest tax bracket is the 6.85% bracket for those with taxable incomes of $40,000 to $300,000. 3 1.5 mills per $1 on valie of apportioned business and investment capital. Up to a max tax of $350,000 for manufacturers and $1 million for others. 5 The State of New York sales tax rate is 4% + local rate up to 4.75%. NYC total, 8.875%.

CHICAGO 1 4.8% for 2010; 7% for 2011-2014; 5.25% for 2014-2024 and 4.8% for 2025 and subsequent yrs. Added personal replacement tax: 2.5% on corporations; 1.5% on S Corps., partnerships and trusts 2 3% for 2010; 5% for 2011-2014; 3.75% for 2014-2024 and 3.25% for 2025 and subsequent yrs 3 0.1% (0.15% 1st time or added paid-in capital) allocated paid in capital. Min $25; Max $2 million plus 0.05% 1st time capital. Filing fee $75 5 State of Illinois sales tax rate 6.25% + local rate up to 4%

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THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

HARLINGEN’S CONCEPTUAL INDUSTRY CLUSTERS For over two decades the Development Corporation of Harlingen, Inc. (Harlingen EDC) has played an important role in the Harlingen community by promoting job growth and an increased tax base. As a separate but closely-connected part of the City of Harlingen, the Harlingen EDC consistently boasts about Harlingen’s location and accessibility to markets; our young talented workforce, our affordability, our pro-business environment, and our quality of place as the factors that have made this community stand out and as a place that many businesses desire to call home.

Harlingen’s location and accessibility to markets is one of several factors helping business realize that Harlingen is a great place to call home. Harlingen is at the crossroads of two major US highways, US 83 and US 77, connecting the Rio Grande Valley to all markets in the United States and beyond. Mexico can be accessed through the Los Indios International Bridge. The Port of Harlingen is part of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway and thus is connected to numerous ports along the east coast and major water ports in the Midwest. Valley International Airport in Harlingen is the region’s

90 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

largest airport connecting to major US and global destinations for passenger and freight travel. Air cargo needs can easily be handled by a variety of carriers including FedEx, DHL and others. Harlingen is also home to a Union Pacific Railroad terminal and switching yard with direct access to the Port of Harlingen, and Harlingen Industrial Park. So, whether one is coming or going for business or pleasure, Harlingen has everything to keep us well-connected. Harlingen’s population continues to grow along with the rest of the Rio Grande Valley. Employers will find that the region has a very young trainable workforce. Much of the vocational training manufacturers seek can be found in Harlingen at Texas State Technical College. TSTC Harlingen is the largest of the TSTC schools in Texas with about 5,000 students. Each year, hundreds of TSTC graduates find employment in fields such as Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Welding, Pipe-fitting, CNC operations, Electronics, Plumbing, HVAC and many others with associate degrees or certificates. The University Center at TSTC is also home to satellite campuses for eight different schools


The Council for Community and Economic Research publishes a quarterly Cost of Living Index analyzing the cost of living in 302 urban areas throughout the United States. Harlingen has been ranked the least expensive city in America for the past three years! The region has consistently been about fifteen to twenty percent cheaper than the national average in the cost of consumer goods and services, and non-consumer expenditures for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. What does that mean? Simply that Harlingen is affordable. Whether you are looking for a new place to live or a new place for your business, come homeâ&#x20AC;Ś to Harlingen.

expansions, or for relocations. Assistance in site selection, serving as a liaison between governmental agencies and other entities and direct financial assistance are available depending on the size of the project. Harlingen is about 30 miles away from our beautiful tropical beaches, close to exciting hunting excursions, birding trails, nature sanctuaries, home to the Marine Military Academy and the world-famous Iwo Jima Memorial. Harlingen is home to several challenging golf courses and near

THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

offering bachelors, masters and doctoral programs in Harlingen via distance learning technology.

dozens more for the avid golf fanatic. Minor league hockey, basketball, and baseball are just a throw away, while shopping experiences await those who love to go to outlet malls or destination experiences such as the one awaiting at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. The fine arts, music festivals, car shows, sporting events, and much more add to the quality of place that is Harlingen. Experience the excitement and come home to Harlingen! Photos and copy courtesy of Harlingen EDC

Harlingen is also known for its probusiness environment. With an aggressive approach to business recruitment, Harlingen is home to the only Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in South Texas. Harlingen has also played a role in attracting Cardone Industries, occupying over one million square feet of space in Harlingen Industrial Park. Harlingen is home to Pentair, the latest recipient of an approximately $500,000 grant from the Texas Skills Development Fund for training their employees. Harlingen is home to Aloe Laboratories, United Launch Alliance, ITD Precision, Penske Logistics, Valley International Cold Storage, and other manufacturing companies. In addition, Harlingen is home to some other major private employers including Valley Baptist Medical Center, United Healthcare Services, Dish Network, Advanced Call Center Technologies and retailers such as Walmart/Samâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club, HEB, Kohlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Dillards, JC Pennys, Forever 21, Burlington Coat Factory and many more. Harlingen EDC offers a variety of services for new businesses, for Economic Development Guide

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THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

MAJOR EMPLOYERS A majority of large cities in Texas owe their economic successes and cessations to an astonishing number of entrepreneurs who turned their businesses into major corporations. The Rio Grande Valley boasts a diverse mix of employment opportunities. Both small and large firms make significant innovations, and both types of firms are critical to the success of today’s economy. The young, bilingual, vibrantly skilled workforce matters - no amount of incentives make up for a lack of readily available talent. And, quality of life is important! Companies want to locate where their employees want to live. Texas’ Rio Grande Valley is the premier location for business expansion and relocation.

McAllen MSA Top Ten Private Sector Employers COMPANY

EMPLOYEES

Doctors Hospital @ Renaissance South Texas College McAllen Medical Center Rio Grande Regional Hospital H-E-B Wal-Mart International Bank of Commerce Valley Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Penncro & Associates Dillard’s

3400 2212 2058 1100 1015 670 525 380 300 290

TOTAL

11,950

SECTOR Healthcare Education Healthcare Healthcare Grocery Retail Finance Manufacturing ? Retail

Excludes ISD and Government Source: McAllen Chamber of Commerce, Business Development Division, 2012

Major Employers in the Rio Grande Valley COMPANY

EMPLOYEES

SECTOR

CITY / COUNTY

Convergys Corp Doctor's Hospital - Renaissance Duda Sod Edinburg Children's Hospital H-E-B Foods Knapp Medical Center McAllen Medical Center Merkafon Penncro Associates Inc Rio Grande Regional Hospital South Texas College Walmart Supercenter Willacy Processing Center Invensys Co Keppel Amfels Key Safety Systems Trico Products Valley Baptist Medical Center Valley Regional Medical Center Worldwide Digital

1000+ 1000+ 500 - 999 500 - 999 500 - 999 1000+ 1000+ 500 - 999 500 - 999 1000+ 1000+ 500 - 999 500 - 999 500 - 999 1000+ 1000+ 500 - 999 500 - 999 500 - 999 500 - 999

Data Communications Hospitals Sod & Sodding Service - Wholesale Hospitals Grocers - Retail Hospitals Hospitals Marketing Programs & Services Collection Agencies Hospitals Schools Department Stores City Govt - Correctional Institutions Nonclassified Establishments Steel - Structural (mfrs) Automobile Parts & Supplies (mfrs) Automobile Parts & Supplies (mfrs) Clinics Hospitals Telephone & Telegraph (mfrs)

Pharr / Hidalgo Edinburg / Hidalgo Mcallen / Hidalgo Edinburg / Hidalgo Weslaco / Hidalgo Weslaco / Hidalgo Mcallen / Hidalgo Edinburg / Hidalgo Mcallen / Hidalgo Mcallen / Hidalgo Mcallen / Hidalgo Mcallen / Hidalgo Raymondville / Willacy Brownsville / Cameron Brownsville / Cameron Los Indios / Cameron Brownsville / Cameron Brownsville / Cameron Brownsville / Cameron Brownsville / Cameron

Excludes ISD and Government Source: Texas Industry Profiles and InfoUSA, 2011

92 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

Harlingen Top Ten Private Sector Employers COMPANY

EMPLOYEES

Valley Baptist Medical Center Advanced Call Center Technologies Dish Network Vicki Roy Home Health Texas State Technical College H-E-B (3) Harlingen Locations Harlingen Medical Center Rio Grande State Center United HealthCare Services, Inc. Wal-Mart Superstore

1,930 1,250 1,013 719 599 592 546 529 401 337

TOTAL

7,416

SECTOR Health Care Service Center Service Center Health Care Technical College Retail Operations Health Care Health Care Service Center Retail Operations

Excludes ISD and Government Source: Harlingen EDC, 2012

Brownsville Top Ten Private Sector Employers COMPANY

EMPLOYEES

Keppel AmFELS Caring For You Home Health Abundant Life Home Health Wal-Mart H-E-B Grocery Valley Regional Medical Center Valley Baptist Medical Center Convergys Corp. Stripes Brownsville Public Utilities Board

2,900 2,635 1,200 1,055 975 786 738 623 550 498

TOTAL EMPLOYEES

11,960

SECTOR Manufacturing Medical/Healthcare Medical/Healthcare Retail Retail Medical/Healthcare Medical/Healthcare Call Center Gas/Food/Retail Utilities

Š MPC Studios

Excludes ISD and Government Source: Brownsville EDC, 2012

Employers by Employee Size Class Employer contact information and employee size ranges are collected and updated by the InfoGroup, Inc. The most current release is a product called the Employer Database 2013 1st Edition. This product shows that the area had approximately 7,992 establishments which employed 10 or more employees. Of these employers, approximately 0.1 percent employed over 1000 employees. 0.2 percent employed between approximately 500 and 999 employees, 5.4 percent employed between approximately 100 and 499 employees, 11.3 percent employed between 50 and 99 employees, 27.7 percent employed between 20 and 49 employees, and 55.3 percent employed between approximately 10 and 19 employees. Economic Development Guide

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THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY 94 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

Projected Cost Estimate for a hypothetical manufacturing facility located in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas May 2013 RE: New Manufacturing Facility Dear John Doe, GM: of your new facilities. Since 1957, We appreciate the opportunity to provide this proposal for the construction ers throughout Texas. With our D. Wilson Construction has provided turnkey building solutions for custom we offer a unique advantage to unparalleled experience and familiarity of the South Texas construction market owners regarding their construction needs. responsible, cost effective team to For your new facilities we will solicit subcontractor bids to assemble the most construction trades to deliver the all build your facilities, as well as provide on-site supervision and scheduling of Performance Bond if you would and project within your schedule and budget. We can provide a 100% Payment Risk Insurance. All accounting like and will provide General Liability, Workers Compensation and All Risk Builders your review. for ed will be done on an open book basis and all subcontractor bids will be submitt work immediately. If you have any I hope this proposal meets with your approval. We are available to begin nity to present this proposal and questions, please feel free to contact me. Once again, thank you for the opportu we look forward to hearing from you again. Respectfully, BILL WILSON D. WILSON CONSTRUCTION CO. Warehouse size (sq. ft.): Cost per sq. ft.:

10,000 $88

25,000 $73

50,000 $66

100,000 $60

The nature of construction is as follows: • Ceilings: (clear height) 20-25 ft., fully sprinkled ent footings • Floor: 4-6 inches of concrete on a sand base with floor drains and heavy equipm • Insulation: includes outside skin and R16 walls and R30 roof • Manufacturing facilities air conditioned • Electric transformers: 6,000 amps or to-be-determined Office space included for each facility: ed • Attached office space for each facility is approximately 10% of previously mention ft. sq. 1,000 sq. ft., 2,500 sq. ft., 5,000 sq. ft. and 7,500 • Climate controlled/air conditioned and pest control program in place Bays at facilities: (pull-up and load) • Each facility includes three cement exterior bays designed for direct loading • Parking area and roadways are designed in asphalt Sanitation at facility: • Personal hygiene areas included and ADA bathroom facilities • Water quality meets US requirements • Kitchenette and lunchroom included

Source: D. Wilson Construction

Economic Development Guide

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THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

FINDING A LOCAL CONTRACTOR OR ARCHITECT

General Contractors Al Garza Construction Al Garza, President P.O. Box 8104 Mission, TX 78572 956-585-7021 Fax 956-585-0737 Bougambilias Construction, LLC Miguel A. Cisneros 505 W. Elizabeth Street Brownsville, TX 78526 956-541-1390 Fax 956-541-1925 bugconst@gmail.com Carkenord & Sons Construction, Inc. Kirk Carkenord, President 700 E. Thomas Drive Pharr, TX 78577 956-787-7040 Fax 956-702-2196 Cubco Construction., Inc. Rick Cardenas, President 1603 East Price Road Brownsville, TX 78521 956-542-0370 Fax 956-546-0370 www.cubcoconstruction.com

H2O Construction Chris Hamby P.O. Box 532845 Harlingen, TX 78523 956-831-9347 Fax 956-428-7174

RGV Advantech Construction, Inc. Luis G. Higareda 810 Del Oro Drive Pharr, TX 78577 956-783-3126 Fax 956-783-3176

Joe Williamson Construction Co., Inc. Joe D. Williamson, President 303 W. Expressway 83 P.O. Box 4352 McAllen, TX 78502 956-781-9781 Fax 956-787-2113 Fax 956-702-1730 www.joewilliamsonconstructionco.com

Terry Ray Construction Inc. Terry Ray, President 5296 Commercial Drive. Brownsville, TX 78521 956-548-2000 Fax 956-548-2075 www.terryray.com

Lamar Construction & Development Lupe Garcia, President P.O. Box 460 McAllen, TX 78505 956-789-4953 Fax 956-424-0329 MAC Manuel Anaya Construction 709 N. Mexico Street Alton, TX 78573 956-221-2400

Frontera Homes Jack Pollock 1501 Larkspur Ave. McAllen Texas 78501 956-648-2979

Peacock General Contractors Inc. TrĂŠ Peacock, President 801 East Grimes P.O. Box 530098 Harlingen, TX 78553 956-423-6733 Fax 956-425-5683

Guzman Construction Victoriano Guzman 2003 S. Dana Pharr Texas 78577 956-655-1402 Fax 956-783-8088

Peterson Construction Inc. Tom Peterson, President 808 East Violet Ave. McAllen, TX 78504 Fax 956-631-0605 www.petersonconstructioninc.com

96 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Scoggins Construction Bill Scoggins, President 17862 Graham Road Harlingen, TX 78552 956-421-3558 Fax 956-421-3154 SpawGlass Contractors Inc. Rene Capistran 4909 E. Grimes, Ste. 116 Harlingen, TX 78550 956-412-9880 Fax 956-412-3581 www.spawglass.com Tri-Gen Construction LLC Jorge/Juan Gonzalez 509 E. Pike Blvd., Ste. A Weslaco, TX 78596 956-447-1048 Fax 956-447-2003 www.tri-gen.com W. Murray Thompson Construction Co., Inc. W. Murray Thompson, President 24436 Pennsylvania / P.O. Box 632 San Benito, TX 78586 956-399-2212 Fax 956-399-2812 www.wmurraythompson.com


Rike-Ogden-Figueroa-Allex Architects Inc. McAllen 956-686-7771 Fax 956-687-3433

Jorge Vidal UTPA Physical Plant Edinburg 956-381-2449

Rike-Ogden-Figueroa-Allex Architects Inc. Harlingen 956-412-7772 Fax 956-412-7773

Cignac & Associates Corpus Christi 361-884-2661 Fax 361-884-4232 Cignac & Associates Harlingen 956-365-4820 Fax 956-365-4822

Architects AIA LRGV-Office McAllen 956-776-0100 Ext. 2050 Fax 956-994-8827 Alcocer, Garcia Inc. McAllen 956-618-2007 Fax 956-618-2008 Alvarado Architects & Associates Donna 956-464-8258 Fax 956-464-8268 Amtech Building Sciences Inc. McAllen 956-686-3095 Fax 956-686-2233 Boultinghouse Simpson & Associates Inc. McAllen 956-630-9494 Fax 956-630-2058 Broaddus & Associates McAllen 956-688-2307 Fax 956-688-2315 City of McAllen Engineering Architecture McAllen 956-972-7140 Disen͂o Inc. Pharr 956-702-1399 Fax 956-702-3411 EGV Inc. Hidalgo 956-843-2987 Fax 956-843-9726

Comez, Mendez, Saenz, Inc. Brownsville 956-546-0110 Fax 956-0196 IDE* A Group Inc. McAllen 956-686-6806 Fax 956-686-5704

THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

ERO International LLP McAllen 956-661-0400 Fax 956-661-0401

Roberto J. Ruiz Architect Inc. Brownsville 956-350-9195 Fax 956-350-9196 Rolando Garcia Broaddus & Assoc. McAllen 956-688-2307 Fax 956-688-2315 John Silar Architect/Associates Harlingen 956-428-1856 Walker/Perez Associates Brownsville 956-546-7094

Mata-Garcia Architects LLP McAllen 956-631-1945 Fax 956-631-1968 Max E. Burkhart – Valcon Pharr 956-631-9165 Fax 956-682-8519 Martha Salinas Hovar Pro Mgr. Edinburg 956-381-3461 Fax 956-381-2771 Megamorphosis Architecture Harlingen 956-428-1779 Fax 956-425-5886 Milnet Architectural Services McAllen 956-688-5656 Fax 956-687-9289

Quality People...Quality Projects www.rgvagc.org

Negrete & Kolar Architects Edinburg 956-386-0611 Fax 956-386-0613 PBK Architects McAllen 956-687-1330 Fax 956-687-1331

www.texas811.org

Source: Associated General Contractors of America Photo: McAllen Construction

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THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

HIDALGO COUNTY DRAINAGE DISTRICT #1 Master Drainage System Improvements The Drainage District was created in 1908 with just over $176,000 in fixed assets. Their assets as of January 2012 surpass $125 million. Drainage District #1 has 103 fulltime employees with 59 trucks, 2 backhoes, 4 dozers, 2 dragline, 2 motor graders, 30 tractors and 14 excavators. It maintains and operates 797 sq. miles of drainage system, 13 pump stations and 15 weir structures. It has completed excavation of over 800 miles of drainage ditches including over 200 bridges and crossings. Hidalgo County borders San Manuel to the north, Willacy and Cameron Counties to the east, the Rio Grande River to the south and Peñitas to the west. The county population grew 36% between

2000 and 2010, and it has grown 326% in the last 40 years. The need for drainage improvements continues to grow. Since Hurricane Beulah, the county has had major events with rain totals of over 20” and losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. County residents have been lucky so far that these storms have not been catastrophic. With over $35 billion in property valuations and the safety and wellbeing of over 800,000 people, the need to improve the county’s drainage system is urgent. Key projects have been identified that can protect the assets and communities by specifically installing additional flood gates,

On November 6, 2012, Hidalgo County voters approved the bond referendum with 75% of the voters in favor of the drainage board of directs issuing $84 million in bonds and leveraging a $100 million federal grant to fund 25 specific projects in the County. These monies will improve the County's drainage system, move storm water runoff out of the County faster, and by doing so these improvements can help protect the safety of our communities and over $35 billion in property assets. 98 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

repairing structures and the excavation of key channels. These improvements will increase the outflow of storm water throughout the system.


THE CORPORATE COMMUNITY

2012 Hidalgo County Drainage Bond Projects 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

J-09 Drain System Raymondville Drain West Main Drain Control Mission Lateral FM 495 Drain Control PSJA Lateral Mission Inlet Jackson Drain Culvert Edinburg Stub Control Alamo Lateral Control South Pharr/McAllen Lateral Donna North Lateral Control Alamo/Expressway Drain

14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

South Floodwater Channel Monte Cristo Drain Control Weslaco North Lateral East Donna Drain Weslaco Drain Lateral South Mercedes Lateral Mercedes Lateral Rado Drain Re-Route Rural Drainage Development Weir System Rehabilitation System Acquisition Delta Area Watershed Development

Source: Office of Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia

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What makes the Valley so

GRANDE?  Close proximity to Mexico - our location puts us at the center of international trade with a consumer base of 10 million within a 200-mile radius  Buying power of the Rio Grande Valley’s Hispanic population is over $10 billion  Part of the fastest growing MSA in Texas  Region has lowest cost of living in the nation  Young, bilingual and skilled workforce  Region ranks 3rd nationwide to have more jobs than before the recession  McAllen ranked #1 in the nation for long term job growth

NAI Rio Grande Valley is a full service commercial real estate firm, which covers the Rio Grande Valley area. What makes NAI RGV different is the way we bring together people and resources from around the world to deliver results for our clients. As a member of the world’s only managed network of commercial real estate firms, NAI Global, NAI RGV works together to help our clients strategically optimize their assets. Our clients come to us for our deep local knowledge. They build their businesses on the power of our global managed network. We realize potential and deliver results.

 McAllen MSA #3 Among Top MidSized Cities in the U.S. for Jobs  Texas/Mexico corridor was named a Top Region to Watch in 2012 for automotive manufacturing revival  McAllen MSA was ranked as the best housing market in the nation

Let us be your guide!

www.nairgv.com McAllen Office 956 994 8900 Harlingen Office 956 425 9400 Brownsville Office 956 544 7272

The information contained herein was obtained from sources believed reliable. However, NAI Rio Grande Valley makes no guarantees, warranties, or representations as to the completeness and accuracy thereof. NAI Rio Grande Valley is a Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Texas. Statistical data is from McAllen Economic Development Corporation, McAllen Chamber of Commerce, Council for Community and Economic Research and research done by NAI Rio Grande Valley. For any questions regarding this information, please call 956-994-8900.


956.681.1800 Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! • The International Bridge with the most lanes available • Fast access to the airport, shopping & entertainment districts within the city of McAllen • The only International Bridge with pedestrian access • SENTRI Lane in place www.mcallen.net/bridge/hidalgo | www.usmexicobridge.com | www.exploremcallen.com

956.681.1820 6 A.M.-10 P.M., 7 days a week The Best and the Fastest Crossing to McAllen and the RGV! • Safest and fastest way to and from the US/Mexico • The most up-to-date technology supported by a first-class infrastructure

• Direct access from Reynosa to Expressway 83 • SENTRI Lane in place

6100 S. Stewart Rd., Mission TX 78572 | www.usmexicobridge.com | www.exploremcallen.com


BORDER BRIDGES (POE)

INTERNATIONAL BRIDGES State of the Art Connections Between Texas and Mexico Whether you are a US resident, citizen of Mexico, an employee of the US or foreign manufacturing operation in Reynosa, Mexico, the City of McAllen provides multiple options for cross-border travel. McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge: Since 1926, the McAllenHidalgo International Bridge has

served as a port to connect two great cities on both sides of the border, McAllen and Reynosa. The McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge is located in Hidalgo, Texas which is eight miles from the City of McAllen. There are actually two bridges with four southbound and four northbound lanes. The northbound lanes provide for 12

McAllen-Reynosa & Anzalduas International Bridge Crossing Data Cars Pedestrians Trucks Buses

2009 4,502,287 1,575,193 4,428 29,781

2010 4,241,255 1,578,295 3,386 2,260

2011 3,845,773 1,540,559 2,382 20,819

2012 3,841,942 1,479,032 7,352 20,558

Source: City of McAllen Finance Department

102 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

inspection stations which are manned by federal agencies including US Customs, INS, USDA and Border Patrol. They are collectively charged to protect the Border while facilitating trade, commerce and pedestrian flow. The bridge is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.


BORDER BRIDGES (POE)

To better facilitate travel northbound, a SENTRI (Secured Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) has been implemented for both vehicular and pedestrian travelers. This system is a great way to travel frequently across the border without having to deal with heavy traffic. The Anzalduas International Bridge is located 4 miles upriver from the Hidalgo bridge crossing. It is a state of the art modern facility that creates an efficient and safe way to travel into Reynosa and beyond. The Anzalduas International Bridge is actually located in Mission, Texas. Access to the bridge is best achieved via W. Military Hwy. or Bryan Road, now known as the Anzalduas International Highway. Since its opening on December 15, 2009, the Anzalduas International Bridge has reduced travel time to everyone using this route headed to or from the interior of Mexico and most importantly Monterrey. Travel times between Reynosa and Monterrey have been reduced by 30-45 minutes which is very important to McAllenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s retail economy. The Anzalduas International Bridge has 4 lanes, which include a SENTRI lane, into the United States and 5 lanes, which include an EZ Cross Lane into Reynosa. The bridge is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Š MPC Studios

The McAllen-Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridges have reported changes in bridge crossings as reflected in the table. Much of these changes have been the result of increased border security at the ports of entry.

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BORDER BRIDGES (POE)

WORLDS APART But on the Same Page International Bridges The Rio Grande Valley is strategically located in the heart of a bi-national region. On land, it is conveniently accessible by the east-west corridor, U.S. Expressway 83, that directly connects to the primary north-south highways US281 and US77 that lead into the Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interstates I-37 and I-35. The system is being upgraded to facilitate the I-69 Corridor. This ultimate super highway will extend from Mexico City to Canada, directly connecting the Valley with other interstate highways throughout North America. Veterans International Bridge The Veterans Internal Bridge is an eight lane bridge with two pedestrian walkways and four lanes dedicated for commercial traffic. The bridge is also known as Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates. This bridge is located in Brownsville, Texas on the United States side and on the northern terminus of the Mexican Federal Highway 77 (Calle U.S. Hwy. 77) in Matamoros, Tamaulipas Mexico. It operates from 6 A.M. to 12:00 A.M. Midnight. It is currently the newest of the three international bridges serving the twin cities and is approximately one mile long (1.60934 km) long. Because of its length, very few pedestrians use it. Gateway International Bridge Gateway International Bridge is one of three international bridges that cross the U.S.-Mexico border

between the cities of Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Tamaulipas. It is owned and operated by Cameron County. Over the past century, it has developed the nickname of the New Bridge when the bridge was remodeled back in the 20th century. Despite the fact that the Veterans International Bridge is newer than the Gateway, it still retains its nickname. The Gateway International Bridge is located in Downtown Brownsville and a block from the University of Texas at Brownsville. It is the most used international bridge in the city for pedestrian crossings. People on the U.S. side, walk over to Mexico and have access to several tourist attractions in Matamoros. Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge The Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge, also known as

104 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

B&M International Bridge, BrownsvilleMatamoros International Bridge and Express Bridge, is one of three international bridges that cross the U.S.-Mexico border between the cities of Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Tamaulipas. It is popularly called the old bridge because its original incarnation, still standing, is the city's oldest international bridge. In 1999, Texas state Historical marker 11778 was placed at the site by the Texas Historical Commission and the Cameron County Historical Commission to recognize the bridge's historical significance. Currently, the B&M Bridge Company is jointly owned by the federal government of Mexico and the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Union Pacific trains cross the original International Bridge. The B&M Bridge Company is now calling


BORDER BRIDGES (POE)

N Dallas

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Ho

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TEXAS

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59 37 35

1 ROMA 2 RIO GRANDE CITY 3 ANZALDUAS 4 McALLEN -HIDALGO 5 PHARR 6 DONNA 7 NUEVO PROGRESO 8 BROWNSVILLE BRIDGES

59

Ciudad Miguel Alemán International Bridge

77 Laredo

281

Camargo International Bridge

83

©MPC Studios

MEXICO

1 2

85

its automobile bridge the Express Bridge in honor of its issuance in 1999 of prepaid toll express cards. The Express Bridge is also open to, and collects tolls from, bicyclists and pedestrians. West Rail Bridge Brownsville, TX Slated to Open Dec. 2013 Free Trade International Bridge at Los Indios The Free Trade International Bridge at Los Indios is an international bridge that crosses the Rio Grande River connecting the United StatesMexico border cities of Los Indios, Texas and Matamoros, Tamaulipas. The 503 foot (153 m) long bridge receives a mix of pedestrians, passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. The four lane bridge which was completed and opened in 1992 is owned and managed by Cameron County. Donna - Rio Bravo International Bridge The Donna Rio Bravo Land Port of Entry opened for passenger vehicular traffic on December 14, 2010. The Donna Rio Bravo International Bridge toll facilities and connecting roadways in Donna and in Rio Bravo can accommodate both passenger and commercial traffic.

3

McAllen

International Bridge

40 Monterrey

International Bridge

4 5 6 7 8

101 97

International Bridge

85

International Bridge

S

International Bridge

Source: City of McAllen

The Bridge is owned and operated by the City of Donna, strategically located in the “Heart of the Valley” and is also strategically located in the State of Tamaulipas and provides a logistic advantage to existing vehicular traffic as well as commercial traffic. The Bridge has 8 lanes and is a total distance of 1000 feet in length; allowing for the fluid movement of people and International Commerce into the U.S. Markets. The City of Donna is working with Customs and Border Protection in order to maximize the hours of operation for passenger and commercial traffic. The Bridge will have access to future I 69 West and I 69 East highway corridors. Progreso - Nuevo Progreso International Bridge Progreso-Nuevo Progreso International Bridge on the U.S.Mexico border, has been in operation at this location since

Los Tomates Gateway Bridge B&M Bridge Los Indios

1952. It connects the cities of Progreso Lakes, Texas, and Nuevo Progreso, Tamaulipas. The ProgresoNuevo Progreso International Bridge has wide, covered pedestrian walkways and new truck lanes to and from Mexico. Parking is located on both sides of FM 1015 before you enter the toll gate. Parking is nominal and the lots are paved and there's someone on duty during all daylight hours. Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge Pharr International Bridge serves as one of the most important ports of entry for the U.S.-Mexico border. The bridge handles commercial vehicles as well as passengeroperated vehicles. The Pharr International Bridge connects U.S. Route 281 in Pharr, Texas, to the city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas. The residents from Mexico call it The Intelligent Bridge, due to the stateof-the-art technology. The Pharr Economic Development Guide

105


Traffic has Reached an All Time High Along the Southwest Border

Progreso International Bridge was designed to get your trucks moving north into America’s markets with easy access to Expressway 83 and the I-69 corridor, and southbound into Mexico. Exports and imports between the US and MX, and the ensuing demand for trucking cargo, have grown tremendously in the southwest border region, capturing a greater share of the nation’s total trade and commercial truck traffic. Progreso International Bridge - Land Port of Entry is centrally located between McAllen and Brownsville in the United States; with Matamoros and Reynosa aligned on the Mexico side. Through our well established trade corridor from Mexico to the industrial Northeast, Midwest, and other regional markets, demand for truck hauls by maquiladora production and the delivery of components from U.S. warehouses to maquiladoras is on the rise. When time and convenience matter, Progreso International Bridge will get your trucks moving.

Progreso International Bridge Phone: 956-565-6361 • Email: julie@texasmexicobridges.com

TEXAS’ LAND PORTS WITH MEXICO ARE THE BUSIEST IN THE NATION!

WE’LL GET YOUR TRUCKS MOVING!


Corridor to Progreso


BORDER BRIDGES (POE)

Starr-Camargo Bridge Company Rio Grande City’s Starr-Camargo Bridge is an International Bridge Port of Entry which crosses the Rio Grande connecting the United States-Mexico border cities of Rio Grande City, Texas and Camargo, Tamaulipas. The bridge is also known as Starr-Camargo Bridge for the county and municipio it serves and Puente Camargo (Camargo Bridge)

International Bridge connects U.S. 281 to the city of Reynosa, an important industrial city in northeastern Mexico, and one of the fastest growing cities in Latin America. TxDOT has invested 25 million dollars to open a new Border Safety Inspection Facility (BSIF) that quickly checks commercial vehicles for safety on Texas/U.S. highways. McAllen-Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge The McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge opened in 1926 with four lane spans connecting the Rio Grande Valley to Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. For more than six decades it has facilitated the transport and promoted international union and friendship between Texas and Mexico. It is the only International Port of Entry in the area with a pedestrian crossing. Within the four lane spans; one lane is conveniently dedicated as an EZ Cross lane, this lane offers a refillable pre-paid card that is purchased at the Bridge’s administration building. The McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge is open 24/7 - 365 days a year. Anzalduas International Bridge The Anzalduas International Bridge officially opened for traffic on

December 15, 2009. Since then it has served as the most direct, safe, and efficient route between the Rio Grande Valley and Mexican cities such as Monterrey and Mexico City, reducing the travel time by as much as 45 minutes. The Anzalduas International Bridge counts with 5 lanes including one lane conveniently dedicated as an EZ Cross lane, this lane is used with a reloadable pre-paid card which can be purchased at the Bridge’s administration building. The Anzalduas International Bridge is open from 6:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M., 7 days a week, 365-days a year. Los Ebanos Ferry The hand-operated ferry at the Los Ebanos crossing is the last of its kind along the entire stretch of the Rio Grande River. It is formally known as the Los Ebanos-Diaz Ordaz Ferry and it is located at the crossing point between Los Ebanos, Texas and Ciudad Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas. Named after the abundance of ebony trees that flourish around the site, the ferry is the last handpulled ferry in existence within the U. S. It can transport three cars and several pedestrians across the Rio Grande and you can even assist in pulling.

108 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

The Starr-Camargo International Bridge POE is currently owned by the Starr-Camargo Bridge Company, which also manages it. The bridge was completed and opened in 1966 and is two lane and 591 feet (180 m) long. Roma - Ciudad Miguel Alemán International Bridge Roma - Ciudad Miguel Alemán International Bridge serves a port of entry between Mexico and the United States. It is open 24 hours a day, all year long. It spans the Rio Grande River (known as Rio Bravo in Mexico) between Roma, Texas and Ciudad Miguel Alemán, Tamaulipas. This suspension bridge was built in 1928 and was reopened in 2004. It is a National Historic Landmark in the United States and in Mexico. Roma was a prosperous river port in the 19th century. Historic structures front a plaza overlooking the Rio Grande with a view of the bridge.

Source: RGV Partnership Photo: Cameron County


2011 Southbound

2012 Southbound

Bridge Crossings

Bridge Crossings

Bridge Crossings

Cameron County Auto/Other ...........4,717,217 Pedestrian.............2,448,444 Truck...........................206,534 County Total ....7,372,195

Cameron County Auto/Other ...........4,443,803 Pedestrian.............1,979,591 Truck...........................264,616 County Total ....6,688,010

Hidalgo County Auto/Other ...........5,933,471 Pedestrian.............2,448,957 Truck...........................364,960 County Total ....8,747,388

Hidalgo County Auto/Other ...........5,404,030 Pedestrian.............2,185,562 Truck...........................441,849 County Total ....8,031,441

Cameron County Auto/Other ...........4,326,713 Pedestrian.............1,962,280 Bus ...................................8,320 Truck...........................220,364 County Total ....6,517,677

Starr County Auto/Other...............784,705 Pedestrian ................229,049 Truck .............................28,792 County Total ....1,042,546

Starr County Auto/Other...............639,466 Pedestrian ................199,259 Truck .............................31,750 County Total .......870,475

Total Crossings 17,162,129

Total Crossings 15,589,926

Total Auto/Other......11,435,393 Total Pedestrian.........5,126,450 Total Truck .....................600,286

Total Auto/Other......10,487,299 Total Pedestrian.........4,364,412 Total Truck .....................738,215

BORDER BRIDGES (POE)

2010 Southbound

Hidalgo County Auto/Other ...........5,662,895 Pedestrian.............2,260,791 Bus.................................20,514 Truck...........................514,598 County Total ....8,458,798 Starr County Auto/Other...............735,313 Pedestrian ................223,937 Bus.......................................N/A Truck .............................12,511 County Total .......971,761

Total Crossings 15,948,236 Total Auto/Other......10,724,921 Total Pedestrian.........4,447,008 Total Bus ..........................28,834 Total Truck .....................747,473

Source: Business Barometer provided by: Sandra De Los Santos, RGV Partnership - Regional Chamber of Commerce Map: UTPA Data Center

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BORDER BRIDGES (POE)

PROGRESO Transload by Rio Valley Switching Co.

International Land Port of Entry (LPOE) The Progreso/Nuevo Progreso International Bridge has been operating since 1952. In the first years of operation the bridge experienced relatively low crossings through a mix of pedestrians, automobile and commercial traffic. Originally, it was only open from 5:00 A.M. to 12:00 A.M., and the toll went southbound only. During the 1970’s an increase in all three categories was clear. A new bridge was completed in 2003 providing instant success. With expansive covered walkways on each side, the hike across became a delight. Four lanes of traffic permitted a steady flow of cars going either way. Improvements were made to the main administration building at the Progreso Land Port of Entry in the Rio Grande Valley. This facility supports expanded immigration services and inspection processes for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The brick, stucco, and galvanized metal

building are the architectural centerpiece of the facilities, offices and remodeled International Bridge that links Progreso with Nuevo Progreso, Tamaulipas. Located to the East, a new truck bridge has removed heavy truck traffic and makes crossing even more gratifying. Re-routing the southbound truck crossings by means of a new Progreso International Heavy Load Commercial Truck Bridge, south bounders will experience the alike in the near future. Progreso LPOE’s growth better serves the

110 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

expanding consumer base. By enhancing the volume of crossborder truck traffic, through the new 2-lane truck bridge designed to accommodate single and double trailers, and extra heavy loads. The truck bridge will connect in the very near future to Mexican Import/Export Facilities. US facilities are already complete and ready for use. Bridge traffic has proved fantastically substantial over the past decade, both southbound and northbound. Over the past 15 years, about 1.25 million pedestrians cross the Progreso


BORDER BRIDGES (POE)

Bridge each year. In addition, another million cars make the southbound crossing.  Both truck and tour bus traffic has increased steadily.  A majority of trucks crossing now carry grain, primarily corn for tortillas, into Mexico. Construction of a separate commercial bridge for heavy truck traffic is nearly complete for this southbound traffic. With the opening of these new truck

bridges the board and bridge staff members expect an increase in traffic heading in both directions. This proactive move will enhance the safety of Nuevo Progreso’s center of town; by removing heavy truck traffic. Additionally, a by-pass from FM1015 to the north entry of the Progreso LPOE has made this transition of traffic easy.

Coming Soon: Fall 2013

Progreso Cold Storage New progress will be seen during 2013 as Progreso Cold Storage, LLC builds a new facility next to the Progreso International Bridge. Their proximity to this bridge and accessibility to I-69 will make this facility extremely well located for productivity. Trucks coming in from Mexico will deliver swiftly and trucks picking up loads will find this location particularly convenient. Progreso Cold Storage will provide services for both cold and dry storage to the numerous import and export companies of fruits and vegetables that are requesting these services through the Progreso Land Port of Entry. The facility will be certified by PrimusGFS, and provide state of the art monitoring controls and devices that will preserve and deliver longer shelf life to all produce. Progreso Cold Storage services will include: inand-outs, transfers, overweight control, re-runs, re-packs and many additional services required by the industry. Logistics are an important part of the services they deliver. They’re knowledgeable in assisting their customers with transportation into Mexico and delivery in the USA. Progreso Cold Storage has committed to providing office space to a number of customs brokers who desire opening their business close to the Progreso Bridge and I-69. They do whatever it takes to meet your needs from the time your products are stored in their facilities to the point of delivery. No matter how big or small, they value business and understand that customers come first. Furthermore; they will provide needed jobs to the region. For more information on Progreso Cold Storage, please contact Rigoberto Eguia at Rigo@ProgresoCold.com or call (956) 878-3518. For more information on Progreso International Bridge, please contact Julie Guerra-Ramirez at Julie@TexasMexicoBridges.com or call (956) 565-6361. Economic Development Guide

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The bridges strategic locations and connecting infrastructure serves domestic and transnational importers and exporters through both intracoastal and deep water seaports, road, air, and rail networks. Crossing commercial trucks, passenger-operated vehicles, and pedestrians daily: Our mission is to serve as the most convenient and safe crossing points for all citizens and tourists of both U.S. and Mexico, as well as facilitate the crossing of all freight and import-export trade in a timely and efficient manner.

Gateway International Bridge

Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates

DISTANCE TO Brownsville - SPI International Airport ....................5 miles / 11-13 minutes Valley International Airport ...................................29 miles / 40-45 minutes Deep Water Seaport - Port of Brownsville.............7-9 miles / 13-16 minutes Intracoastal Waterway - Port of Harlingen ..................27 miles / 36 minutes

DISTANCE TO Brownsville - SPI International Airport ............10-12 miles / 15-20 minutes Valley International Airport........................................24 miles / 32 minutes Deep Water Seaport - Port of Brownsville ..........10.5 miles / 15-18 minutes Intracoastal Waterway - Port of Harlingen..................23 miles / 31 minutes

510 East 14th Street Located at the Intersection of E. Elizabeth St. and International Blvd., Brownsville, TX 78520 956.574.8767 Open 24 Hours Seven Days A Week

3310 S. Expressway 77 Brownsville, TX 78521 956.574.8771 Operational Hours: 6:00 A.M. - 12:00 A.M. Midnight (Central Time) Seven Days A Week


BROWNSVILLE IS CONNECTED: to McAllen, TX - 1 hour - 61 miles to Monterrey, MX - 3.5 hours - 196 miles to Houston, TX - 4 hours - 277 miles to Cheyenne, WY - 20 hours - 1,299 miles

Free Trade International Bridge at Los Indios

to Chicago, IL - 22.2 hours - 1,437 miles to Toronto, Canada - 1 day 5 hours - 1,883 miles to San Francisco, CA - 1 day 5 hours - 2012 miles to Boston, MA - 1 day 9 hours - 2,195 miles

West Rail Bridge New Rail Bridge Projecting for Operation Dec. 2013

DISTANCE TO Brownsville - SPI International Airport..................25-30 miles / 40 minutes Valley International Airport...................................18-19 miles / 29 minutes Deep Water Seaport - Port of Brownsville................25.5 miles / 36 minutes Intracoastal Waterway - Port of Harlingen.......16-18 miles / 26-28 minutes

South Texas will benefit from the activities and due diligence of: Carlos H. Cascos, CPA, Cameron County Judge, Sofia C. Benavides, Cameron County Commissioner Pct. 1, Ernie L. Hernandez, Jr., Cameron County Commissioner Pct. 2, David A. Garza, Cameron County Commissioner Pct. 3, Dan A. Sanchez, Cameron County Commissioner Pct. 4 For conducting a comprehensive assessment of the Rio Grande Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic condition by taking into account the Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s changing dynamics. It is through their continued commitment to public service; which in turn serves to promote needs that will serve the best interest of the county, by fostering the region as a whole.

100 Los Indios Blvd. Los Indios, TX 78567 956.361.8200 Operational Hours: 6:00 A.M. - 12:00 A.M. Midnight (Central Time) Seven Days A Week

5850 U.S. 281 Brownsville, TX 78526 For more information on the Cameron County Bridge System, visit: www.co.cameron.tx.us


BORDER BRIDGES (POE)

BORDER WELCOMES FIRST RAIL LINE IN MORE THAN A CENTURY by Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune

The last time the Texas-Mexico border witnessed a ribbon cutting for a railway bridge, the United States had yet to witness two world wars or Prohibition. And Mexico had not yet seen its own country in the throes of revolution. That is set to change in December 2013, when officials from both sides of the Rio Grande expect the completion of the Brownsville West Rail Bypass International Bridge, an eight-mile project that traverses a rural part of Cameron County in Texas and runs into Tamaulipas State

in Mexico. The bridge, which has taken more than 10 years to plan and build, will be the first across the border since the 1900s. Business experts and local officials say the project should make the growing trade between Texas and Mexico easier and allow the Laredo Customs District to remain the country’s No. 1 inland port.  The bridge was designed, in part, to help alleviate the congestion caused by the current rail line between cities on both sides of the border. 

114 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

“One of the problems that we have with the existing rail bridge is that we do not have a window with sufficient time to cross into Mexico,” said Pete Sepulveda, the Cameron County administrator, referring to the time when rail traffic does not intrude on vehicular and pedestrian traffic in urban areas. “When we take it from an urban area to a rural area, that gives us the ability to extend that window,” Sepulveda said. “From an administrative standpoint, that gives us a good marketing tool.” 


The Mexican government “predicts that in the next five years, it will increase to 35 percent,” Balido said. Despite a global economic downturn and a level of violence in Mexico that has not been seen since its revolution in the early 20th century, trade between the United States and Mexico has increased steadily over the last few years.  During the first seven months of this year, commerce between the two countries totaled about $287 billion, according to United States census data analyzed by WorldCity, which

tracks global trade patterns. That represents an increase of almost 10 percent over the same period in 2011. About $133 billion of that has passed through the Laredo Customs District, which includes the Port of Brownsville. The county has spent about $3.5 million on the project. The remaining $34 million was picked up by the state and federal governments, Sepulveda said. The Brownsville bridge project began in 2000 and moved slowly, in part because of it had to come out of its general revenue. International vehicular and pedestrian bridges, which often charge tolls and are managed by city officials, are significant sources of money for local governments. The revenue is partly spent on infrastructure projects or improvements. Rail lines are privately owned, however, and Union Pacific will own and manage the new line. Sepulveda said the county would benefit instead from the economic development attached to the

BORDER BRIDGES (POE)

Rail traffic hauls about 6 percent of the goods that pass across the United States’ southern border under the North American Free Trade Agreement, said Nelson Balido, the president of the Border Trade Alliance, a nonprofit consortium of economists and private sector interests that represents more than 4.2 million members.

project, including a revamp of the area around the existing line. “There is going to be about an eight-mile stretch inside the city of Brownsville that we’re going to be able to redevelop,” he said.  He added that the violence in Mexico had not been a deterrent.  “We knew we were planning for the future. We were aware,” he said. “We’re cognizant of the issues going on in Mexico, but we feel that given time, those issues will be resolved.”  “And when they do,” he added, “we want to be in a position to maximize the benefits."

Source: This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2012/10/12/borderwelcomes-first-rail-line-more-century/ Trainyard Photo: Union Pacific Concrete Railroad Tie Photos: Cameron County

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GEARING UP! Diversifying Our Economy and Talent Base

ALPS ELECTRIC CO., LTD.

Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center

Contact TMAC

The Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC) exists to enhance the competitive position of the state's manufacturing sector. TMAC's Manufacturing Specialists work with a wide range of industrial firms, delivering training, providing technical assistance and implementing best business practices. Our particular emphasis is on the needs of small to mid-sized manufacturers. Focus areas include innovative solutions, lean manufacturing and lean office principles, strategic management, quality systems, environment and safety.

Texas manufacturers can access the expertise of 50 Manufacturing Specialists by dialing a single toll-free number 1-800-625-4876 or 1-956-665-7011, or by emailing tmac@panam.edu, or visit www.tmac.org for more information.

TMAC is an affiliate of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which provides Federal funding. TMAC consists of seven partner institutions delivering services statewide. The Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center: • Provides affordable statewide access to training and technical assistance that smaller manufacturers and those in rural areas would not otherwise have. • Leverages partners’ funding and customer fees with federal dollars in a unique public-private partnership. • Supports the competitiveness of Texas’ manufacturing sector by focusing on firms committed to continuous improvement and willing to invest in their own growth. • Enhances the development of supplier relationships between large and small manufacturers in Texas, helping to keep dollars circulating within the state economy. • Has a measurable positive impact on its customers and the state economy.

Source: University of Texas - Pan American

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Manufacturing Employment (Annual Average Number of Jobs)

9000 8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0

Brownsville-Harlingen MSA

2005

2006

2007

2008

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA

2009

2010

2011

2012

Q3 2009 Number of Jobs by MSA • Note: Not seasonally adjusted Source: Texas Workforce Commission

2009 Q3 Average Weekly Wages Comparisons Source: Texas Workforce Commission

DID YOU KNOW.... Port of Harlingen Authority exports 100% sugar produced in the Rio Grande Valley, imports 90% fertilizer for South Texas farmers and imports 70% of the refined petroleum for South Texas 118 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Donna has a long heritage of manufacturing and in fact is home to the original Ro-tel tomatoes and diced green chilies. The name brand is no longer produced in Donna, but if you eat HEB’s Hill Country Fare tomatoes and diced green chilis, you’re eating great food produced right in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley in Donna, TX.


Follow the road to success on... I-69 is destined to be a critical spoke in the network of infrastructure for South Texas. With every mile completed, new doors open for economic development, new jobs are created and a more efficient trade route becomes accessible. Interstate access is important when choosing a location for a business - especially for restaurants. Many national restaurant chains are already prospering in the Rio Grande Valley. Join them by “following the road to success!”  58 of the 254 recognized restaurant chains in America are located in the greater McAllen MSA  In 2011 approx. $1.3 billion was spent on food & beverage in the Rio Grande Valley & 1/4 of that was spent in McAllen

Join the National Restaurant Chains that have already found their route to the McAllen MSA on the “Future I-69”

McAllen Office 956 994 8900 Harlingen Office 956 425 9400 Brownsville Office 956 544 7272


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MADE IN USA VS. MADE IN CHINA Manufacturers Consider Migration Back to U.S.: • Ocean freight costs have increased 135%, highlighting risks and cost volatility. • The global commodity price index has risen by 27%. • The Chinese Yuan has gained 18% in value compared to the U.S. dollar. • Chinese manufacturing wages have been risen by 44%. Survey to Manufacturers doing business in China: • Slower Cycle/Delivery Time (59% respondents) • Reduced Supply Chain Flexibility and Responsiveness (56% of respondents) • Lost Visibility, Coordination and Control Over the Supply Chain including Quality (50% of respondents) • Bottlenecks in Logistics Networks (e.g. ports, transportation) (50% of respondents) 90% of the companies surveyed are considering changing or have begun changing. Source: IndustryWeek.com

©MPC Studios

Manufacturing Employment Projection for Rio South Texas 2010-2020 (Annual Average Employment) Industry Title Food Manufacturing Beverage & Tobacco Product Manufacturing Textile Mills Textile Manufacturing Apparel Manufacturing Leather & Allied Product Manufacturing Wood Product Manufacturing Paper Manufacturing Printing and Related Support Activities Chemical Manufacturing Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing Machinery Manufacturing Electrical Equipment, Appliance and Component Mfg Transportation Equipment Manufacturing Furniture and Related Parts Manufacturing Miscellaneous Manufacturing

Cameron WDA Growth Rate

Lower RGV WDA Growth Rate

South Texas WDA Growth Rate

12.1% 16.7% 16.7% 5.3% -12.5% 6.3% -4.5% -11.5% 23.5% 16.7% 8.4% -12.5% 11.1%

10.1% 7.1% 250% 60% 10% -8.3% -6.7% -11.1% -37.5% 8.3% 5.6% 20% 25% 6.7%

13.3% 33.3% -28.6% 25% 25% 26.7% 14.3% 25% 25% 14.3% -

Supply Chain Employment Projection for Rio South Texas 2010-2020 (Annual Average Employment) Industry Title Air Transportation Rail Transportation Truck Transportation Transit and Ground Passenger Transport Support Activities for Transportation Postal Services, Public/Private Couriers and Messengers Warehousing and Storage

Cameron WDA Growth Rate

Lower RGV WDA Growth Rate

South Texas WDA Growth Rate

13.3% 16.7% 20.5% 18.8% 18.5%

20% 14.9% 19.3% 12.9% -1.3% 9.8% 17.7%

25% -7.1% 33% 3.4% 25.5% -5% 21.2% 19.1% WDA - Workforce Development Area Source: Texas Workforce Commission

120 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


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Advanced Manufacturing Employment (Q1 Average Monthly Employment)   



 

  

     



 

    







 

 



 

       

 

  

 

 

  

 

Industrial infancy Opportunity! Locate your industry in Starr Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest Industrial Park or Foreign Trade Zone. Call the Starr County Industrial Foundation for the latest incentives. 601 E. Main St. Rio Grande City, TX 78582 (956) 487-2709





 









   









Q3 2009 Advanced Manufacturing Employment â&#x20AC;˘ Note: Not seasonally adjusted Source: Texas Workforce Commission

Industry Clusters by County Manufacturing

Supply Chain

County

Food, Beverage & Textile Products Manufacturing

Paper, Chemical & Plastic Products Manufacturing

Metal & Wood Products Manufacturing

Transportation

Warehousing

Total

Starr

13

16

13

-

-

42

Hidalgo

225

286

419

109

56

1095

Willacy

7

5

7

-

-

19

148

160

295

40

9

652

Cameron

Source: NAAMREI Leadership Team Rio South Texas Asset Mapping Final Report

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Machines break down tires into materials useful for the production of other items.

122 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


The Harlingen Economic Development Corporation helped the Tire Recycling and Processing, LLC, (TRP), locate in the Harlingen Industrial Park at 1309 Industrial Way. The center utilizes state of the art technology to process and shred used tires. Once shredded, the product is separated to produce rubber granules, steel wire, and bio fuel. The final product is shipped to purchasers throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe. Marta Martinez, Vice President of TRP, enjoys the Harlingen Industrial Park’s central location. “The Valley International Airport, Port of Harlingen, the Free Trade International Bridge at Los Indios and Harlingen’s extensive highway and rail way system places our facility in the perfect location to receive raw materials and ship finished products across the US and around the world.”

Mrs. Martinez brings over 26 years of experience as an environmental engineer. She was driven to start TRP due to the abundance of used and abandoned tires across the community. It is estimated that there are three billion waste tires along the border area from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego, California. With the new tire recycling process in Harlingen, 100% of the waste tires will be recycled into high value products. “The establishment of the new center in the Harlingen Industrial Park is a testament to the EDC’s commitment to bringing cutting edge technologies and green initiatives to our community. We are thrilled for the investment in our town and the creation of jobs for

our workforce,” said Rick Ledesma, President of the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation. TRP is the only facility of its kind in the United States. They are expected to invest over $3.8 million in improvements and provide 30-50 jobs after the first year of operation. The company accepts tires from the public on Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon. For more information on tire recycling, please call: (956) 428-8473.

Source: Harlingen EDC, Rio Grande Valley Partnership Photos: Tire Recycling & Processing, LLP

Martinez praises the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation for the assistance that TRP received during the development phase. “HEDC was there from day one beginning with the selection of the location for our center, to assistance with city and statewide building and environmental permits.”

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ne of a Kind Tire Recycling


TRADE CLUSTERS © MPC Studios

MANUFACTURING A BRIGHTER TOMORROW The first step in creating a world-class advanced manufacturing region starts with creating a talent pipeline. That pipeline is flowing through the Rio South Texas region thanks to the North American Advanced Manufacturing Research and Education Initiative (NAAMREI).

Their primary focus is to train local manufacturers and students in advanced manufacturing tools such as Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Quality, Supply Chain and Safety Management Systems. Training is specifically tailored to the need of the manufacturing customer.

NAAMREI was formed by the innovation, talents and strategy of more than 60 partners in business, education, economic development, industry, finance and government to offer manufacturers across North America, and the globe, access to proprietary, advanced manufacturing and rapid response manufacturing.

“The core of NAAMREI has been the University of Texas - Pan American’s Rapid Response Advanced Manufacturing Center (RRAMC) which has focused on providing local manufacturing companies advanced manufacturing technologies, processes and tools and a skilled labor force to rapidly commercialize new products/processes and drive world-class operational excellence and sustained growth,” stated Dr. Louis Maresca, Director for Rapid Response Advanced Manufacturing.

NAAMREI is an initiative that relentlessly continues to create a highly skilled and talented workforce by collaborating with educational partners from Laredo to Brownsville. The educational partnership called the Rio South Texas Manufacturing College Alliance (RSTMCA) consists of; South Texas College - McAllen, Texas State Technical College Harlingen, The University of Texas at Brownsville / Texas Southmost College, Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center at The University of Texas Pan American - Edinburg, Laredo Community College - Laredo and The South Texas Manufacturing Association - McAllen.

“Manufacturing is critical to the Valley's future. NAAMREI's focus on rapid response manufacturing has helped spur on innovation and job creation. The Valley has truly benefited from this partnership,” stated Dr. Robert S. Nelsen, President of The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) and Chair of NAAMREI. Carlos L. Margo of South Texas College is the new Interim Executive Officer as of November 2012.

124 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Carlos L. Margo, newly appointed Interim Executive Officer for NAAMREI

“I am proud to serve as NAAMREI’s Interim Executive Officer and will lead the region’s manufacturing workforce into new prosperity and world class initiatives,” stated Margo. Numerous companies have benefited from NAAMREI’s training initiatives. With a successful track record NAAMREI continues to work with new companies and improve their capacity in multiple ways. “For the last two years, STC has provided Loop Cold Storage of McAllen with training programs that focuses on the “soft skills” of managing a business. This includes leadership skills, motivating employees, performance appraisal, delegation, and conflict resolution,” stated Judson W. Anderson, President & COO of Loop Cold Storage in McAllen.


“This training has been progressive in that Loop employees have built upon the skills learned in each successive year,” added Anderson. “This training is especially important to our company because it prepares our management team for the challenges that exist in a competitive environment. I am very satisfied with the level of commitment that STC staff has shown in developing a program that meets our needs.” Since millions of laid-off workers across the United States are being forced to make tough decisions about their futures - continue to wait for the right job to come along, settle for something they don’t want or find a new career path. But, in the Rio South Texas Region, many displaced workers have benefited from the foresight and opportunity afforded by NAAMREI. Employees trained while on the job and salvaged their futures by expanding their skills sets. Miguel Cisneros, a former employee of Springs Global, was laid off, a direct result of the global economic crisis. During his employment at Spring's Global, Miguel took advantage of the skills development

fund offered by STC through Texas Workforce Commission and enrolled in Six Sigma Black Belt and APICS courses. With his newly acquired skills, Miguel was immediately able to secure a new job with ALPS Automotive as a process engineer. “Returning to school was one of the best decisions I have ever made,” said Cisneros. “By learning Six Sigma and APICS, I was able to get a job with ALPS almost immediately after I was let go at Springs. Although it was hard work at the time to take on the extra trainings, it has been my saving grace.” One of NAAMREI’s goals is to incorporate nationally recognized credentials into their training curriculum. Two engineers from ALPS Automotive of Reynosa, Mexico have been recognized by South Texas College’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing for earning their National Institute for Metal Working Skills (NIMS) certifications as Level 1 Machinist. The certifications earned are nationally recognized industry standards for metal working skills in several different areas of machining. The trainings provided the pair with the knowledge and skills to assist the Master Tool and Die Maker at ALPS Automotive facility in Reynosa. Ulysses Chavez Medrano and Jose Antonio Garza, both ALPS Automotive Tool Room employees, earned their NIMS certification through a rigorous 160 hour lab and lecture course developed by STC in McAllen.

Miguel Cisneros earns his Six Sigma Black belt certification through the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center in collaboration with South Texas College’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing.

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Loop Cold Storage is a leading thirdparty logistics company in South Texas providing refrigerated warehousing, distribution, and repackaging services to the food industry.

Del Monte Foods located in McAllen is another success in NAAMREI’s extensive business consortium that is advancing their employee skills sets from training.

At the NIMS credentialing ceremony at STC’s Technology Campus. From front row left are Ulysses Chavez Medrano and Jose Antonio Garza of ALPS Automotive. From back row left are STC IAM Regional Manager Carlos Margo, STC IAM NIMS Instructor Douglas Schelbert, NAAMREI’s first Executive Officer Wanda Garza, ALPS Automotive Tooling Engineer Feroz Ummer and ALPS Automotive Training Manager Fernando Gomez.

Manager of Del Monte Foods, Benjamin Martinez stated, “STC has been an important resource in helping the Del Monte Foods McAllen distribution center comply with internal safety and continuous improvement initiatives and goals.” Martinez also stated, “Through their assistance in providing on- site trainings and certifications, Del Monte Foods employees have benefited greatly by participating and learning current industry practices and programs. We would like to thank NAAMREI and STC for offering such programs to local businesses. We are committed to continue our partnership for many years to come.” The partnerships that NAAMREI endlessly build have become globally recognized. Margo explains, “Skills training should be a continual process, not a onetime opportunity. Our talent development initiatives always focus on setting up new trainings to expand the skill sets of new and incumbent employees so that they can remain relevant in an ever changing, fast-paced workforce.”

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FibeRio SPINS A FUTURE OF NANOFIBERS Story by Eileen Mattei

Microscopic nanofibers (1,000 bundled nanofibers are as thick as a human hair) are capable of adding tensile strength, conductive and insulative capacity, corrosion resistance, water impermeability, bacterial barriers or thermal protection to a product, depending on what material is used to make the nanofiber. Until FibeRio’s technology breakthrough, the procedures for creating nanofibers –from nylon, polymers, ceramics, metals, etc. – have been prohibitively expensive, limiting their use. The company’s Cyclone ForceSpinning™ Systems uses centrifugal force to spin out the gossamer thin layers which can be sandwiched into an incredibly wide range of products from industrial and medical filters, baby diapers and ballistics to electrical capacitors. In operation, the Cyclone machinery appears to be spinning out wisps of white cotton-candy, but the wisps are, in fact, a mat of nanofibers. The recent sale of FibeRio’s first industrial nanofiber production machine, along with several R&D models, represents a remarkable research-to-commercialization path, the first of its kind by the University of Texas Pan Am. Dr. Karen Lozano, an endowed professor of Mechanical Engineering at UTPA, began the initial research on her idea of ForceSpinning technology in 2006. Deviating from the industry standard of using heat or electrical current (which can contaminate the fibers) to make nanofibers, Dr. Lozano worked out a process of centrifuging the materials

and spinning out superfine nanofiber strands. In collaboration with Dr. Kamal Sakar, she perfected the process and applied for a patent, which is pending. The assistance of UTPA’s Office of Innovation and Intellectual Property, Rapid Response Manufacturing Center and the School of Business combined with the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, McAllen EDC and McAllen Chamber of Commerce brought the technology to the marketplace. “It takes a village to bring a FibeRio here,” said UTPA President Dr. Robert Nelsen, commenting on the collaboration necessary. He noted the university’s revised mission statement includes a commitment to job creation and building prosperity through entrepreneurship and commercialization. A technology startup is not for fainthearted. Jacquelyn Michel, Director of the Office of Innovation and Intellectual Property, first talked to Lozano in 2006.

126 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

“People tend to forget how long everything will take.” A major obstacle for Lozano was the $40,000 required to get a Proof of Concept. Obtaining subsequent funding was not easy, either, despite the viability of the idea. Now money exists at the university to fund that early step. FibeRio CEO Ellery Buchanan mentioned it took a year to compete for and win Emerging Technology Fund backing. Now the ETF is an equity owner. Cottonwood Technology Fund of El Paso and Silverton Partners capitalized the startup. FibeRio licenses the core technology from the Board of Regents of UTPA and since then has developed its own intellectual property piggybacked on the concept. Dr. Lozano is FibeRio’s Chief Technology Officer. “When you spin polymers into a nanofiber, you get a better barrier. We believe our technology is going to give a competitive edge to the users, both from perfecting the product and lowering the cost,” said Roger Lipton, FibeRio’s senior vice president for sales


and marketing. “If you can save manufactures of diapers a few pennies per diaper, that’s a huge edge.” Nanofibers are so small that in filters, for example, the designated air or liquid passes through quickly and doesn’t lose critical momentum, but it does capture target particles. FibeRio manufactures three different systems (machines) for research and development, which are used by academia and industries alike. “The industrial companies aren’t even going to buy lab-scale unit until they have made a strategic commitment and have a clear idea of where they would use nanofibers,” Buchanan said.

With the R&D tool, they can determine the viability of the products incorporating nanofibers and work out production details. Then they can turn to FibeRio to fabricate the industrial equipment that can be integrated into a production line. The manufacturer has brought in specialized talent from Texas and the U.S. “We are absolutely talking about high technology jobs, high paying jobs for highly educated people. And we are growing,” said Buchanan. FibeRio’s workforce includes engineers of every stripe: electrical, materials, mechanical.

TRADE CLUSTERS

FibeRio Technology’s nanofiber-producing machinery is drawing international manufacturers and R&D companies to Sharyland Business Park. The attraction is FibeRio’s disruptive technology: the capability of producing nanofibers quickly, cheaply and with less material.

FibeRio CEO Ellery Buchanan, Chief Technology Officer Dr. Karen Lozano, and UTPA President Dr. Robert Nelsen welcomed guests to FibeRio's celebration of the research-to-commercialization success of nanofiber Force Spinning.

Representatives from corporations in the U.S., Japan, Korea, India and South America have traveled to McAllen to talk to FibeRio. Norma and Samuel Torres of Amaida Machine Shop in Edinburg have toured the facility, as well, to see the end product Cyclone for which they fabricated the metalframe components. FibeRio is the first but will not be the last research-to-commercialization to come out of UTPA, Michel asserted. Other research is in the pipeline. “We are actively educating our faculty (on the importance of commercializing research.) One of the things that has changed in the UT system is that patents are being viewed positively in the tenure process.” For more information, see: www.fiberio.com.

Story reprinted from Valley Business Report, January 3, 2012 Group Photo Upper Right: Eileen Mattei Other Photos: FibeRio

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14

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9 11

8

17 18

16 15

5 1 4

see adjoining page

2

7

13 6 12 3 10

RGV Industrial Parks Upper Rio Grande Valley

Mid Rio Grande Valley

MISSION, MCALLEN, PHARR, EDINBURG, SAN JUAN & ALAMO 1. Sharyland Business Park 2. Botelo Industrial Park 3. Keystone Industrial Park 4. McAllen Southwest Industrial Park 5. Mission Express Business Park 6. Pharr Industrial Park 7. Tres Puentes Industrial Park 8. Renaissance Industrial Park 9. Edinburg North Park 10. Capote International Business Park 11. Owassa Industrial Park 12. Monarch Business Park 13. Practical Business Park 14. Edinburg Airport Ind. Park 15. Mission Business Park

DONNA, WESLACO & MERCEDES 16. Mid-Valley Industrial Park

Lower Rio Grande Valley HARLINGEN 17. Port of Harlingen 18. Harlingen Airpark

Additional Industrial Parks South of the Border: REYNOSA American Industries Kimco Colonial Del Norte El Puente Intermex

CPA Rio Bravo Maquilapark Moll Industrial Zone Pharr Bridge ProLogis Reynosa Industrial Center

Reynosa Industrial Park Ridge Commerce Stiva Industrial Park Villa Florida Verde Pharr Bridge

Source: www.icppublication.com, International Community Publications NAAMREI Leadership Team Rio South Texas Asset Mapping Final Report

128 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


TRADE CLUSTERS

A Closer Look at Brownsville Industry TEXAS - USA

MATAMOROS - MEXICO

Binational Industrial Mega-Site North Brownsville Industrial Park NAFTA Industrial Park Victoria Lakes Industrial Park 802 Industrial Zone Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport / Airport Industrial Park

FINSA Poniente Industrial Park Las Ventanas Industrial Park Los Palmares Industrial Park FINSA del Norte Industrial Park Alianza Industrial Park Cylsa Industrial Park CIMA Industrial Park Del Lago Industrial Park FINSA Oriente Industrial Park

ŠMPC Studios

Source: Brownsville EDC

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Tire Recycling & Processing, LLP Environmental problems, sustainable solutions • Scrap tire removal and processing • Custom shredded material • Asphalt, crumb, mulch and custom service sizes • Fiber and steel We pick up and process used tires in an environmental friendly way. A registered TCEQ manifest is issued for your records for tires collected and processed. Contact us if you have ANY questions! mmartinez_trp@yahoo.com

1309 Industrial Way, Harlingen, TX 78550

PH: 956-428-8473 | FAX: 956-428-8493 AVOID LANDFILL COSTS! CALL TIRE RECYCLING & PROCESSING


How the Health Care Law is Making a Difference for the People of Texas Hardworking Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies and put barriers between patients and their doctors. The Affordable Care Act gives hardworking families in Texas the security they deserve. The new health care law forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping your coverage if you get sick, billing you into bankruptcy or, soon, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition. All Americans will have the security of knowing that they don’t have to worry about losing coverage if they’re laid off or change jobs. And insurance companies now have to cover your preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings. The new law also makes a significant investment in State and community-based efforts that promote public health; prevent disease and protect against public health emergencies.

HOSPITAL NAME

ADDRESS

CITY

COUNTY

BROWNSVILLE DOCTORS HOSPITAL

4750 NORTH EXPRESSWAY

BROWNSVILLE

CAMERON

56

HARLINGEN MEDICAL CENTER

5501 SOUTH EXPRESSWAY 77

HARLINGEN

CAMERON

112

SOLARA HOSPITAL HARLINGEN

508 VICTORIA LANE

HARLINGEN

CAMERON

41

SOLARA HOSPITAL HARLINGEN - BROWNSVILLE CAMPUS

333 LORENALLY DRIVE

BROWNSVILLE

CAMERON

41

TRADE CLUSTERS

HEALTHCARE

# BEDS

SOUTH TEXAS REHABILITATION HOSPITAL

425 EAST ALTON GLOOR BLVD.

BROWNSVILLE

CAMERON

40

VALLEY BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER

2101 PEASE STREET

HARLINGEN

CAMERON

586

VALLEY BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER - BROWNSVILLE

243

1040 WEST JEFFERSON STREET

BROWNSVILLE

CAMERON

VALLEY BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER BROWNSVILLE INPATIENT PSYCHIATRIC

1 TED HUNT BLVD.

BROWNSVILLE

CAMERON

37

VALLEY REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

100A ALTON GLOOR BLVD.

BROWNSVILLE

CAMERON

214

BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE AT RENAISSANCE

5510 RAPHAEL DRIVE

EDINBURG

HIDALGO

104

CORNERSTONE REGIONAL HOSPITAL

2302 CORNERSTONE BLVD.

EDINBURG

HIDALGO

14

DOCTORS HOSPITAL AT RENAISSANCE

5501 SOUTH MCCOLL

EDINBURG

HIDALGO

229

EDINBURG REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

1102 WEST TRENTON ROAD

EDINBURG

HIDALGO

102

KNAPP MEDICAL CENTER

1401 EAST EIGHTH STREET

WESLACO

HIDALGO

227

LIFECARE HOSPITAL OF SOUTH TEXAS-SOUTH

2001 M STREET

MCALLEN

HIDALGO

62

LIFECARE HOSPITALS OF SOUTH TEXAS - NORTH

5101 NORTH JACKSON ROAD

MCALLEN

HIDALGO

32

MCALLEN HEART HOSPITAL

1900 SOUTH D STREET

MCALLEN

HIDALGO

60

MCALLEN MEDICAL CENTER

301WEST EXPRESSWAY 83

MCALLEN

HIDALGO

441

MISSION REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

900 SOUTH BRYAN ROAD

MISSION

HIDALGO

297

REHAB CENTER AT RENAISSANCE

5403 DOCTORS DRIVE

EDINBURG

HIDALGO

46

RIO GRANDE REGIONAL HOSPITAL

101 EAST RIDGE ROAD

MCALLEN

HIDALGO

320

SOLARA HOSPITAL MCALLEN LLC

301 WEST EXPRESSWAY 83 8TH FL. MCALLEN

HIDALGO

53

SOLARA HOSPITAL MCALLEN LLC

2655 CORNERSTONE BLVD.

EDINBURG

HIDALGO

25

SOUTH TEXAS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CENTER

2102 WEST TRENTON ROAD

EDINBURG

HIDALGO

134

WESLACO REHAB HOSPITAL

906 SOUTH JAMES STREET

WESLACO

HIDALGO

32

WOMENS HOSPITAL AT RENAISSANCE

5502 SOUTH MCCOLL

EDINBURG

HIDALGO

151

STARR COUNTY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

128 NORTH FM ROAD 3167

RIO GRANDE CITY

STARR

48

Source: Texas Department of Health State Services, Directory of General and Special Hospitals, 2/17/13

Health reform is already making a difference for the people of Texas, visit: www.healthcare.gov

# BEDS BY COUNTY Cameron 1,370 Hidalgo 2,329 Starr 48

Source: UTPA Data Center

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111 Beds

hospital opened dedicated asthma rooms in 2010 to help kids and parents better understand and manage asthma. The Asthma Program is the first program of its kind in Texas certified by the Joint Commission and it features centralized pulse oximetry monitoring units.

The first freestanding pediatric hospital in the Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg Children’s Hospital is equipped with advanced diagnostic and medical technology and the region’s only exclusive pediatric emergency department. The

The hospital features a four-story pediatric tower, a dedicated pediatric emergency department and advanced technology, including the Valley’s first 32-slice CT and radioflouroscopy room.

SPECIALIZED CHILDREN’S FACILITIES

DRISCOLL CHILDREN’S MEDICAL PLAZA MCALLEN 1120 E. Ridge Rd., McAllen, TX 78503 (956) 688-1200 Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen is a pediatric outpatient center which delivers specialized and complex medical care, exclusively serving children from the Rio Grande Valley including McAllen and neighboring communities. The clinic provides pediatric subspecialty services in the areas of Hematology, oncology, Nephrology, Neurology, Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Craniofacial and reconstructive surgery and Urology • Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Phone: (956) 688-1289 The MFM clinic offers diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care of expectant mothers and their unborn babies who may be at high risk for special health problems. • Genetics Phone: (361) 694-4874 Prenatal and Post-natal consults • Pediatric Cardiology Clinic Phone: (956) 688-1300 The Pediatric Cardiology Clinic offers General pediatric cardiology consults, Interventional cardiology consults, Electrophysiology consults, Stress tests and Fetal ECHOs. • Pediatric Surgery Clinic Phone: (956) 688-1280 The Pediatric Surgery Clinic offers General pediatric surgery consults and follow-ups, Bariatric surgery consults and follow-ups, and Locally performed surgeries

DRISCOLL CHILDREN’S QUICK CARE MCALLEN 1120 E. Ridge Rd., McAllen, TX 78503 (956) 688-1350 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday 2 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Daytime assistance (8 a.m.-5 p.m. MondayFriday): (956) 688-1240 Driscoll Children's Quick Care - McAllen is an after-hours pediatric clinic where children are always seen by a physician. Radiology services include: X-rays, Ultrasounds, Fluoroscopy, CT scans and Nuclear medicine - all with Board certified pediatric radiologists. Laboratory services include: a Full-service laboratory, College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited, and CLIA certified and Local customer service. For Radiology and Laboratory scheduling: Phone: (956) 688-1379 or (956) 688-1245 DRISCOLL CHILDREN'S SPECIALTY CENTER BROWNSVILLE 5500 N. Expressway, Brownsville, TX 78526 (956) 698-8605 Driscoll Children's Specialty Center - Brownsville is a pediatric outpatient center which delivers specialized and complex medical care exclusively for children from the Rio Grande Valley including Brownsville and neighboring communities. The facility offers pediatric subspecialty services in the areas of: Gastroenterology, Hematology and oncology, Nephrology, Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Plastic and reconstructive surgery, Surgery/urology, Bariatrics and Neurology. Radiology services include: • X-Rays (Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

132 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

• Ultrasound (Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) • Fluoroscopy (Thursdays 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) • Board certified pediatric radiologists For Radiology scheduling: (956) 688-1379 or (956) 688-1245 DRISCOLL CHILDREN’S SPECIALTY CENTER HARLINGEN 2121 Pease Street, Medical Arts Pavilion, Suite 600, Harlingen, TX 78550 (956) 421-1715 Driscoll Children's Specialty Center - Harlingen is located inside the Valley Baptist Medical Arts Pavilion on the sixth floor of the facility and delivers specialized and complex medical care exclusively for children of the Rio Grande Valley including Harlingen and neighboring communities. Driscoll physicians travel from Corpus Christi to the center to treat Driscoll Children's Hospital patients from the Rio Grande Valley. The clinic offers pediatric subspecialty services in the areas of: Neurology, Neurosurgery, Surgery and Urology DRISCOLL MATERNAL FETAL MEDICINE AND GENETICS CLINIC 2121 Pease Street, Medical Arts Pavilion, Suite 604, Harlingen, TX 78550 (956) 421-1715 • Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Phone: (956) 428-0897 The MFM clinic offers diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care of expectant mothers and their unborn babies who may be at high risk for special health problems. • Genetics Phone: (361) 694-4874 Prenatal consults and Post-natal consults


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DOCTORS HOSPITAL AT RENAISSANCE In 1995, eight forward-thinking physicians in Edinburg, Texas embarked on a remarkable journey that continues to this day. Concerned that the residents of the Rio Grande Valley lacked access to necessary healthcare services, the founders of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance worked diligently for two years to lay the groundwork for what would become one of the United States’ top-ranked hospitals. Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR) opened its doors in 1997 as an ambulatory surgical center. Today, it is a modern, 530-bed acute care facility that provides a full range of medical services, with over 55 specialties and sub-specialties. Doctors Hospital at Renaissance’s mission is to maintain and operate a state-of-the-art hospital dedicated to the provision of quality, compassionate, and cost-effective patient care while rendering the most advanced professional services to patients. Our hospital was founded to help over 1.2 million residents resolve limited

healthcare access challenges in a community that lacked public and county hospitals. From general acute care services and patient navigation to individually-tailored wellness and preventative health programs, at DHR over 500 physicians, more than 1,000 nurses, and over 3,200 ancillary staff dedicate themselves to offering a full continuum of care.

Evidence of the medical and nursing staff’s dedication to quality patient care, U.S. News & World Report named DHR as one of the “Best Hospitals in America,” with recognition in twelve areas, including cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, ear, nose, and throat surgery, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, Economic Development Guide

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neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology. In addition to this recognition, DHR was named as one of the “Most Connected Hospitals in America” for its electronic medical record (EMR) adoption success. U.S. News & World Report also named Doctors Hospital at Renaissance as the “Best Hospital in McAllen.” Doctors Hospital at Renaissance has been able to offer the residents of South Texas quality healthcare through the following facilities: The Children’s Center at Renaissance, The Rehab Center at Renaissance, The Renaissance Behavioral Center, The Cancer Center at Renaissance, The Cancer Center at Renaissance at San Benito, The Women’s Hospital at Renaissance, The Wound Care Center at Renaissance, The Therapy Institute at Renaissance, Five Free Standing Imaging Centers, The Renaissance Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, The Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at Renaissance, Renaissance Laboratories, Hospice Care at Renaissance, The Chest Pain Center, The Advanced Primary Stroke

SILVER AWARD TMF® Health Quality Institute

TOP 50

Physician-Owned Hospitals to Know

2012 & 2013 BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW

Center, The Advanced Heart Failure Center, The Urology Institute at Renaissance and The Wellness Center at Renaissance. In 2011, DHR announced its partnership with the Boston-based Joslin Diabetes Center, the global leader in diabetes research, education and care. The Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance offers the latest advances for treating diabetes and its complications while providing patient education and support services. In the RGV, the diabetes numbers speak for themselves: more than 2.1 million people in our community have diabetes, one-third of which do not know they have this deadly disease. On average, a person with diabetes spends nearly four times as much money on healthcare as someone who does not have diabetes (www.joslin.org). Yet, recent research has shown that the risk of certain costly and debilitating diabetes complications - including eye, kidney and nerve damage - can be decreased by 50% or more through effective disease management. At the Doctors

ONE OF 26 HOSPITALS in the United States that have achieved exemplary outcomes for surgical patient care

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS NATIONAL SURGICAL QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

Gold Seal of Accreditation 134 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGY

Hospital at Renaissance Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate, we demonstrate how a diabetes program can provide excellent, yet cost-effective, diabetes management that can prevent costly short and long-term complications. Doctors Hospital at Renaissance is passionately pursuing its mission and carrying out its vision to become the premiere Hospital of South Texas and leaders in the health care industry. DHR is addressing all of the health care needs of its community while eliminating the need to seek health care services outside the region, which has transformed DHR into a national best practice model minority-serving hospital. What sets Doctors Hospital at Renaissance apart, Dr. Carlos Cardenas, DHR Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board says, is the fact that it is owned and managed by actively practicing physicians. As a result, decisions critical to patient care - for example, what types of equipment to purchase or what the nursing staff-to-patient ratio should be are made by physicians who are on the front lines treating patients. “This allows us to move quickly to


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bring necessary technologies and high quality healthcare into our area,” Dr. Cardenas says. Most importantly, the rapid and tremendous growth at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and its successes are a reflection of the continued dedication and support of its partners and medical staff members.

DHR Facts • One of the largest physicianowned facilities in the United States and offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. Southern Border • Located in a community that Forbes Magazine recently listed as one of the poorest areas in the United States • Despite the challenges this presents, DHR has excelled in the delivery of healthcare and was recognized by Thompson Reuters as one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the nation for three consecutive years. • Care provider to Over 180,000 Patients Annually, 89% of which are Hispanic

• Operates one of the largest Emergency Rooms in Hidalgo County • Home to the only exclusive Women’s Hospital in South Texas and a Level III-C Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is ranked in the Top 5 percent, nationally and internationally, by the Vermont-Oxford Network for Exemplary Outcomes • Home to the Highest Nurse-toPatient Ratio in South Texas • Founded the Diabetes & Obesity Institute of South Texas, a nonprofit medical institute focused on reducing the prevalence of diabetes and obesity in South Texas, the largest contributing cost factor of healthcare in our region

• Established the Wellness Center at Renaissance to offer low cost community services, free health management courses, and monthly screenings • Invested over $40 million to create an electronic medical record system to improve patient care and help eliminate duplicative tests • Launched a county-wide effort to create an electronic community medical record platform (RioOne Health Network) that will integrate all medical health record systems in Hidalgo County and allow for physician collaboration on patient care across multiple platforms

DHR photos and copy courtesy of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance

2012 DHR STATISTICS 955 Nursing Staff

33,855 Emergency Room Visits

601 Medical Staff

8,988 Deliveries

116 Allied Health Professionals

4,800 Cath Lab Procedures

174 Robotic Surgeries

460 Open Heart Procedures

177 Bariatric Surgeries

29,752 Surgeries

194,721 DHR Website Visits

$320,800 Total Sponsorships and Donations to the Community Economic Development Guide

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Brownsville were the first Valley hospitals to be accredited as “Primary Stroke Centers” by the national accrediting organization for health care facilities, the Joint Commission, and by the State of Texas.

VALLEY BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER IN HARLINGEN & BROWNSVILLE Providing State of the Art, Compassionate Care for Valley Residents & Visitors for 90 Years HARLINGEN / BROWNSVILLE - Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen and Valley Baptist-Medical CenterBrownsville, with their caring, dedicated doctors and compassionate staff, have been the Rio Grande Valley’s leaders for excellence in health care and medical advancements for 90 years. Valley Baptist has pioneered many types of heart and stroke procedures, joint replacement / orthopedic surgeries, women’s and children’s services, minimally-invasive surgeries, and other procedures in the Valley. Valley residents who suffer strokes “brain attacks” in which oxygen-carrying blood is cut off to their brain by blockages in blood vessels – now have a better chance of survival, thanks to interventional neurology procedures which were performed for the first time in South Texas at Valley BaptistHarlingen. The new procedures provide Valley patients with a longer time window in which to survive strokes and hopefully minimize disabilities. Previously, strokereversing medications could only be

given if the patient arrived at the hospital within three to four hours after stroke symptoms began. But the new interventional stroke procedures can be performed up to eight hours or more into a stroke. During the interventional stroke procedures at Valley Baptist, medications to reverse a stroke are administered through catheters (thin tubes) -- directly to arteries supplying blood to a patient’s brain. In other cases, Dr. Ameer Hassan, the Valley’s first specially-trained Interventional Neurologist, uses special equipment in a new biplane lab / neurovascular angiography suite at Valley Baptist to insert tiny medical devices to clear blockages in the blood vessels. Life-saving care provided by Valley Baptist physicians and staff also made Valley Baptist-Harlingen and Valley Baptist-Brownsville the first hospitals in the Valley to receive “Gold Plus” awards for care of stroke patients and heart failure patients from the American Heart Association. In addition, Valley Baptist-Harlingen and Valley Baptist-

138 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Patients from across the United States and Canada come to Valley Baptist for orthopedic surgery. Dr. Rick Bassett has performed more than 10,000 knee replacement and 2,000 hip replacement surgeries at Valley Baptist-Harlingen. In fact, Dr. Bassett has operated on patients from 48 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, at Valley Baptist. Valley Baptist-Harlingen is also the first hospital south of San Antonio to be certified specifically for knee and hip replacement surgeries by the accrediting organization, the Joint Commission. Valley Baptist-Brownsville was the first hospital in Cameron County to offer a new type of computer-guided knee surgery. The surgery, performed by Dr. Jose A. Bossolo, has resulted in smaller incisions and quicker healing times for many patients. Valley Baptist-Brownsville has also opened new surgery suites which are benefitting patients needing a wide variety of surgeries, including laparoscopic and other minimallyinvasive surgeries. In addition, both Valley BaptistHarlingen and Valley Baptist-Brownsville have added new state-of-the-art robots. The more precise surgery with Valley Baptist’s da Vinci® ‘Si’ robotic system means smaller incisions, less pain, and faster recoveries for patients in many cases - including treating painful gall stones through a single tiny incision, about an inch long, in the patient’s belly button. These “single-site” surgeries allow Valley patients to go home with virtually no scars visible from their surgery.


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In addition to gall stones, surgeons at both Valley Baptist hospitals use the robot as an extension of their own hands to perform minimally-invasive surgeries for patients with gynecological, urological and other conditions - including for treating cancer patients. Both Valley Baptist-Brownsville and Valley Baptist-Harlingen offer a complete array of women’s and children’s services, including Newborn Intensive Care Units to treat the Valley’s tiniest patients; private Labor/Delivery/Recovery Suites; familycentered maternity care / post-partum units; Women’s Surgery Suites; Day Surgery centers; convenient areas for outpatient services; and prepared childbirth classes. As a leader in women and children’s health care, Valley BaptistHarlingen opened the first Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Cameron County. With 586 beds, Valley Baptist-Harlingen is by far the largest hospital in Cameron County, and serves as a Lead Level III Trauma Center for the area. Patients with critical injuries and illnesses are treated around the clock in a 38-room state-of-the-art Emergency Department; complete with a roof-top heliport. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality and most compassionate care in a safe environment for you and your family,” said Todd Mann, Chief Executive Officer for Valley Baptist-Harlingen. In Brownsville, Valley BaptistBrownsville is the largest hospital and boasts an award-winning Emergency Department and Level 3 Trauma Center. In addition, Valley Baptist-Brownsville was the first hospital in Texas to receive a “Target Stroke Honor Roll” award for fast response in treating patients who come to the hospital with lifethreatening symptoms of stroke. “Quality patient care is foremost in all that we do at Valley Baptist Medical

As Brownsville’s largest hospital, Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville offers an array of health care services for Valley residents and visitors.

Center-Brownsville,” said Leslie Bingham, CEO for Valley Baptist-Brownsville. In recent years, Valley BaptistBrownsville expanded beyond its main 243-bed hospital off Central Boulevard, by opening an ambulatory surgery center and imaging center - featuring an open MRI - at the North Brownsville Medical Plaza in north Brownsville. Valley Baptist-Brownsville has also expanded services at its campus in East Brownsville, which includes Brownsville's first inpatient behavioral health facility (with 37 additional beds), as well as an outpatient mental health program for senior adults. Addressing an important health concern in South Texas, Valley BaptistBrownsville and Valley Baptist-Harlingen also offer diabetes education programs, as well as Foot Care Institutes and Wound Care Centers with specialized care for diabetes and other patients. In the fight against obesity, Valley Baptist’s Surgical & Medical Weight Loss Program became the first in the area to enable a patient to go home the same day as having weight-loss (bariatric) surgery. Always striving to serve the people of the Valley, Valley Baptist offers free screenings at health fairs and other events, support groups and numerous educational opportunities, including the popular “Dessert with the Doctor” talk series on medical issues.

With over 3,500 employees and 600 doctors on their medical staffs, the two Valley Baptist hospitals form vital anchors for the growing medical complexes which are major contributors to the Valley’s economy. The doctors, nurses, and other caring healthcare professionals form Valley Baptist’s greatest asset in fulfilling its mission of helping people achieve health for life, through compassionate service inspired by faith. For more information, visit www.ValleyBaptist.net, or call: (956) 389-1100 in Harlingen or (956) 698-5400 in Brownsville.

Photos and copy courtesy of Valley Baptist Health System

Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen has been saving lives and serving Valley residents with excellent care every day of the year for nearly nine decades. Economic Development Guide

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TEXAS ONCOLOGY Texas Oncology helps patients fight cancer in a state-of-the-art, supportive environment. The medical team and staff are motivated, moved, and inspired by the Rio Grande Valley patients we serve and commit ourselves to providing compassionate and local cancer care. More than 80 percent of all cancer treatment is now delivered at the community level. The Rio Grande Valley is no exception and to meet those needs, community-based clinics like Texas Oncology offer advanced, comprehensive cancer care previously found only in the largest metropolitan areas. Since opening their doors in 1986 as the first comprehensive cancer center in the Valley, Texas Oncology has delivered treatment services with a level of personalized care and convenience. Texas Oncology currently has locations in Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen, and Weslaco. In 2011, Texas Urology Specialists–Brownsville opened and the medical team works in conjunction with oncologists to provide collaborative, high quality treatment. The acclaimed staff of medical professionals includes 17 oncologists and provides patients with the most advanced, patient-friendly cancer

care available. The oncologists are specialists in medical oncology, radiation oncology, gynecologic oncology, hematology, and urology. Texas Oncology treats all types of cancer, from the most prevalent forms such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, and lung cancer to any of the more than 200 forms of cancer identified by the medical community. Patients have access to advanced technologies, treatments, and services, including diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, laboratory services, an on-site pharmacy and offers genetic testing through the Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Program. Patients of Texas Oncology also benefit from our participation in innovative research programs, including clinical trials that evaluate new cancer prevention and treatment options. Texas Oncology has more than 300 physicians and more than 100 sites of service throughout Texas and southeastern Oklahoma. Texas Breast Specialists and Texas Urology Specialists, which focus on all areas of breast and urologic care, are a part of Texas Oncology.

140 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Texas Oncology’s approach enables patients to receive industry-leading treatment without leaving home and the critical support of family and friends. For more information, please visit: www.TexasOncology.com.

Photos and copy courtesy of Texas Oncology


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STRENGTH IN RETAIL SALES

Shifts in Retail Sales by Category McAllen vs. Brownsville, 2008-2011 $895

$900 $833

$800

The Rio Grande Valley is a culturally rich area encompassing the four (4) southern-most counties in Texas: Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy. Additionally, the Rio Grande Valley is part of the international border region known as the Rioplex, which also includes the Mexican border cities between Matamoros and Cuidad Mier.

$700 $594

$600

$549

$500

$458 $458

$400

$364 $336

$300 $199 $174 $180

$200

$167 $136 $144

$142

$214

$152 $148

$121

$696 $700

$152

$74

$100

$73 $64

$61

$-

$600

Gasoline

Clothing & Clothing Accessories

Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, & Book

McAllen 2008

$500

McAllen 2011

General Merchdise

Brownsville 2008

Miscellaneous Store Retailers

Food Services & Drinking Places

Brownsville 2011

$434

This area has transformed into a major international trade region through careful planning which recognized the benefits of developing a diverse economy. Central to that economy has been the investment in attracting diverse shopping venues for the residents of the Rio Grande Valley and international shoppers alike.

$400 $354

$302

$368

$305

$278$280

$300

$250

$233

$190

$176

$200

$159

$148 $126$132

$136 $111

$97

$83 $83

$100

$60

$74

$45

$Motor Vehicle & Parts

Furniture

McAllen 2008

Electronics & Appliance

McAllen 2011

Building Material & Garden Equipment

Food & Beverage

Brownsville 2008

Health & Personal Care

Brownsville 2011

Source: NAI Rio Grande Valley

In 2011, McAllen ranked 14th in POPULATION among the top 20 Texas Cities, but 2nd in TEXAS Actual Sales Tax Collections on a Per Capita or Per Household basis. TOP 20 CITIES RANKED BY ACTUAL RETAIL SALES PER HOUSEHOLD ACTUAL RETAL SALES PER CAPITA 2010

ACTUAL RETAL SALES PER HOUSEHOLD 2010

$78,060 $76,701 $75,918 $69,109 $61,986 $56,896 $53,101 $52,157 $48,836 $48,241 $48,028

$45,892 $45,113 $41,070 $39,898 $38,789

$35,900 $34,944 $27,391 $24,552

$26,273 $25,763

$23,648

$33,485

$21,758 $18,111 $17,675 $18,636 $18,180

$17,693 $17,487 $12,927

$15,301 $14,417 $15,944 $13,073

$11,676 $12,375

Source: NAI Rio Grande Valley

142 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


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2002-2012 Gross Sales by County Starr County

Hidalgo County

Willacy County

Cameron County

2002

$302.5 million from 448 outlets

$5.2 billion from 6,561 outlets

$56.9 million from 147 outlets

$2.7 billion from 3,540 outlets

2004

$343.1 million from 531 outlets

$6.2 billion from 7,695 outlets

$69.7 million from 150 outlets

$2.8 billion from 4,008 outlets

2006

$406.5 million from 551 outlets

$7.2 billion from 8,012 outlets

$88.2 million from 159 outlets

$3.3 billion from 4,070 outlets

2008

$432.4 million from 497 outlets

$8.1 billion from 7,944 outlets

$104.4 million from 138 outlets

$3.5 billion from 4,380 outlets

2010

$405.3 million from 537 outlets

$7.9 billion from 8,168 outlets

$95.9 million from 153 outlets

$3.5 billion from 4,607 outlets

2012

$437.1 million from 510 outlets

$9.0 billion from 7,626 outlets

$109.9 million from 135 outlets

$4.0 billion from 4,424 outlets

$14 billion

Yearly Gross Sales for the Region

$12 billion $10 billion

The Rio Grande Valley boasted $13.5 billion in sales in 2012.

$8 billion

Source: Quarterly / yearly gross sales, Data and Information Systems Center, UTPA

$6 billion $4 billion $2 billion $0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

Spending Patterns and Economic Impact of Mexican Nationals in South and Central Texas For many years, if not decades, many have observed the large influx of Mexican Nationals into the South and Central Texas areas. It has long been believed that their spending activity generates quite a bit of economic activity in the region. As many of the locals visit the malls during the various major holiday seasons, it is clearly evident that they are spending quite a bit of money shopping. There is also evidence that they come to the area to receive medical, purchase

homes, and start businesses. The data also clearly patterns spending throughout the year with big increases in April, July, November, and December most likely related to the major holidays in these months. For instance, in 2012, spending activity increases in the range of 35% to 93% during these months compared to the previous months. According to this data, Mexican nationals spent $2,377,235,906 in 2011 and $2,684,318,765 in 2012, a

12.9 increase, in a twenty-county region with data provided by Visa. The largest portion of this spending occurs in the border counties of Hidalgo, El Paso, and Webb counties. Many factors can drive this, but it is most likely driven by improving economic conditions in both the U.S. and Mexico. All of this economic activity, supported employment of 25,456 full-time equivalent jobs earning incomes totaling $925,884,587.

Economic Impact of Mexican National Spending, 2012 Cameron County Hidalgo County

Employment 2,589.5 9,646.8

Income $61,466,869 $246,951,591

Value Added $108,172,803 $435,905,917

Output $195,496,223 $766,810,988 Source: SABĂ&#x2030;R Research Institute

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EXPLORING AN INVESTMENT IN RETAIL © MPC Studios

Harlingen presents some of the Valley's best and most unique shopping spots located throughout the city! From the charming local downtown Jackson Street District, to an array of shopping centers that offer an endless selection of goods. Regardless of what you’re looking for, Harlingen has it - from national retail stores to luxury boutiques and bargain antique shops. Restaurateurs serve up the best dining experience at any time of day - breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. The restaurant selection offers so many flavors, you're sure to find a menu that dishes out just what you crave. Enjoy cool sounds, rock to forgotten favorites, and unwind at one of many music venues, bars or clubs where the fun continues late into the night.

In the Texas’ heat try climate controlled, indoor, Valle Vista Mall conveniently located right off the US 77 & 83 interchange. The select tenant mix offers shoppers an unparalleled experience with over 80 lifestyle shops featuring Dillard’s, JC Penney, Victoria’s Secret for a strong line-up of national brands perfectly complimented by a collection of unique boutiques like Bath & Body Works, Perfumania, Rack Room Shoes, Express Men, Kay Jewelers, and many more. Between shopping, customers can experience a diverse selection of delectable dining options from China Pantry to the Texas Branding Iron in the food court. Across from Valle Vista Mall; you’ll find Lincoln Corners! This notable

© MPC Studios

144 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

shopping area has developed far beyond Wal-Mart, Anna’s Linens and Payless Shoe Source to include; Hobby Lobby, Bealls, Ross and Shoe Depot along with a selection of eateries including Panda Express. At Harlingen Corners anchors like Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshalls Famous Footwear, Lane Bryant and Rue 21 have made Harlingen home. Additionally, Logan’s Roadhouse and Chuck E. Cheese are located within Harlingen Corners and Burlington Coat Factory is slated to open during the summer of 2013. Whether you’re in the market for business or pleasure, education or entertainment, the picturesque


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Cameron Crossing - South Site Plan (not to scale)

palm-lined Jackson Street has served as Harlingen’s “Main Street” for more than a century. Downtown Harlingen features Jackson Street Market Days on the first Saturday of every month along with a variety of unique shops that specialize in home decor, apparel, original Texas artwork, hand-made jewelry, gifts, antiques, and collectibles. Minutes from the downtown district, Cameron Crossing is Harlingen’s newest retail development located at the intersection of Expressway 83 and

77. If you haven't experienced Bass Pro Shops, you'll find everything you need for an exciting shopping adventure and future investment. Bass Pro Shops presents a world of hunting, fishing and camping exhibits in a surrounding that celebrates the great outdoors. Next door you’ll find Longhorn Steakhouse and Sam’s Club on the rise. Invest with us, visit: www.harlingenedc.com

Source: Harlingen EDC

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WE’RE LOBBYING FOR YOUR BUSINESS

At an international crossroads in South Texas, McAllen is built for business. As the retail hub of the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen is always seeking to expand its offering to its citizens and visitors alike. With a population of 140,000 and a regional customer base of 10.3 million people, you can see why McAllen is such an attractive venue for retailers across the nation. They’re prepared to handle all of your business needs as a city and their teams of dedicated development professionals are eager to help your project become a success. It’s no wonder they’ve been ranked by Forbes and Brookings as among the Top 20 Recession Proof Cities. Come to McAllen and let them show you how your business meets success.

Development Concierge A City of McAllen staff member will guide each new retail project through the development process. The Development Concierge will serve as the primary contact for a new business, while he or she advocates for the most expeditious resolution to the process. Their goal is to have stores and restaurants open as quickly as possible because McAllen Means Business.

Expedited Building Permits Building permit review will be expedited, and the fees normally associated with expediting permits will be waived. All other building permit fees will apply.

Source: City of McAllen

146 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

WHY MCALLEN? Business Week indicates McAllen as one of the strongest economies in the U.S. Business Week


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Sales Per Capita More Than Other Texas Cities McAllen’s proximity and ability to attract international shoppers positions it as one of the most competitive retail destinations in Texas. Over 15 million international bridge crossings in 2011, helped McAllen generate more retail sales per household than Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, and Dallas. With over twice the retail sales per capita than the State of Texas, McAllen is a valuable market for any retailer looking to expand. This makes McAllen a powerful economic engine and the most coveted shopping destination in South Texas. McAllen has a thriving community, excellent quality of life venues, and a vibrant retail industry with local and international appeal. In McAllen, you will find a mid-sized city that draws an estimated 4 million frequent shoppers located within a two hour driving radius. McAllen’s investment in infrastructure means your business will find what it needs in order to be successful. As the home of two international bridges with an additional two bridges in neighboring cities, McAllen allows your business to draw from an international, multicultural customer base. McAllen’s shoppers make it among the highest retail sales per household in the state of Texas and twice the national average.

Source: City of McAllen

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Annual Retail Sales of the Rio Grande Valley Exceed $13.5 Billion Numbers that big attract retailers to McAllen and into locating multiple stores within a city with a population of 140,000+. Included in this list of retailers are national- level chains such as: Home Depot (2), Target (3), Wal-Mart (2), Walgreens (5), Sam’s Club (2), Best Buy (3), and Payless Shoe Source (5). Along with the numerous retail outlets throughout the city; McAllen’s premiere shopping mall, La Plaza Mall, continues to be one of Simon Property’s premier shopping venues. With sales consistently ranking among the highest per capita within Simon Properties’ shopping venues. Recent renovations include remodeling the food court and front entrance. Additionally, plans to create a second floor will provide a venue for retailers looking to expand into this lucrative market.

How Does A City McAllen’s Size Sustain So Many Retailers? McAllen’s investment in infrastructure and marketing has created a venue where shoppers know where to go for products and can get there quickly. Furthermore, recognizing international shoppers as an indispensable asset is not unheard of. International shoppers account 148 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

for 37% of retail sales in McAllen; make an average of ten (10) shopping trips per year to McAllen; and spend an average of $219 each trip. Monterrey, located just two hours from McAllen, boasts a population of more than three million people and has the largest concentration of millionaires per capita of any Mexican city. These brand-conscious shoppers take advantage of the close proximity of McAllen with its diverse offering of retail venues. All of this leads to McAllen having higher retail sales per capita than the National average. City officials unveiled an ambitious $10.7 million, city coordinated development project designed to transform property west of McAllen’s Convention Center into an upscale, urban area. The plan features mixed-use development along the city’s premiere green space; showcasing McAllen’s native vegetation and attractive retail space.

Source: City of McAllen, Rio Grande Valley Partnership, de Shopping Magazine, visit: www.deshoppingenelvalle.com Photo: ©MPC Studios


TRADE CLUSTERS

MCALLEN McAllen A. Trenton Crossing B. Trenton View C. Boot Jack Plaza D. Plaza Las Fuentes E. Pettite Plaza F. Town & Country G. Violet Venue H. Uptown Plaza I. Greenswood Plaza J. Village Oaks Shopping Center K. Northcross Shopping Center L. Taj Gallery M. Royal Palms N. Central Marketplace O. Tiffany Plaza P. Pink & Blue Shopping Center Q. Gateway Plaza R. Taylor Plaza S. Stone Oak Center T. Palms Crossing U. Crown Plaza V. Paseo Plaza W. La Plaza Mall X. McAllen Pavillion Y. Las Tiendas Plaza Z. River Valley Center AA. Jackson Triangle

South Hidalgo A. Plaza Del Puente

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TRADE CLUSTERS

MISSION Mission A. B. C. D.

Sharyland Towne Crossing North Sharyland Crossing Market at Sharyland Place The Shoppes at Sharyland Plantation

Harlingen A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K.

Cameron Crossing Valle Vista Mall Harlingen Corners Dixieland Shopping Center Lincoln Corners Central Park Harrison Crossing Harlingen Downtown District Sun Valley Mall El Mercado Mall Village & Village North Shopping Centers L. Treasure Hill Plaza M. The Plaza

HARLINGEN

Brownsville A. Sunrise Mall B. North Park Plaza Shopping Center (off map)

C. D. E. F.

Paseo Plaza Shopping Center Strawberry Square Corner Shopping Center Palm Village Shopping Center (off map)

G. Furniture Row Shopping Center H. Sunrise Commons

BROWNSVILLE

Source: de Shopping Magazine, visit: www.deshoppingenelvalle.com

150 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


TRADE CLUSTERS

WESLACO Mercedes (not mapped) Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets 140 Outlet Stores 5001 East Expressway 83

Weslaco A. Town Center B. Palms Plaza C. Valley Crossing

Alamo A. Alamo Corners B. Alamo Plaza

Edinburg A. Trenton Town Center B. Trenton Crossroads C. The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley

ALAMO

EDINBURG

Source: de Shopping Magazine, visit: www.deshoppingenelvalle.com

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TRADE CLUSTERS

EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS Including the State’s Fruits Texas is known for being BIG... BIG wide-open spaces, BIG hats, BIG hair, BIG personalities and BIG hearts. It is also known for its BIG Ruby Red Grapefruit! The Rio Grande Valley is internationally known for more than 40 crops; predominantly cotton, citrus, grain sorghum, sugar cane and melons. Vegetables formed the first vast agricultural jackpot, when farmers from the Midwest originally cleared South Texas. The subtropical climate and long growing season, allowed them to produce two crops in one year, on the same piece of land. The Valley is most well-known for growing flavorful citrus. The Texas citrus industry took its first steps in the Rio Grande Valley in the late 1800’s with the first reported planting of a grove in 1893. Legend has it that a traveling priest visited a ranch at Laguna Seca where he gave one of the children of the Vela family an orange. The child planted the seeds and from these seeds sprouted what is considered to be the oldest living citrus planting in the Valley. During the early 1900’s citrus became more common in South Texas as pioneers began growing it in their family yards and gardens for local consumption. It was not until later that Texas citrus was grown commercially. John H. Shary, a native Nebraskan, became involved in the development and growth of the region after a tour of a citrus orchard in 1912. In 1915, he moved from Corpus Christi, Texas to

the Valley and started his own venture by planting 360 acres of citrus trees. As citrus began to take hold in the region, the first load of citrus was shipped out by train from McAllen in 1920. By 1923, Shary helped organize a chain of commercial packing, shipping plants and large growers, known as the Texas Citrus Growers Exchange. Shary promoted the standardization of packing, freighting costs, pricing, and grading of citrus. He is known as the father of the Texas citrus industry. By 1929 there was a discovery of a natural mutation of a red grapefruit growing on a pink grapefruit tree in the Rio Grande Valley. Up until this point, there were only white and pink varieties. This discovery forever changed the path of the Texas citrus industry and the famed Ruby Red Grapefruit was born and the first citrus variety to be patented in the United States. During the 1960’s a change in varieties with Texas Ruby Reds gained dominance in the marketplace. The consumers’ preference for these high quality, juicy, Ruby Red grapefruit led to the development in the 1970’s of the Star Ruby variety by researchers at Texas A&I University (known today as TAMU Kingsville).  This was followed in 1984 with the release of the “Rio Red” variety, hailed as a “state of the art” grapefruit, deeper red in color, heavy with juice, and naturally sweet. Today, the Texas citrus

152 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

industry has approximately 28,000 acres in production, with about 70% in grapefruit and 30% in oranges. Texas now grows the Rio Star which is a very red, sweet variety of grapefruit and is about ten times more colorful than the original Ruby Red. The total value of the citrus industry to the Texas economy is typically more than $200 million, and the total crop value to the grower usually tops $50 million annually. Texas is so proud of the red grapefruit that in 1993, Governor Ann Richards signed the legislation naming Red Grapefruit the state fruit of Texas, which states that “the Texas Red Grapefruit will serve as a fitting emblem for the bounties of nature with which our state is blessed”.

Photos and copy courtesy of Texas Citrus Mutual


TRADE CLUSTERS

Volume Comparison: TX, AZ, CA

PRODUCE IMPORT TRENDS AND CHALLENGES Imports on the Rise • •

• •

2012 Volumes by POE

300% increase in produce volumes in last 12 years Nearly 2/3 of all fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in or shipped out of Texas are imported Some 30-35% of all fresh produce consumed in the US is imported Texas has surpassed Arizona 3 of the last 4 years in terms of total imported produce

Reasons for the Increase • • • • • • •

Rapidly growing population equals increasing demand Decreasing acres of ag production TX losing 200 ac/day Increasing regulatory pressures on farmers Capital and resource intensive Persistent drought conditions Aging farmer population - avg age 60 years old Mexico has been aggressive in supplying US demand - example hot house tomatoes and avocados Improvement of Mexican Infrastructure - Baluarte Bridge and Mazatlan Durango Highway creates significant time and cost savings for delivering product to US Mid West and East Coast markets

Volume (Truckload Equivalents)

Source: Texas International Produce Association

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TRADE CLUSTERS

Economic Impact of Produce Imports in Texas • • • • • • • • • • •

Texas’ Top 25 Imported Commodities in 2012

Est. total value of imported produce $3.5B Total economic impact $285M 3,037 estimated jobs Sorting & Packing (916) Warehousing (520) Truck Transport (350) Customs Brokers (218) Business Services (200) Health Care (142) Food & Beverage (112) Retail (110)

Future of Imports • • • •

Overall growth in the next 5 years will be significant, if history is any indicator we can reasonably expect 15-20% per year, if not more Some importers predict their operations will increase by as much as 100% in the next 1-2 years Produce imports will continue to contribute to the economic growth of our region There will be continued movement towards a global agricultural market place

Source: Texas International Produce Association

154 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

(956) 581-8632 www.texipa.org


A PASSION, AN OBSESSION Valley Golf Courses Brownsville Golf Center 1800 W. San Marcello, Brownsville, TX 78526 Cottonwood Creek Country Club 1001 Ed Carey St., Harlingen, TX 78552 Ebony Hills Golf Course 300 W. Palm Dr., Edinburg, TX 78539 El Nino Golf Course 3805 W. Business 83, Mission, TX 78572 Fort Brown Memorial Golf Course 300 River Levee Rd., Brownsville, TX 78520 Long Island Village Golf Course 950 S. Garcia St., Port Isabel, TX 78578 Llano Grande Golf Course 370 Golf Course Rd., Mercedes, TX 78570 Los Lagos Golf Club 1720 S. Raul Longoria Rd., Edinburg, TX 78540 Martin Valley Ranches Golf Course 7607 Hole in One Dr., Mission, TX 78572 Meadow Creek In the Valley 1300 Circle Drive, Mission, TX 78572 Monte Cristo Golf & Country Club 2919 North Kenyon Rd., Edinburg, TX 78541 Palm View Golf Course 2701 S. Ware Rd., McAllen, TX 78503 Raymondville Municipal Golf Course 13839 Emma Ross Rd., Raymondville, TX 78580 River Bend Resort 4541 US Military Hwy 281, Brownsville, TX 78520 Shary Municipal Golf Course 2201 Mayberry, Mission, TX 78572 Short Shot Golf Course 304 N. Cesar Chavez, Alamo, TX 78516 South Padre Island Golf Club 1 Golf House Road (FM 510), Laguna Vista, TX 78578 Stuart Place Country Club 155 Highland, Harlingen, TX 78552 The Palms at Mid Valley Golf Course 11550 N. FM 491, Mercedes, TX 78570 Tierra del Sol Golf Club 700 E. Hall Acres Rd., Pharr, TX 78577 Tierra Santa Golf Club 1901 Club de Amistad, Weslaco, TX 78596 Tony Butler Municipal Golf Course 2640 S. M St., Harlingen, TX 78550 Treasure Hills Country Club 3009 N. Augusta National Dr., Harlingen, TX 78550 Valley International Country Club 95 Country Club Rd., Brownsville, TX 78521 Village Executive Golf Course 2 Miles South of Bus. 83 on FM 1015, Weslaco, TX 78596

956-541-2582

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-70, Yardage-6144

956-428-0766

Public, # of Holes-9, Par-3, Yardage-2535

956-292-2144

Public, # of Holes-9, Par-35, Yardage-2983

956-585-2324

Public, # of Holes-9, Par-27, Yardage-1875

956-541-0394

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-72, Yardage-6162

956-943-7520

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-3, Yardage-1449

956-565-3351

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-72, Yardage-6718

956-316-0444

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-72, Yardage-7188

956-585-6330

Public, # of Holes-27, Par-72, Yardage-6695

956-581-6267

Public; # of Holes-18, Par-70, Yardage-6100

956-381-0964

Semi-Private, # of Holes-18, Par-71, Yardage-6392

956-681-3444

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-72, Yardage-6771

956-746-6907

Public, # of Holes-9, Par-36, Yardage-2990

956-548-0192

Semi-Private, # of Holes-18, Par-72, Yardage-6735

956-580-8770

Public, # of Holes-27, Par-70,71,73, Yardage-6025

956-702-1818

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-54, Yardage-1290

956-943-5678

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-72, Yardage-6800

956-428-2000

Public, # of Holes-9, Par-36, Yardage-2666

956-565-3211

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-72, Yardage-6570

956-702-2320

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-72, Yardage-6767

956-973-1811

Public, # of Holes-18, Par-72, Yardage-7139

956-216-5970

Public, # of Holes-27, Par-71, Yardage-6320

956-425-1700 956-546-5331

Semi-Private, # of Holes-18, Par-72, Yardage-6960 Public, # of Holes-18, Par-70, Yardage-6538 Public, # of Holes-9, Par-3, Yardage-1062

956-968-6516

Public, # of Holes-9, Par-31, Yardage-1563

NOTE: Numerous private golf courses are available and should be considered when choosing a home in this region. Source: Rio Grande Valley Partnership

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TRADE CLUSTERS

Economic Impact of Nature Tourism on the Rio Grande Valley Considering Peak and Off-Peak Visitation during 2011 There is something special about waking up at 5:00 in the morning in anticipation of the migrating birds passing through the Rio Grande Valley. Thankfully with each passing day, more and more individuals realize the beauty that exists in the region and join the campaign to preserve the unmatched lands and natural resources that comprise “the Valley.” Few can dispute the importance of nature tourism in Texas, especially within the Lower Rio Grande Valley (the Valley). According to Mathis and Matisoff (2004), “Texas is the number one bird watching state/province in North America, and the Valley is often considered the number two bird watching destination in North America. The four counties of the Valley - Hidalgo, Starr, Willacy, and Cameron - together recorded almost 500 bird species. During twelve weeks throughout 2011 (six weeks in May and June over the off-peak season and six weeks in October, November, and December in the peak season), data was collected from visitors at seven sites: Estero Llano Grande State Park and World Birding Center, Bentsen Rio Grande State Park and World Birding Center, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center, Alamo Inn (a lodging establishment frequented among nature tourists), and Frontera Audubon in Hidalgo County and South Padre Island World Birding Center in Cameron County. 156 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Additionally during the peak season (in November), data was collected from visitors to the 18th Annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Harlingen. The findings presented within this work serve to provide an annualized snapshot of the economic impact of nature tourism based on off-peak and peak visitation in the Valley for the 2011 calendar year. For more information on this report or Nature Tourism in the RGV, contact: South Texas Nature Marketing Cooperative: Nydia Tapia-Gonzales, Director (956) 202-1392

Source: South Texas Nature Marketing Cooperative


TRADE CLUSTERS

Descriptive Sample Summary of Peak and Off-peak Non-local Nature Tourists in RGV, 2011 n = sample size; number of respondents that answered a particular question M = mean; mathematical average score Socio-demographic or Socio-economic Variable

Peak (%)

Off-peak (%)

Age (npeak = 298, Mpeak = 57.0) (noff-peak = 184, Moff-peak = 47.4) Gender (npeak = 298; noff-peak = 190) Female.................................................................................................................................49.3 ...........................50.5 Male .....................................................................................................................................50.7 ...........................49.5 Education level (npeak = 297; noff-peak = 190) Less than high school.......................................................................................................0.0..............................0.5 High school .......................................................................................................................11.8..............................9.5 Technical/vocational school/junior college ..........................................................13.1 ...........................13.2 Undergraduate degree .................................................................................................31.3 ...........................40.5 Graduate degree .............................................................................................................43.8 ...........................36.3 Annual household income (npeak = 269; noff-peak = 180) Less than $50,000............................................................................................................20.1 ...........................23.3 $50,000-74,999 ................................................................................................................20.8 ...........................17.2 $75,000-99,999 ................................................................................................................20.1 ...........................15.0 $100,000-149,999............................................................................................................23.8 ...........................25.0 $150,000 or more............................................................................................................15.2 ...........................19.4 Attitudes about Returning to the RGV among Peak and Off-peak Non-local Nature Tourists, 2011 Attitude Variable

Peak (%)

Off-peak (%)

Likelihood of returning to the RGV (npeak = 291, noff-peak = 184) Highly unlikely....................................................................................................................5.8..............................7.6 Unlikely..................................................................................................................................1.7..............................1.6 Unsure.................................................................................................................................10.0..............................7.1 Likely....................................................................................................................................26.1 ...........................32.1 Highly Likely......................................................................................................................56.4 ...........................51.6 Visitorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; expenditures include taxes paid to the city and county governments, most often in the form of sales and hotel taxes. The tax estimates shown below are based on direct expenditures and tax rates listed by the Texas Comptroller (Combs, 2011). Only taxes on direct expenditures are measured. Indirect economic effects result in few local taxes as inputs are not generally subject to taxes. Property taxes are a fixed cost and are excluded here. Local (City and County) Taxes Generated from Direct Nature Tourist Expenditures, 2011 Sales tax....................................................$2,560,300 Hotel tax ...................................................$7,512,900

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TRADE CLUSTERS

Gateway Reaching New Heights After 50 years as a mainstay of downtown Edinburg, Gateway Printing & Office Supply, Inc. is embarking on an exciting new stage in the company’s history. The company will soon move corporate functions and major distribution activities to San Antonio, while maintaining all its current retail and other operations in the Rio Grande Valley.

Mr. Miller said the company’s growth has dictated the changes. “It has become apparent that in order to serve all of our customers more efficiently, Gateway needs a more central headquarters and distribution facility,” Mr. Miller said.

“Butch and Sonia have spent years proving their value and dedication to the company,” Mr. Miller said. “I can think of no two better people to assume additional corporate leadership responsibility as our company enters this exciting new period.”

“At the same time, we will continue to offer the same high level of goods and services our Rio Grande Valley customers expect from us;” said company President, Lin Miller. “The Valley has played a huge part in our company’s history, and we expect that to continue far, far into the future, Miller said. "We expect to be part of downtown Edinburg for a long time to come.”

As part of the preparations for the move, Mr. Miller recently announced personnel changes that will prepare Gateway for its next generation of leadership. Butch Shook, the company’s Senior Vice President, and Sonia Garcia, Vice President of Printing Operations, have both been named partners in the company.

Since starting out as a single shop in downtown Edinburg 50 years ago, Gateway now operates retail locations in Edinburg, Brownsville, Houston, Corpus Christi and San Antonio.

158 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

In its current form, Gateway's history stretches back 50 years to 1963, when W.G. “Dub” Bailey and partners bought the firm. Mr. Bailey later acquired sole ownership of the


included retail locations in McAllen, Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Houston. The combined firms operate today as Gateway Printing & Office Supply, Inc. Gateway’s operations across South

“ The Valley has played a huge part in our company’s history, and we expect that to continue far, far into the future. ” teaching supplies and equipment. Mr. Miller became the sole owner during this time, and expanded the Edinburg-based company by opening a new retail location in Brownsville. In November 2008, Gateway purchased Jones & Cook Stationers, Inc., its major South Texas competitor in the independent office supplies field. The purchase

TRADE CLUSTERS

company. By the late 1990s, Gateway was the Rio Grande Valley’s largest commercial printer, held a substantial presence in the area’s office supply industry, and was South Texas' leading retailer of

going forward,” Mr. Miller said. “With our new headquarters and ownership structure, we look forward to the next 50 years of Gateway Printing & Office Supplies, Inc.”

Texas now make it one of the largest independent office supply companies in the State of Texas. The company is still the premier commercial printer in the Rio Grande Valley and remains South Texas’ goto source for teaching supplies. “Our new corporate location puts our company in strong position to compete anywhere in the state

Five Locations to Serve You Gateway Printing & Office Supply, Inc. is a unique collection of businesses. One of the largest independent office supply dealers in Texas, the company is also South Texas’ premier commercial printer and a leading teaching supplies retailer. Gateway Printing & Office Supply, Inc., serves its customers from locations in Houston, San Antonio, Brownsville, Edinburg and Corpus Christi.

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QUALITY OF LIFE

COST OF LIVING The American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association (ACCRA); now known as the Council for Community and Economic Research produces the ACCRA Cost of Living Index to provide a useful and reasonable, accurate measure of living cost difference among urban areas. The average for all participating areas, both metropolitan and non-metropolitan have a 100% weight measure, each participantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s index is read as a percentage of the average for all areas. The Rio Grande Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cost of living is consistently ranked below the national average. Residents find it easier to enjoy a lifestyle that

affords participation in a wealth of opportunities that in other places may not be considered affordable. The cost of living in McAllen ranks consistently below the national average primarily because of low housing prices. McAllen ranked 3rd most affordable city in the nation to live in according to Kiplinger, 2012.

The following table provides comparisons for the cost of living index between McAllen, Harlingen and Brownsville and other U.S. cities. The cost of living index is used to compare the relative cost of living in different locations. A place with a cost of living index of 125 means that it is 25% more expensive to live in that particular place.

PROVIDENCE, RI l l ROCKFORD, IL l SAN FRANCISCO, CA

l RICHMOND, VA l CHARLOTTE, NC

l LOS ANGELES, CA

l ATLANTA, GA

HOUSTON, TX l MCALLEN HARLINGEN BROWNSVILLE

160 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


HOUSING UTILITIES

QUALITY OF LIFE

GROCERY

If you moved to McAllen, Harlingen or Brownsville from one of these cities, here is how your Cost of Living would change...

HEALTHCARE

Sa nF ran c is co, Lo CA sA ng ele s, C Ho A us ton , TX Ro ckf ord , IL At lan ta, GA Ch arl ott e, N C R ic hm on d, VA Pro vid en ce, RI

TRANSPORTATION

McAllen, TX

36%

22%

0.2%

For example, your grocery costs would be 36% lower when moving from San Francisco to McAllen.

221%

123%

22%

2%

11%

22%

23% lower

lower

26%

19%

Harlingen, TX

38%

24% lower

lower

For example, your housing costs would be 20% lower when moving from Houston to Harlingen.

219%

122%

20%

lower lower lower lower lower

lower lower

2%

lower lower lower

lower

lower

lower

4%

11%

21%

5%

10%

lower lower

lower lower

18%

18%

25%

7%

17%

58%

6%

12%

34%

8%

13%

17%

lower lower

lower lower

lower lower

higher

lower

8%

0.5%

7%

11%

16%

10%

15%

12% lower

lower

9%

26%

28%

2%

13%

23%

20%

20%

27%

6%

16%

56%

lower

lower

lower

lower

3%

lower

lower

9%

lower

lower lower

lower

lower lower

lower lower

lower lower

higher

lower

lower

9%

30%

26%

28%

11%

15%

21%

12%

17%

21%

22%

15%

6%

11%

Brownsville, TX

34%

20% lower

higher

For example, your healthcare costs would be 23% lower when moving from Providence to Brownsville.

216%

118%

16%

lower

lower lower

2%

lower

lower

7%

higher

lower

13%

14%

21%

14%

lower lower

lower lower

lower

2%

lower

8%

higher

3%

lower

lower

lower

lower

5%

22%

24%

8%

19%

15%

16%

23%

2%

12%

52%

8%

29%

lower

1%

higher

4%

lower

2%

lower

5%

10% lower

9%

lower

lower

lower

higher lower

lower

3%

lower

lower

lower lower

4%

lower

lower

higher lower

5%

lower

lower

lower lower

8%

lower

higher

higher lower

7%

higher

lower

5%

lower

5%

higher

7%

lower

8%

lower

lower lower

2%

lower

1%

lower

lower lower lower

3%

lower

lower lower lower

8%

higher

lower

lower

4%

21%

23%

lower

lower

lower

U.S. Average Weight = 100%

Source: Council for Community and Economic Research - C2ER

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QUALITY OF LIFE

IT DOESNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T GET ANY BETTER! SOUTH PADRE ISLAND The widest and cleanest in Texas, the beaches of South Padre Island have gotten very high ratings from a variety of sources, including: Men's Fitness, Conde Nast Traveler, MSN.com, City Search, The Travel Channel, Trip Advisor and others! The beautiful beaches of South Padre Island provide a large array of activities for both tourists and residents. Jogging, fishing, organized run events, walking, sunbathing, playing in the surf, quality family time, and once in a lifetime romantic weddings are just a few of the things to be enjoyed by both the young and the young at heart. A little more adventuresome? Parasailing, banana boat rides, surfing and kite boarding are popular activities.

NATURE ADVENTURES IN SOUTH TEXAS South Padre Island (SPI) is a barrier island located between the Gulf of Mexico (on the east) and the Laguna Madre (on the west), and a very special place with unique plants and animals. SPI is home to one of nine World Birding Center sites located across the Rio Grande Valley. The interpretive tours also talk about the fabulous fish, dolphin, plant life and other animals. Residents and visitors alike learn about birds,

flora, fauna and the natural environment of South Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. The World Birding Centers provide excellent, one-of-a-kind birding opportunities coupled with interpretive tours and educational opportunities to learn about birds and birding migration in South Texas with an emphasis on conservation and environmental awareness..

Photos and copy courtesy of South Padre Island EDC

162 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


QUALITY OF LIFE

Hike & Bike Trails LOWER VALLEY / BROWNSVILLE

A WEALTH OF WILDLIFE The World Birding Center is more than just a spot on the map. It is a network of nine distinctly different birding sites, set along a 120-mile historic river road - each sponsored by one of the Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nine partner communities. From a historic adobe hacienda to scenic bluffs high above the Rio Grande and pristine wilderness to teeming wetlands, the World Birding Center network offers visitors a dazzling array of birding adventures. Visitors will be treated to wilderness walks, float trips and hands-on, stateof-the-art educational exhibits. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley (Mission) (956) 584-9156 Edinburg Scenic Wetlands (956) 381-9922 Estero Llano Grande (Weslaco) (956) 565-3919 Harlingen Arroyo Colorado (956) 427-8873 Old Hidalgo Pumphouse (956) 843-8686 Quinta Mazatlan (McAllen) (956) 681-3370 Resaca de la Palma (Brownsville) (956) 350-2920 Roma Bluffs (956) 849-4930 South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center (956) 243-8179 Source: Brownsville Metropolitan Planning Organization

Source: World Birding Center Photo: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

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QUALITY OF LIFE

Hike & Bike Trails UPPER / MID VALLEY

Source: Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization

164 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


QUALITY OF LIFE

THEATRE & PERFORMING ARTS ©MPC Studios

Albert L. Jeffers Theatre UTPA, 1201 W. University Dr., Edinburg 956-665-3581 Alfresco Jazz Festival Downtown Weslaco Every 3rd Thursday of the Month Admission: Free 956-969-0838 • www.weslacoedc.com Blues on the Hill McKelvey Park, 1325 S. 77 Sunshine Strip Harlingen • Admission: Free Bring lawn chairs, blankets and beach towels (No outside food or beverages) 956-216-5951 Border Theater 905 N. Conway, Mission 956-585-4122 www.thebordertheater.com Camille Playhouse 1 Dean Porter Park, Brownsville 956-542-8900 www.camilleplayhouse.org Cine El Rey 311 S. 17th St., McAllen (956) 971-9825

The Cooper Center For Communication Arts South Texas College 3200 W. Pecan • McAllen 956-872-8311 • 800-742-7822 www.southtexascollege.edu/coopercenter /index.html Harlingen Performing Arts Theatre 1209 Fair Park Blvd., Harlingen 956-412-7529 www.hpatonline.org McAllen Convention Center 700 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen 956-681-3800 www.mcallenconventioncenter.net McAllen Symphonic Band 956-681-3355 www.mcallentownband.org

South Padre Island Convention Centre 7355 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island 956-761-3000 www.sopadre.com State Farm Arena Broadway Series State Farm Arena, 2600 N. 10th St., Hidalgo 956-843-6688 www.statefarmarena.com UTB and TSC Arts Center 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville 956-882-8587 www.utb.edu/artscenter Valley Symphony Orchestra & Chorale 956-661-1615 www.vsomusic.org Weslaco’s Tower Theater 120 S. Kansas Ave., Weslaco 956.969.2368

Music After Hours - Presented by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce Location 1: Archer Park, 101 N. Broadway Location 2: Bill Schupp Park, 1300 Zinnia McAllen • Admission: Free 956-682-2871 • www.mcallencvb.com Pharr Events Center 3000 N. Cage, Pharr 956-475-3434 www.pharrevents.com

Source: RGV Partnership

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QUALITY OF LIFE 166 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


For millions of travelers and residents of Texas' Rio Grande Valley, the City of Hidalgo has long been known as the gateway for heading across the HidalgoMcAllenReynosa International Bridge into and back from Mexico. Then ten years ago, something happened that would change the way people would see Hidalgo forever. On Oct. 23, 2003, State Farm Arena (originally Dodge Arena) opened its doors with an inaugural, soldout concert by country superstar Alan Jackson. In the decade since, the success of the arena has helped redefine Hidalgo as the Entertainment Capital of South Texas. And rightly so. In December 2012, the trade publication Venues Today named State Farm Arena the 8th most successful venue of the decade in the world for its size category. "These amazing honors really highlight the hard work and passion of many, many people who have helped the arena become what it is today," said Eric Blockie, State Farm Arena's General Manager.

But, State Farm Arena is far more than just a concert venue. Family fare and sports extravaganzas such as Disney On Ice, Sesame Street, WWE Smackdown, Cirque Du Soleil, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus and Monster Jam have proven some of the most popular events with spectators over the years.

"State Farm Arena was the jolt Hidalgo needed to compete in the big leagues," Mayor Cepeda said. "It has been a touchstone for new economic growth in the city, and it has also made the public at large take notice of the many other wonderful things Hidalgo has going for it."

The arena has also allowed Hidalgo to become home base for a number of professional sports leagues over the years, including the RGV Killer Bees Hockey Team, RGV Vipers Development League basketball team and the venue's newest residents, the RGV Flash, a PASLPro indoor soccer league originally from Monterrey, Mexico.

The arena allowed Hidalgo to take its annual culture and music festival, BorderFest, to a new level. Since 2004, when city leaders began holding the festival on arena grounds, BorderFest has grown exponentially. Performances by superstars such as Demi Lovato and Zac Brown Band on the arena stage are now a focal point of the festival, which draws nearly 100,000 attendees every year.

All in all, State Farm Arena has proven to be a tremendous boon for the City of Hidalgo, according to Mayor Martin Cepeda. ABOUT THE ARENA 5,500 6,800 30,000 26 500

Capacity people (sports) people (concerts) people (outdoor festival) Suites Club Seats

"BorderFest is now one of the biggest and most well-recognized event in all of South Texas," said Hidalgo City Manager Joe Vera. "The success of both the arena and BorderFest is a blessing for everyone in Hidalgo and everyone in the Valley."

Photos courtesy of Cliff Ranson Article by City of Hidalgo

The arena has hosted an astounding variety of the world's top musical performers over the past 10 years rock legends such as Elton John, Cher and Santana余 pop megastars like Kelly Clarkson, the Jonas Brothers and Janet Jackson余 country kings such as George Strait余 and Latin music idols like Mana, Shakira, Vicente Fernandez and Luis Miguel. Economic Development Guide

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QUALITY OF LIFE

HIDALGO CELEBRATES 10 YEARS WITH THE ARENA


QUALITY OF LIFE

HOW GREAT THOU ART!

Source: City of McAllen Photo: McAllen Creative Incubator

168 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


QUALITY OF LIFE

McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s

CREATIVE INCUBATOR Nine years ago the McAllen Chamber of Commerce decided it was time to get serious about promoting the arts. Until then much of the focus had been on making McAllen businessfriendly. And while that concentration hasn’t changed, developing and promoting the arts quickly became another emphasis. The McAllen Chamber recognized that while making the City attractive to entrepreneurs on a business level was important for the growing city, also increasing the quality of life by highlighting and encouraging creativity is also an investment that will pay off.

and a stage, the Creative Incubator began hosting arts events such as the International Poetry Festival, arts exhibitions, music classes and theatrical performances. The Chamber staffed the Creative Incubator, supported its tenants with business and promotional assistance, and watched as artists opened studios and thrived, many eventually leaving to open individual galleries and businesses, thus making space for even more artists.

So the Chamber created the McAllen Arts Council to offer grants and sponsor events, began Music After Hours free music concert series, and opened the first Creative Incubator.

This past January, after years of planning, the Creative Incubator finally moved into the former main library location at 601 North Main Street. The location is much expanded over the first location, and currently houses 17 studios, a gallery, a large exhibition area, and a painting lab.

In partnership with the City of McAllen and working on a shoestring, the Creative Incubator was housed the first several years in the old Sam Houston Elementary School building. With studio space for 12 artists, a small exhibition area,

The extra room allows for larger events and for more classes, from painting, to singing to acting and more. In the fall, the Creative incubator will also be offering even more classes in conjunction with South Texas College.

The new location also has the advantage of being located in the heart of McAllen’s Arts District, allowing tenants to participate fully with ArtWalk. It’s a new era for the arts in McAllen; one that enriches the lives of our residents and allows us all the opportunity to expand our creative horizons. For more information on the McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s Creative Incubator, call: (956) 687-ARTS (2787).

Source: Nancy Millar McAllen Chamber of Commerce Photo: McAllen Creative Incubator

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QUALITY OF LIFE

MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS Albert L. Jeffers Theatre UTPA, 1201 W. University Dr., Edinburg 956-665-3581 • www.utpa.edu

Fort Ringgold Highway 83 & Fort Ringgold, Rio Grande City

Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle 400 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd., San Juan 956-787-0033 • www.olsjbasilica.org

Freddy Fender Museum 210 E. Heywood St., San Benito 956-399-7818 www.freddyfendermuseum.com

Mission Historical Museum 900 Doherty Ave., Mission 956-580-8646

Brownsville Museum of Fine Art 660 E. Ringgold St., Brownsville 956-542-0941 • www.brownsvillemfa.org

Gladys Porter Zoo 500 Ringgold St., Brownsville 956-546-7187 • www.gpz.org

Museum of South Texas History 200 N. Closner Blvd., Edinburg 956-383-6911 • www.mosthistory.org

Children’s Museum of Brownsville 501 E. Ringgold St. #5 Dean Porter Park, Brownsville 956-548-9300 • www.cmofbrownsville.com

Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum 2425 Boxwood St., Harlingen 956-216-4901

Old City Cemetery Center 600 E. Jackson St., Brownsville 956-541-1167 www.brownsvillehistory.com

Commemorative Air Force RGV 955 S. Minnesota Ave., Brownsville 956-541-8585 • www.rgvwingcaf.com Costumes of The America’s Museum 501 E. Ringgold St. #5 Dean Porter Park, Brownsville 956-547-6890 www.costumesoftheamericasmuseum.net Donna Hooks Fletcher Museum 318 S. Main St., Donna 956-464-9989

Photos: Sculptures: Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts; Mammoth: Museum of South Texas History

Historic Brownsville Museum 641 E. Madison St., Brownsville 956-548-1313 www.brownsvillemuseum.org International Museum of Arts & Science 1900 W. Nolana Ave., McAllen 956-682-0123 • www.imasonline.org Iwo Jima Memorial Museum 320 Iwo Jima Blvd., Harlingen 956-421-9234

McAllen Heritage Center 301 S. Main St., McAllen 956-687-1904 www.mcallenheritagecenter.com

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park NE Corner of FM1847 & FM511, Brownsville 956-541-2785 Port Isabel Historical Museum / Treasures of the Gulf Museum 317 E. Railroad Ave., Port Isabel 956-943-7602 www.portisabelmuseums.com

La Borde House 601 E. Main St., Rio Grande City 956-487-5101 • www.labordehouse.com

Port Isabel Lighthouse 421 E. Queen Isabella Blvd., Port Isabel 956-943-2262 www.portisabellighthouse.com

La Lomita Chapel 3 Miles S. of Exp. 83 on FM 1016 Mission

San Benito History Museum 210 E. Heywood St., San Benito 956-399-9991 • www.sanbenitohistory.org

170 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


QUALITY OF LIFE

South Texas Motorcycle Museum 4705 E. Richardson Rd., Edinburg 956-292-0770 • www.stxmm.org Stillman House & Brownsville Heritage Museum 1325 E. Washington St., Brownsville 956-541-5560 www.brownsvillehistory.org Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame & Museum 210 E. Heywood St., San Benito 956-245-1666 Weslaco Museum 500 S. Texas Blvd., Weslaco 956-968-9142 • www.weslacomuseum.org Willacy County Art League Serves the South Texas communities in the Rio Grande Valley. Local artists fill the art gallery with beautiful paintings which are on display and many are for sale. For more information please visit www.willacycoartleague.com. Willacy County Cultural Art Center 427 S. 7th St, Raymondville 956-689-1864 www.raymondvillechamber.com Gallery Hours: Wed. 8:30 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. Willacy County Historical Museum 427 S. 7th St., Raymondville 956-689-6604 www.raymondvillechamber.com

Baseball

Nature

Edinburg Roadrunners Edinburg Baseball Stadium 920 N. Sugar Rd. (May-Aug.) 956-380-4446 www.roadrunnerball.com

Frontera Audubon 1101 S. Texas Blvd., Weslaco 956-968-3275 • www.fronteraaudubon.org

McAllen Thunder Edinburg Baseball Stadium 920 N. Sugar Rd. (May-Aug.) 956-380-6256 www.mcallenthunder.com Rio Grande Valley Whitewings Harlingen Field 1216 Fair Park Blvd. (May-Aug.) 956-423-9464 www.whitewingsbaseball.net

Hilltop Gardens Botanical Gardens / Bed & Breakfast 100 Lee Lane, Lyford 956-262-2176 ext. 136 www.hilltopgarden.com Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Rio Hondo 956-748-3607 ext. 112 www.friendsofsouthtexasrefuges.org

Basketball

National Butterfly Center 3333 Butterfly Park Dr., Mission 956-583-5400 www.nationalbutterflycenter.org

Rio Grande Valley Vipers State Farm Arena 2600 N. 10th St., Hidalgo (Oct.-Mar.) 956-972-1144 www.rgvipers.com

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge 3325 Green Jay Rd., Alamo 956-784-7500 www.friendsofsouthtexasrefuges.org

Hockey Killer Bees Hockey 2600 N. 10th St. (Hwy 336) Hidalgo 956-843-5666 Email: info@killerbeeshockey.com

Soccer

Sea Turtle, Inc. 6617 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island 956-761-4511 www.seaturtleinc.org Valley Nature Center 301 S. Border Ave., Weslaco 956-969-2475 www.valleynaturecenter.org

RGV Flash Indoor Soccer State Farm Arena 2600 N. 10th St., Hidalgo (Nov.-Feb.) 956-843-6688 ext. 5656 www.rgvflash.com Source: RGV Partnership Photo: Museum of South Texas History

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HOME SWEET HOME

HOUSING COSTS Enjoy a lifestyle and economy highly influenced by the Mexican National and diversity around every corner. The RGV is filled with local pride and a local economy substantially detached from the rest of the Country. Home prices in the Rio Grande Valley have remained relatively steady during the recent economic recession, avoiding both the rapid price escalation that fueled a lot of the speculative development on the West and East Coasts and the dramatic plummeting of home values experienced in other regions. The marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strength has been sustained by a combination of affordability and a strong Mexican National economic influence in this region. Mexican Nationals have a

ŠMPC Studios

large influence in Real Estate. A number of Mexican Nationals have left their home country to start a new life in the Rio Grande Valley, including home, business ventures and investments. There has been an increase demand of Real Estate in residential property, income producing property, industrial and retail.

The ease of travel within the Rio Grande Valley allows everyone to choose from a wide variety of communities and neighborhoods that will accommodate their lifestyles and price point. Source: Zaida Villarreal & Cesar Villarreal, Reliance Realty/Keller Williams

Annual New Privately-Owned Residential Housing Single-Family Units Multi-Family Units Cameron

Hidalgo

Willacy

RGV Totals

2000

2,706

405

5,038

621

42

0

7,786

1,026

2001

2,713

381

5,626

1,279

49

0

8,388

1,660

2002

3,178

739

6,418

1,059

86

72

9,682

1,870

2003

3,124

320

6,461

1,599

64

72

9,649

1,991

2004

3,070

522

6,744

2,570

33

2

9,847

3,094

2005

3,069

625

6,741

2,148

36

0

9,846

2,773

2006

2,852

550

6,870

1,176

42

0

9,764

1,726

2007

1,728

363

5,079

1,379

30

4

6,837

1,746

2008

1,086

220

3,137

557

34

0

4,257

777

2009

939

166

2,784

372

25

0

3,748

538

2010

1,062

196

3,096

456

16

0

4,174

652

2011

1,053

83

2,922

183

19

0

3,994

266

Source: Census Bureau, Building Permits Survey. Starr County not available.

172 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


â&#x20AC;&#x153;The local recovery has regressed in 2012 as the Rio Grande Valley has seen employment declines in the past year, namely in the recently strong sectors of healthcare, transportation, and retail. This pause in local growth, coupled with continued tightness in the mortgage market, has made it difficult for the housing market to sustain its resurgence. The result is a new home market that has contracted 13% in the past year. The

expectation is that the decline is temporary as the short and long term prospects for the market are good with a revival of the manufacturing market in Mexico and the reshoring of U.S. jobs as costs become more competitive internationally. The Rio Grande Valley continues to see population growth in the 1.5% range increasing the demand for housing that at the moment is being absorbed by an extremely tight rental market with occupancy levels over 95% and rents that continue to climb. The positive side to this is that climbing rents will help build demand for detached housing which has seen the sales pace in the resale market steady

HOME SWEET HOME

HOUSING MARKET

over the past few months and inventory levels are beginning to drop which will contribute to stabilizing home values, especially in more desirable areas,â&#x20AC;? said Randall Allsup, Director of Metrostudyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rio Grande Valley Region. Source: Metrostudy Report

2012 and Projected 2017 Median Home Values

Source: esri

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The Rio Grande Valley Region boasts the best of both worlds with its close proximity to the border. We offer an affordable and comfortable lifestyle along with a low cost of living and stellar business opportunities that any city would envy. With our light traffic it’s just a 20minute drive to almost anywhere you need to be. South Padre Island; located on the tropical tip of Texas presents beautiful beaches, warm gulf waters, fishing, boating; bird watching, shopping and a diversity of year-round activities - SPI is ranked as one America’s top beaches! The Valley offers small town ambiance and friendliness, with big city character and opportunity. When it comes to residential real estate, the RGV bestows exclusive gated communities with lakes or resacas and distinct amenities like golf courses, exercise paths, ambiance lighting and 24/7 security. From multi-family units to single family homes, condos, town houses and apartments the Rio Grande Valley has a home for you. Economists anticipate Real Estate values in the RGV will increase up to 27% by 2020. Source: Zaida Villarreal & Cesar Villarreal, Reliance Realty/Keller Williams

Rio Grande Valley Realtors Greater McAllen Association of Realtors 509 Nolana Ave., McAllen, TX 78504 956-682-4110 • www.gmar.org Harlingen Board of Realtors 417 S. 3rd, Harlingen, TX 78550 956-425-1034 • www.harlingenrealtors.com

HERE’S WHAT YOUR $$ CAN BUY YOU

HOME SWEET HOME

CHOICES IN HOUSING

Brownsville/South Padre Island Board of Realtors 1825 Central Blvd., Brownsville, TX 78520 956-546-8920 • www.brownsvillespibor.com South Padre Island Board of Realtors 2111 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island, TX 78597 956-772-1940 • www.mysouthpadrerealestate.com Source: Eva-Jean Dalton, CIPS, CRP, CRS, E-PRO®, Broker, RE/MAX In The Valley

174 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

MISSION $170,000

4 bed / 3.5 bath 2,756 sq. ft.

BROWNSVILLE $435,000

5 bed / 6.5 bath 6,346 sq. ft.

HARLINGEN $82,500

3 bed / 2 bath 1,152 sq. ft.

MCALLEN $610,000

5 bed / 6 bath 4,300 sq. ft.


MCALLEN $1,225,000

2 bed / 2 bath 1,120 sq. ft.

5 bed / 5 & 2 half bath 5,930 sq. ft.

BROWNSVILLE $104,283

4 bed / 3.5 bath 3,144 sq. ft.

HARLINGEN $470,000

5 bed / 4.5 bath 4,459 sq. ft.

PHARR $477,500

5 bed / 5 bath 4,669 sq. ft.

EDINBURG $195,000

4 bed / 2.5 bath 2,722 sq. ft.

EDINBURG $104,500

3 bed / 2 bath 1,397 sq. ft.

MISSION $375,000

6 bed / 6.5 bath 4,425 sq. ft.

HOME SWEET HOME

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND $300,000

Source: Zaida Villarreal & Cesar Villarreal, Reliance Realty/Keller Williams

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HOME SWEET HOME

THE WESLACO ADVANTAGE Mid-Valley Industrial Park (MVIP) • Emerging market bias for locating in Weslaco to serve customers in the Rio Grande Valley and Northern Mexico • Virtually 50 companies located in industrial park: food processing, manufacturing, warehousing & distribution, public sector, adult education & training • Development and diversification is key to success and growth

Return on Your Investment • Strategic and planned growth • City invests in itself to help companies grow • Help businesses achieve and sustain success • Resources and strategy make investment possible in community Weslaco Economic Development Corporation 275 South Kansas Blvd., Weslaco, TX 78596 (956) 969-0838 • www.weslacoedc.com

Walker Realty Serving the Rio Grande Valley

2114 W. 6th • Weslaco

(956) 968-8317

176 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

www.walker-realty.net


HOME SWEET HOME

Quality of Place

Airport with On-Call Landing Rights

• Social offerings, openness and aesthetics are cornerstones to economic development

• Brings significant economic benefits and opportunities to Weslaco

• Thriving Historical Downtown District and Top-Notch Shopping Centers

• Convenience and security in clearance of arriving International general aviation aircraft

• Community events, such as Alfresco Weslaco, held monthly

• First facility of this type on the Texas/Mexico border promoting air transportation and ease of clearing U. S. Customs from Mexico to Texas

• Three top notch school districts, Four Private Schools, Three Continuing Education Facilities

Photos and copy courtesy of Weslaco EDC

ONE REGION - ONE VOICE - ONE CENTER

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OUR YOUTH (K-12)

SCHOOL DISTRICTS

STUDENT ENROLLMENT BY DISTRICT Organization District Name Sub Type IGNITE PUBLIC SCHOOLS & COMMUNITY SERVICE CENTER CHARTER

Enrollment as of Oct 2012 1204

SOUTH TEXAS EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES INC

CHARTER

881

Coordinate School and Housing Decisions

MIDVALLEY ACADEMY CHARTER DISTRICT

CHARTER

393

IDEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

CHARTER

12567

Choice empowers parents, but parents must also be adequately informed about their children's schools.

VANGUARD ACADEMY

CHARTER

1695

EXCELLENCE IN LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

CHARTER

59

Some find a school they like and then an apartment or house in the vicinity. Others do it the other way around. (Remember: If you're applying to public school, in almost any school district in the country you need proof of residency before you can apply.) Don’t enroll your child in a dream school and then discover that housing in the area is out of your price range.

Source: UTPA Data Center Photo: D Wilson Construction

DONNA ISD

INDEPENDENT

15276

EDCOUCH-ELSA ISD

INDEPENDENT

5162

EDINBURG CISD

INDEPENDENT

33673

HIDALGO ISD

INDEPENDENT

3307

MCALLEN ISD

INDEPENDENT

24931

MERCEDES ISD

INDEPENDENT

5705

MISSION CISD

INDEPENDENT

15534

PHARR-SAN JUAN-ALAMO ISD

INDEPENDENT

32050

PROGRESO ISD

INDEPENDENT

2157

SHARYLAND ISD

INDEPENDENT

10232

LA JOYA ISD

INDEPENDENT

29235

WESLACO ISD

INDEPENDENT

17936

LA VILLA ISD

INDEPENDENT

652

MONTE ALTO ISD

INDEPENDENT

1057

VALLEY VIEW ISD

INDEPENDENT

4760

RIO GRANDE CITY CISD

INDEPENDENT

10834

SAN ISIDRO ISD

INDEPENDENT

263

ROMA ISD

INDEPENDENT

6511

LASARA ISD

INDEPENDENT

502

LYFORD CISD

INDEPENDENT

1593

RAYMONDVILLE ISD

INDEPENDENT

2204

SAN PERLITA ISD

INDEPENDENT

280

CHARTER

438

HARMONY SCIENCE ACADEMY - BROWNSVILLE BROWNSVILLE ISD

INDEPENDENT

49190

HARLINGEN CISD

INDEPENDENT

18509

LA FERIA ISD

INDEPENDENT

3712

LOS FRESNOS CISD

INDEPENDENT

10424

POINT ISABEL ISD

INDEPENDENT

2642

RIO HONDO ISD

INDEPENDENT

2213

SAN BENITO CISD

INDEPENDENT

11171

SANTA MARIA ISD

INDEPENDENT

729

SANTA ROSA ISD

INDEPENDENT

1176

SOUTH TEXAS ISD

INDEPENDENT

3381

Total Enrollment

178 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

344,238


OUR YOUTH (K-12)

Rio Grande Valley School Districts K-12

Source: UTPA Data Center

Rio Grande Valley State Distinguished Performance Schools, 2012-2013 BROWNSVILLE ISD

IDEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

PHARR-SAN JUAN-ALAMO ISD

GALLEGOS ELEMENTARY LONGORIA ELEMENTARY MORNINGSIDE ELEMENTARY ORTIZ ELEMENTARY PAREDES ELEMENTARY PEREZ ELEMENTARY

IDEA COLLEGE PREPARATORY MISSION IDEA FRONTIER COLLEGE PREPARATORY IDEA QUEST COLLEGE PREPARATORY

WHITNEY ELEMENTARY

EDINBURG CISD AUSTIN ELEMENTARY CANTERBURY ELEMENTARY CAVAZOS ELEMENTARY DR THOMAS ESPARZA ELEMENTARY ESCANDON ELEMENTARY FREDDY GONZALEZ ELEMENTARY GUERRA ELEMENTARY JEFFERSON ELEMENTARY LINCOLN ELEMENTARY SAN CARLOS ELEMENTARY TREVINO ELEMENTARY

LOS FRESNOS CISD LAURELES ELEMENTARY LOPEZ-RIGGINS ELEMENTARY LOS FRESNOS ELEMENTARY OLMITO ELEMENTARY RANCHO VERDE ELEMENTARY VILLAREAL ELEMENTARY

MCALLEN ISD ACHIEVE EARLY COLLEGE H S CASTANEDA ELEMENTARY JACKSON ELEMENTARY MCAULIFFE ELEMENTARY MILAM ELEMENTARY RAYBURN ELEMENTARY

HARLINGEN CISD

MISSION CISD

BOWIE ELEMENTARY STUART PLACE ELEMENTARY

HURLA M MIDKIFF ELEMENTARY MIMS ELEMENTARY

ROMA ISD E VERA ELEMENTARY FJ SCOTT ELEMENTARY

SAN BENITO CISD DOWNS ELEMENTARY

SHARYLAND ISD JOHN H SHARY ELEMENTARY LLOYD & DOLLY BENTSEN ELEMENTARY RUBEN HINOJOSA ELEMENTARY

SOUTH TEXAS ISD SOUTH TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOR HEALTH SOUTH TEXAS PREPARATORY ACADEMY THE SCIENCE ACADEMY OF SOUTH TEXAS

VALLEY VIEW ISD VALLEY VIEW ELEMENTARY VALLEY VIEW NORTH ELEMENTARY

WESLACO ISD SAM HOUSTON ELEMENTARY Source: Texas Education Agency, State Distinguished Schools, 2012-2013 The Texas Education Agency's Title I, Distinguished Schools prestigious designation recognizes schools that have consistently demonstrated strong academic performances over a three-year period. All of these Title I, Part A schools achieved the Academically Exemplary rating for the present school year and have a residing population of 40% or more low income students - as reported on NCLB Consolidated Application for Federal Funding. Distinguished Performance Schools have achieved a minimum of a Recognized status for the two previous years, and Distinguished Progress Schools have increased their status from either Academically Unacceptable or Acceptable two years ago, to Recognized or Exemplary last year and Exemplary this year.

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OUR YOUTH (K-12)

IT ALL STARTED WITH AN IDEA College for All Children

In 1998, Teach For America corps members Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama started an after-school program in the Donna Independent School District where they were teaching. Together they crafted a school design model to rapidly accelerate student learning and close the achievement gap. The vision of the after-school program, soon named the Individuals Dedicated to Excellence and Achievement (IDEA) Academy, was simple: any student would be offered admission provided the student and parents signed a contract that clearly articulated program expectations. For students, this meant a pledge to hold themselves to high standards of personal conduct, stay at school longer each day, complete up to two hours of homework, and call their teacher at home if they were struggling or having challenges. The program for fourth and fifth grade students achieved impressive results—test scores soared and parents were amazed at the positive changes in their children. Parents, students, and teachers wanted the program to expand to sixth, seventh, and eighth grade to create a bridge from elementary to high school.

Seeing the impact that hard work and high expectations could have on a relatively small scale inspired Tom and JoAnn to apply for a state charter, which was granted in the spring of 2000. In August of 2000 the IDEA Academy became an independent state charter school. By 2006, IDEA Donna had expanded to serve grades K – 12. In 2007, IDEA Donna graduated its first senior class with impressive results that proved all children can be college ready--100 percent of the graduating class was accepted into and enrolled in a four-year college or university. High expectations for students coupled with a focused college-prep curriculum and outstanding classroom instruction accelerated student learning and showed what was possible when the adults get it right for students.

Growth & Expansion In 2004 IDEA Public Schools’ senior leadership team and board of directors embarked on an ambitious expansion plan to scale from two schools serving 1,000 students to a network of 22 schools serving 15,000 students across the Rio Grande Valley. IDEA actually exceeded their initial growth plans in the fall of 2012 when they opened eight additional schools,

resulting in a total of 28 schools across South and Central Texas. As IDEA continued to launch schools throughout the Valley and prove its vision of preparing low-income students for success in college and citizenship, the waiting list swelled to 19,000 students for the 2011 school year. In light of high demand throughout the Valley and a widening statewide achievement gap, IDEA launched its second growth phase to enable them to serve more students in the Valley and across the state. In doing so, IDEA will support the dreams of thousands of children, parents, and others who imagine a better future for low-income families, communities, the state of Texas, and the nation. By the 2017-18 school year, IDEA will operate a total of 56 schools throughout the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio and Austin. At the conclusion of this phase of growth, IDEA will operate 34 schools in the Rio Grande Valley, deepening their commitment to the families and students in this region. The remaining 22 schools will be located in San Antonio and Austin. Upon completion and scale-up of this phase of expansion, IDEA will be Economic Development Guide

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OUR YOUTH (K-12)

one of the three largest school districts in the Rio Grande Valley and the 23rd largest district in Texas, serving over 40,000 students. Furthermore, when those schools are scaled and fully enrolled, IDEA will graduate approximately 1,625 students annually who will go on to college. The majority of IDEA’s students will continue to be lowincome and approximately 65 percent of IDEA graduates will be the first in their family to graduate from a four-year college or university. Since its inception, IDEA has been motivated by the belief that education holds the promise of a better future for the entire community. All IDEA Public Schools are tuitionfree public charter schools. There are no admission requirements, academic or otherwise, to apply to an IDEA school. IDEA’s open enrollment system allows all students, regardless of where they live or their academic standing, an equal opportunity to be accepted to an IDEA school.

Core Values The IDEA Core Values are the foundation of each IDEA school and the work that they do every day. The Core Values are based on the belief that closing the achievement gap and ensuring college success is the best way to help students succeed in life, contribute to their communities, and overcome obstacles they face.

• No Excuses • Whatever it Takes • 100% Every Day • Sweating the Small Stuff • Team and Family Texas, has sent each of its graduating seniors to college. At the end of the 2010-11 school year, IDEA Quest and IDEA Frontier graduated their first classes of seniors and continued to send 100 percent of them to college. Approximately 65 percent of these high school graduates are first generation

Successes In just ten years, IDEA Public Schools has grown into an educational movement, changing outcomes for students across the Rio Grande Valley. IDEA continues to focus on achieving ambitious student results, growing to scale with quality and building a strong and sustainable organization for the future. A focused K-12 college preparatory curriculum coupled with outstanding instruction and school leadership will enable IDEA to continue to build upon its tradition of preparing students for success in college and citizenship. IDEA was started because of a belief that all children can go to college and it has been putting that belief into action ever since. Since 2007, the flagship IDEA campus in Donna, 182 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

students. Also, 92 percent of all IDEA students who entered college are still enrolled or have already graduated, dramatically outpacing national averages for college attendance and college retention in low-income, Hispanic, and firstgeneration students. In 2009, IDEA received the HEB Excellence in Education Award and was recognized as the best small school district in Texas. In 2010, IDEA College Prep Donna was ranked the 13th best high school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. IDEA Public Schools was rated an Exemplary school district in 2010 and 2011, the highest rating given by the Texas Education Agency. Tom and IDEA Public Schools are proud to call the Rio Grande Valley home. Together, they are looking forward to many more years of success and growth for IDEA and the Rio Grande Valley region as a whole.

Source: IDEA Public Schools

Public Schools


OUR YOUTH (K-12)

PSJA ISD

College Ready College Connected College Complete

Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD is a tricity school district in one of the fastest growing areas in Texas. One of the 40 largest school districts in the state in student enrollment and one of the largest in the Rio Grande Valley, PSJA ISD serves over 32,000 students Pre-Kinder to 12th grade the majority Hispanic, low income and many lack proficiency in English. Despite demographics, PSJA ISD has taken extraordinary measures to ensure that all students have the opportunity to achieve academically and to graduate. The results of these efforts have been nothing short of phenomenal as the district has transformed from one in which every high school was on the national “dropout factory” list to a district that has been recognized as a state and national model for dropout recovery, ensuring that students graduate and transition successfully to college. To culminate this ambitious systemic transformation, PSJA ISD launched College3 an initiative that leads all high school graduates to be College Ready, College Connected and College Complete. All PSJA students and staff members work with this initiative in mind, reflecting on the district’s goal to graduate each student ready for college, connected to college and with the tools necessary to complete college. Currently, of its close to 8,000 high school students, PSJA has approximately 2,000 enrolled in college courses every semester through the district’s partnerships with local higher education institutions like South Texas College and the University of Texas-Pan American. PSJA is determined to increase this number every year and offer every single student the opportunity to

184 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


OUR YOUTH (K-12)

earn at least 12 college hours by high school graduation, with many more earning up to an Associate Degree. In May 2012, 60 PSJA students graduated with an Associate Degree in areas such as Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Math, Computer Science and Interdisciplinary Studies, and many students earned 60 or more college hours. The number of students completing an Associate Degree prior to their high school graduation is expected to increase every year. This initiative is providing students up to two years of free college courses and a head start towards their four-year degree.

Many prestigious journals and news outlets have highlighted PSJA ISDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts for successfully decreasing the dropout rate and graduating more students prepared for college and the workforce. To learn more about PSJA ISDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s initiatives visit their website at www.psjaisd.us.

Photos and copy courtesy of PSJA ISD

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OUR YOUTH (K-12)

McAllen ISD lauded as national leader in education; District places an iPad or iPod Touch in the hands of every student! Live anywhere. Learn with us. Our students are not just from McAllen anymore because we’ve created an educational model that is in demand. It has attracted families and educators from across the nation. Fortunately, McAllen schools are easily accessible from our neighboring communities. Our innovative teaching and learning framework leverages powerful new technologies and merges them with inquiry-based learning. McAllen ISD may be the largest district in the nation to place the latest in mobile technology into the hands of all of its students from high school seniors to kindergartners - 25,000 in all.

level comprehension displayed by the six-year-olds. With full concentration evident on his fresh face, the cherub watches the needle on the iPod Touch device he grips tightly in his young hands. At the same time, he listens avidly as his friend, Michael Ruiz, reads a passage from a book. Students use the iPod Touch to record themselves reading to improve their literacy skills. Their teacher gathers objective data, enabling her to pinpoint where every student’s strengths lay and where they need more help.

The following stories are told by our students.

“I’m timing him for his fluency,” 1st grader Brandon Espinoza proudly explains, eliciting excited gasps from adults who are touring the classroom. They marvel at both the act and the evidence of higher188 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Her heart races with anticipation. It is the delight of reading a new e-book on her iPad that has 6-yearold Mia Castro at Alvarez Elementary School excited each morning. This 1st grader is one of hundreds of students who are creating a real love of reading through a new electronic app on their iPads. Students at one school tripled the number of books they read - from about 3,600 to 11,500 books in one month! In another school, the number of students participating in online testing for reading comprehension


“I’m adding the stock market!” A 16-year-old student shocks the world when, even after creating an iPhone app and posting it on an international market (iTunesU), he makes plans to improve it and charge users a fee. “Widget Tabs” is Julian Alvarez’ long-term project. All students of McAllen ISD’s globally recognized International Baccalaureate program complete an independent project their senior year in high school and, in the process, extra-ordinary innovators emerge.

A small wooden car speeds down a high school hallway as a cluster of teenagers watch, intent on gauging the velocity and strength of impact as it slams against a far wall. They run to pick it up and peer at the iPod Touch strapped atop the car to measure the acceleration, angle, and speed of the object. They then use the data to create a graph on an Excel spreadsheet. It’s the beauty of physics and technology, intertwined.

OUR YOUTH (K-12)

skyrocketed from 82% to 90% in one month! After every 5 tests, the app reassesses a student’s reading level, makes adjustments, and sends a new recommended reading list directly to each student’s iPad. Teachers select books to target specific needs and mom and dad get email updates.

Teenagers watch their iPad screens intently as a doctor in a university research lab far away gingerly lays a rat’s heart cells onto mesh inside a petri dish. Students marvel as the mesh concoction - a piece of a heart muscle artificially grown - begins to throb.

Students in an English IV classroom listen carefully via Facebook to a live webcast panel discussion originating out of Washington, D.C. These Rowe High School students are fully engaged, having studied, debated, and formulated their own points of view. A question posed by a student in a McAllen ISD classroom prompts applause at the nation’s capital, as well as kudos and a response from a White House official. It was face-time interactive online dialogue that gave students in the southernmost tip of Texas access to the White House. These stories are windows into the incredibly thought-provoking, discussion-igniting learning experiences our students enjoy. It’s inquiry in the classroom,

We Offer Choice! Our students can graduate with:

Sign-language students are recording how-to videos for others to use. Students enrolled in

• College Credit Hours

an American Sign Language class use their iPads to create videos and then post them to a web page at Autismbrainstorm.org. This makes them available for use by teachers, parents, students, and anyone else who needs to communicate with non-verbal children with autism. Because their videos will benefit others, these students are also more motivated to learn.

• Professional Licenses/Certifications

Dual and/or Concurrent Enrollment courses

Pharmacy, telecommunications, Adobe software, etc.

• Associate’s Degrees Dual Enrollment Academies in Medical Science, Engineering, and Computer Science!

integrating technology, igniting higher level thinking and prompting students to delve deeper into issues at all levels and in all subjects.

Photos and copy courtesy of McAllen ISD

College Credit Amassed in Our Classrooms! Our students took a combined 1,431 Advanced Placement and IB exams in 2012-13 and may potentially earn about 5,490 college credit hours - saving families nearly $5 million in tuition. In addition, students who earned college credit hours through taking dual enrollment or other means earned nearly 12,000 estimated college credit hours. Combine that with the AP and IB, and the savings to families is a whopping $15.6 million.

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THE RIGHT SCHOOL AT THE RIGHT TIME. We’re not just preparing students to do well in college tomorrow. We’re teaching college-level, global standards in our classrooms - TODAY! We embrace your child's education because today’s rigor is paramount to future success. Our campuses and teachers are devoted professionals and our schools are among the best in the country!

LIVE ANYWHERE, LEARN WITH US! MISD offers open enrollment; so, your family is not required to live in McAllen to attend our excellent schools.

NATIONAL & STATE LEADER IN EDUCATION Our district boasts a comprehensive education with its innovative use of technology in learning, classrooms that are as globally diverse as our world, and an award-winning program that is nationally recognized for its leadership and innovation.  "America's Best High Schools" - All 3 of our comprehensive high schools - Rowe, Memorial, and McAllen High - listed in Newsweek’s ranking of schools "proven to be the most effective in turning out college-ready grads."  National “2013 Best Communities for Music Education” - Our nationally acclaimed fine arts program is part of the rich, full-rounded experience we offer - where students learn to lead, to excel, to manage multiple high-level tasks, and to make friends…the kind of student that universities seek.  National 2013 Magna 1st Place Award - American School Board Association/Journal honors the District for “Best Practices and Innovative Programs that Advance Student Learning.”  2013 Outstanding School Board in Texas - Top award in state “for dedication and ethical service making a positive impact on school children of Texas.”

McAllen ISD is empowering students to live and learn in a continuously changing 21st century environment.


 National League of Innovative Schools - 1 of 26 districts in nation tapped to advance educational excellence and share cutting-edge practices.  Texas High Performance Schools Consortium - 1 of 23 districts tapped to advise Governor, Education Commissioner, and Legislators.  2013 HEB Excellence in Education State Finalist Named 1of 5 Best Large Districts.  TLC3 selected 1 of top 12 innovative programs in Texas - Our teaching/learning framework recognized by Texas School Business magazine’s Annual Bragging Rights special edition.  2011 Washington Post National Challenge Index of Top High Schools - All McAllen ISD high schools were ranked as some of the best in the country.  National Model for International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme - College-level instruction set to world standards achieves 98.7% success rate over last 10 years, among highest in the world.  Global IB Standard Instruction at all levels - Our district is unique in that it offers IB instruction from elementary to high school. We are tapped to take part in a new global IB study.  Academic Scholars - Our schools boast 442 Advanced Placement Scholars, 22 National Merit Scholar Semifinalists, 314 IB Diploma Scholars, and Duke Talent Honorees (214 State/8 National - middle school students scored against college standards) in the last 10-11 years.  Student Champions - Our students win multiple championships, like U.S. Constitution, Science Bowl, National Forensic (debate) League, State Robotics, cheerleading, National Student Television Network, All-State music, and soccer, tennis, wrestling, and other athletic programs. Student artwork selected for display at the nation’s capitol.

mcallenisd.org North 23rd Street McAllen, Texas 78501 Ph. 956-618-6000 Follow us!

 Employee Champions - 18 State/Regional Teacher of the Year titles in 22 years. Enrollment at McAllen ISD is more than a process. It is an invitation for your child to launch into an incredibly engaging, cutting-edge student-centered, inquiry-based world of rigorous academic standards and a nationally renowned program for the arts. At McAllen ISD, we embrace our students with real learning.

Come join us!


RGV UTILITIES

ELECTRICITY MARKETS

Lowest Cost Provider List (fixed) Rep / Company REACH ENERGY LLC US RETAILERS LLC 4CHANGE ENERGY COMPANY INFINITE ELECTRIC LLC REACH ENERGY LLC VETERAN ENERGY LLC SUMMER ENERGY LLC DPI ENERGY LLC STAR ELECTRICITY INC TEXAS POWER LP TRUE ELECTRIC LLC 10K ENERGY LLC TEXPO POWER LP FRONTIER UTILITIES LLC AP GAS & ELECTRIC (TX) LLC ENTRUST ENERGY INC CIRRO GROUP INC RELIANT ENERGY RETAIL SERVICES LLC CHAMPION ENERGY SERVICES LLC TRUE ELECTRIC LLC TEXAS POWER LP DPI ENERGY LLC 4CHANGE ENERGY COMPANY TEXPO POWER LP APNA HOLDINGS LLC GEXA ENERGY LP DPI ENERGY LLC OUR ENERGY LLC TEXPO POWER LP SOURCE POWER & GAS LLC FULCRUM RETAIL ENERGY LLC 10K ENERGY LLC TEXPO POWER LP FRONTIER UTILITIES LLC STREAM SPE LTD STAR ELECTRICITY INC TRUE ELECTRIC LLC DPI ENERGY LLC 4CHANGE ENERGY COMPANY

In the past, one company provided all parts of your electricity service: the generation, transmission and distribution, along with retail sales. With competition, these parts are separated into different companies.

Retail Electric Providers (REPs) / Electric Companies With electric competition, Retail Electric Providers (REPs) sell electricity to you and handle customer service and billing. REPs compete for your business by offering a variety of different pricing options, renewable energy options, added customer service benefits, or other incentives.

Electric Cooperatives Electric Cooperatives are independent, private and not-forprofit organizations owned by the members they serve. Each customer is a member and owner of the business with an equal say as every other member of the cooperative. Their rate structure is designed to clearly reflect the Cooperativeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s delivery and power supply costs while providing their members with the most reasonable electricity rate. Magic Valley Electric Cooperative is the largest Electric Cooperative in the Rio Grande Valley with over 4,800 miles of energized line and serving more than 90,000 members.

Municipal Electric Utilities A power utility system owned and operated by a local jurisdiction (municipality). Brownsville Public Utility Board is the only Municipal Electric Utility in the Rio Grande Valley. Source: MVEC & powertochoose.org

Term

$ kWh

(months)

$/kWh

(1,000 kWh)

3 3 3 3 6 3 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 12 12 3 3 3 3 3 6 18 12 12 12 12 16 6 12 12 12 24 12 24 12 12 24 12 6

0.062 0.064 0.075 0.077 0.079 0.082 0.083 0.084 0.085 0.086 0.089 0.089 0.089 0.092 0.092 0.093 0.093 0.094 0.095 0.096 0.096 0.097 0.097 0.097 0.097 0.097 0.097 0.098 0.098 0.098 0.099 0.099 0.099 0.099 0.099 0.099 0.099 0.099 0.099

$62.00 $64.00 $75.00 $77.00 $79.00 $82.00 $83.00 $84.00 $85.00 $86.40 $89.00 $89.00 $89.00 $92.00 $92.00 $93.00 $93.00 $94.00 $95.00 $96.00 $96.40 $97.00 $97.00 $97.00 $97.00 $97.00 $97.00 $97.50 $98.00 $98.00 $99.00 $99.00 $99.00 $99.00 $99.00 $99.00 $99.00 $99.00 $99.00

Source: www.powertochoose.org, March 2013; Cost per Month estimates are based on electricity usage of 1,000 kWh per month. Fixed rates only, does not include introductory or promotional offers.

192 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


RGV UTILITIES

Lowest Cost Provider List (variable) Term

Rep / Company

(months)

US RETAILERS LLC 4CHANGE ENERGY COMPANY RELIANT ENERGY RETAIL SERVICES LLC FRONTIER UTILITIES LLC GEXA ENERGY LP MVEC TEXPO POWER LP ENTRUST ENERGY INC TEXPO POWER LP Brownsville PUB DIRECT ENERGY LP AMBIT TEXAS LLC FRONTIER UTILITIES LLC AMBIT TEXAS LLC DIRECT ENERGY LP DPI ENERGY LLC Magic Valley Electric FIRST CHOICE POWER SPECIAL PURPOSE LP YOUNG ENERGY LLC DIRECT ENERGY LP TRIEAGLE ENERGY LP RELIANT ENERGY RETAIL SERVICES LLC ANDELER CORPORATION BOUNCE ENERGY INC NUECES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE RETAIL DIVISION STAR ELECTRICITY INC TEXAS POWER LP

$ kWh

$/kWh

(1,000 kWh)

0.074 0.074 0.075 0.084 0.084 0.087 0.089 0.09 0.09 0.092 0.099 0.1 0.101 0.102 0.103 0.105 0.105 0.106 0.111 0.112 0.119 0.124 0.1245 0.128 0.138 0.155 0.157

$74.00 $74.00 $75.00 $84.00 $84.00 $87.13 $89.00 $90.00 $90.00 $92.05 $99.00 $100.00 $101.00 $102.00 $103.00 $105.00 $105.00 $106.00 $111.00 $112.00 $119.00 $124.00 $124.50 $128.00 $138.00 $155.00 $157.40

Source: www.powertochoose.org, March 2013 Cost per Month estimates are based on electricity usage of 1,000 kWh per month Variable rates only, does not include introductory or promotional offers

MVEC Sample Usage Snapshot - Large Commercial & Industrial Consumption Demand kW Load Factor Total Cost Avg. $ / kWh

87,000 kWh 300 kW 40.30% $8,042.38 $0.092

174,000 kWh 300 kW 80.60% $12,114.70 $0.070

145,000 kWh 500 kW 40.30% $13,347.30 $0.092

290,000 kWh 500 kW 80.60% $20,134.50 $0.069

720,000 kWh 2,500 kW 40% $64,472.40 $0.090

1,440,000 kWh 2,500 kW 80% $96,883.20 $0.067

MVEC Sample Usage Snapshot - Small Commercial Consumption Demand Load Factor Total Cost Avg. $ / kWh

7,500 kWh 35 kW 29.80% $658.48 $0.088

15,000 kWh 35 kW 59.50% $1,289.45 $0.086

Source: Commercial info: March 2013 Magic Valley Electric Cooperative

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MAGIC VALLEY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE Magic Valley Electric Cooperative has been supplying power to Texans since 1937. When private utility companies would not extend electric service to rural South Texas, a small band of farmers and ranchers joined together to form the Magic Valley Cooperative. They signed a note for $200,000 and began construction of 75 JOHN W. HERRERA miles of power lines. Eleven months later, General Manager the lights went on in the homes of Magic Valley’s first 125 members. Today, Magic Valley has over 4,872 miles of energized line serving more than 90,292 members. From the beginning, Magic Valley has been a national leader in fiscal management and member service: first in the nation to make across the board capital credit refunds to members, and first in the state to use two-way radios in service trucks. Then and now, our members have relied on Magic Valley to provide affordable power and outstanding service. At Magic Valley Electric Cooperative, “heritage” means more than history. It means a past dedicated to building a future that shines brightly for all our members now, and those to come. When you get your power or other services from Magic Valley, you're more than a customer; you're an owner. That's because Magic Valley is a nonprofit, member-owned cooperative. Co-ops are owned by the people they serve, not shareholders. As a co-op member, you have a voice and a vote. Our board of directors is elected by and answers to - you, our members. What does membership mean to you? It means that your co-op management team makes decisions based on direct benefit to members, not profitability. Like private utilities, we use the power of numbers to buy electricity and equipment at the lowest possible price. Unlike them, we pass our savings on to our members. At Magic Valley, we work for you and only you.

Photos and copy courtesy of Magic Valley Electric Cooperative

194 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Magic Valley Electric Cooperative P.O. Box 267 1 3/4 Mi. W. Hwy. 83 Mercedes, TX 78570 District Offices 2910 W. Monte Cristo Rd., Edinburg 78541 1825 N. Indiana Rd., Brownsville 78521 1311 S. Cage Blvd., Pharr 78577 For outages and all customer service inquiries: 1-866-225-5683 toll-free

FACTS AT A GLANCE Total Number of Employees 235 Year MVEC was Organized 1937 Counties Served Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr, Willacy, Kenedy Miles of Energized Line 4,872 including 1,111 miles of underground line Connected Meters 107,166 Number of Members 90,292 Average Meters Per Mile of Line 22 Average kWh Per Meter Per Month Domestic: 1,234 Small Commercial: 1,582 Large Commercial: 58,332 Total Utility Plant in Service $268,299,278 Wholesale Power Supplier South Texas Electric Cooperative


making the ownership costs of a home more affordable. MVEC employees teamed up with the eventual owners of the Habitat home, who are required to invest 500 hours of “sweat equity” of building as part of the program’s requirement. Employees and other volunteers donated their talents and many hours of labor in this “Corporate Build” project for Habitat for Humanity to make the dream of a home a reality for one happy Rio Grande Valley family.

More than an Electric Company Over a six-week period this summer, Magic Valley Electric Cooperative employees raised more than $10,500 - enough to pay for the roof on a Habitat for Humanity of the Rio Grande Valley home that they, themselves, then helped to build. With fundraising activities that included both group and individual efforts, the MVEC employees succeeded in raising a generous amount of donations and, more importantly, helped raise the community’s awareness of the tremendous need for affordable housing in the Rio Grande Valley for its large population of low-income residents.

the organization’s efforts to recruit volunteers and attract community supporters to help break the cycle of poverty in our communities by building quality, energy-efficient homes that are very affordable.

Visit: rgv-habitat.org for more information on how you can help Habitat for Humanity of the Rio Grande Valley.

Story reprinted from Magic Valley EC, Texas Co-op Power, Sept. 2012

As a recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star 2012 Partner of the Year Award, MVEC is proud to support Habitat for Humanity of the Rio Grande Valley, which has committed to building 100 percent of its homes as Energy Star-qualified. The Energy Star label means that the home is designed and built to be at least 20 percent more energy efficient than a typical home meeting current code - truly

“This event was embraced by all of our employees as a way of giving back to our communities. It became an example of how small acts of kindness can be combined to produce large and lasting, positive impacts - even on the donors,” said MVEC Business Development Division Manager Atanacio Hinojosa. Magic Valley Electric Cooperative is committed to a long-term partnership with Habitat for Humanity, supporting Economic Development Guide

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CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY


RGV UTILITIES

BROWNSVILLE PUB UNDERTAKING RESACA RESTORATION The Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) is engaging in an ambitious long-term project that goes hand in hand with many of the green initiatives that the city of Brownsville has endorsed in recent years. The Resaca Restoration Project also will help further prepare the city for times of drought by providing additional water storage capacity. One of the things that distinguish Brownsville from many other cities is the network of resacas that meander through the city. Resacas are oxbow lakes or remnant river channels of the Rio Grande. Cut off from the river over time, these waterways have no inlet or outlet but serve important functions. The resacas can serve as a transport and storage system for water and also provide a place for floodwaters to drain.

The benefits of resacas extend beyond just the practical. The resacas add to the aesthetic beauty of Brownsville. The winding waterways and the plants that develop around them provide an appearance that few cities can match. The resacas also are an important ecological habitat for various wildlife species. This water is home to an array of species of fish, such as tilapia, alligator gar and largemouth bass, as well as hundreds of species of birds and waterfowl. While everything might look picturesque on the surface, problems with the resacas can be seen just below the water. Over the years, sediment carried by storm water runoff from adjacent urban and rural watersheds has been deposited in the resacas, reducing their depths, storage capacity and natural circulation.

Trash and other debris have further clogged these waterways. Some resacas have many feet of sediment and debris impeding the water flow. As a result, residents and local biologists are learning that degraded water quality has impacted aquatic life in the resacas. Some resacas may only have as much as a foot of water flowing through them. That is why BPUB is moving forward with its Resaca Restoration Project. The undertaking uses specialized machinery to dredge the bottom of the resacas to remove all the unwanted material and separate the water from the silt and sand so that the water can then be cleanly released back into the resaca.

Lending their support for the Resaca Restoration Project are, from left, BPUB Board Member Arturo R. Farías, Vice Chairman Oscar D. García, Member Emmanuel Vásquez, Secretary/Treasurer Noemi García, Board Chairman Enrique G. Nájera, Brownsville Mayor Antonio “Tony” Martínez, Brownsville Commissioner At-Large “B” Dr. Rose M.Z. Gowen and Brownsville Commissioner At-Large “A” Estela Chavez-Vasquez.

196 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

“Dredging is the only way to return these resacas to their original depths,” says BPUB General Manager & CEO John Bruciak. The dredging process starts with the dredger in the water. The specialized boat has cutters attached to the


RGV UTILITIES

bottom that helps break up debris or cut vegetation. The dredger then sucks up the material much like a vacuum, sending it through pipes until it winds up at the dewatering system. The dewatering system separates large trash and debris as well as sand from the water. Specially designed sediment removal equipment is being used to separate the dredged sediment particles from the slurry in order to produce dry sediment material and a clear, clean effluent that can be discharged back into the resacas. This is being accomplished with a very limited land footprint with minimum environmental and noise disturbance. “This long-term project is a big undertaking for the Brownsville Public Utilities Board, but we are excited to be taking the lead on something that will bring so much benefit to the city of Brownsville,” says Bruciak.

The dredging process is just the first step of the overall project. Once the debris removal is complete, the next step will be erosion control/stabilization. This will largely consist of re-vegetation, which will help lessen the effects of runoff. The next steps will be beautification and habitat restoration, which will create potential for public amenities and parks. City officials already have their eyes on pushing these restored resaca sites as recreational hotspots. South Texas is a major draw for birders and eco-tourism. Because of its location, there is a great variety of birds that can be spotted. There are some bird species that can only be found in South Texas, but the area also gets many different types of birds passing through the area because of migrating patterns. The Resaca Restoration Project will enhance the habitats for birds and other wildlife species.

“Once the resaca restoration is complete, there will be great economic potential for their use. I envision our resacas being a draw for tourists and residents alike,” says Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez. The resacas, which have been an alternative water source for BPUB, could become even more important after the restoration is complete. There will be a great increase in raw water storage capacity because more surface water could be caught. That means that BPUB would be able to store more water in the resacas to be used in times of need, and with drought conditions persisting in South Texas, that time of need could be coming sooner rather than later. The Resaca Restoration Project is just one more action taken by BPUB to help build up the city’s water infrastructure. The Southmost Regional Water Authority (SRWA), in which BPUB is a major partner, continues to increase its water production. SRWA treats “brackish” or Economic Development Guide

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unnecessary debris is removed from the bottom of each resaca. Dredging the Cemetery Resaca is estimated to take about two to three months, but this estimation largely depends on how much debris is found and if any large trash is uncovered. Items too large to be sucked into the pipes will need to be removed in other ways. Each time something large is found, the dredging process needs to be halted, and a crew has to manually remove the obstruction before continuing. There have been several large items uncovered, like tires, furniture and carpets, to go along with smaller trash that includes bottles, plastic bags, cans, paper and various other items. BPUB and the city of Brownsville will be working on the Resaca Restoration Project for years to come. Additionally, ongoing maintenance will be required after the restoration is complete.

salty groundwater to make it usable for residents as drinking water. This lessens the city’s need for water from the Rio Grande and the city’s reservoirs. The strong water infrastructure that BPUB is building will help bring additional businesses to the area. “The rest of Texas is experiencing drought issues, but this project will enable us to secure our water future and attract more industry to our area,” says BPUB Vice Chairman Oscar D. García. The restoration project will also help restore communication and management of the resaca system. BPUB will be able to easily increase or decrease the depth of water in the resacas once the restoration is

complete. The important consequence of that would be an increase in storm water capacity. During times of heavy rain, water depth could be lowered, and the resacas would provide somewhere for storm water to be stored. This would mitigate the effects of storms and reduce flooding in the city. The Cemetery Resaca is the first resaca to be dredged, but several others are already planned. The project will be done in phases. The Group I sites include Cemetery Resaca, the Gladys Porter Zoo resacas and canals, Resaca Boulevard Resaca and the Dean Porter Park Resaca. Phase II sites will be announced. It is difficult to say how long this project will take. Progress is relatively slow and deliberate to ensure all

198 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

“The preservation of our resacas will be enjoyed by our residents and visitors alike for generations to come. It will be our responsibility as citizens to make certain that our resaca system continues to flourish,” says BPUB Chairman Enrique Nájera.

Source: The Brownsville Public Utilities Board is a fullservice, locally owned and operated utility providing electric, water and wastewater services. It has over 525 dedicated and responsive employees who provide reliable utility services to the city of Brownsville and the surrounding area. Contact: P.O. Box 3270, Brownsville, TX 78523-3270 Phone: (956) 983-6100, Fax: (956) 983-6289 www.brownsville-pub.com


RGV UTILITIES

RIO GRANDE VALLEY WATER SUPPLIERS WATER DEPARTMENTS Pharr Water Department 203 W Park Ave. Pharr, TX 78577 Phone: (956) 787-2703 Lyford Water Department 13550 Main St , Lyford, TX 78569 Phone: (956) 347-3512 Mission Water Plant 514 Perkins Ave. Mission, TX 78572 Phone: (956) 580-8788 Edinburg Water Plant 500 E Mahl St. Edinburg, TX 78539 Phone: (956) 383-5660 Mercedes Water Department Mercedes, TX 78570 Phone: (956) 565-3114 McAllen Public Utility (MPU) 1300 Houston Ave. McAllen, TX 78501 Phone: (956) 681-1600 Fax: (956) 681-1629 San Juan Water 709 S Nebraska Ave. San Juan, TX Phone: (956) 223-2240 Hidalgo Public Utilities 704 East Texano Drive Hidalgo, TX 78557 Phone: (956) 843-2286 City of La Grulla Water Department 194 S FM 2360 La Grulla, TX Phone: (956) 487-3341 Santa Rosa Water Department 413 Santa Cruz Ave. Santa Rosa, TX Phone: (956) 636-1911

City of South Padre Island 4601 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, TX Phone: (956) 761-6456 Weslaco City Hall 500 S Kansas Ave. Weslaco,TX 78596 Phone: (956) 968-3181 Rio Grande City Water Department 1730 W Main St. Rio Grande City, TX Phone: (956) 487-2702 Edcouch City Hall 211 Southern Ave. Edcouch, TX Harlingen Water Works System 134 E Van Buren Ave. Harlingen, TX Phone: (956) 430-6100 Brownsville Public Utilities Board 1425 Robin Hood Dr. Brownsville, TX Phone: (956) 983-6100 Laguna Madre Water District 105 Port Rd. Port Isabel, TX Phone: (956) 943-8078 Valley Municipal Utility 100 Hidalgo St. San Benito, TX Phone: (956) 350-4136 East Rio Hondo Water Supply Co 206 Industrial Pkwy. Rio Hondo, TX Phone: (956) 748-3633 Sharyland Water Supply Corporation P.O. Box 1868 Mission, TX 78573-0868 Phone: (956) 585-6081

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Olmito Water Supply Corporation 101 Clara Bennet Rd. Olmito, TX 78575 Phone: (956) 350-4099 El Jardin Water Supply Corporation 5250 Coffeeport Rd # D Brownsville, TX 78521 Phone: (956) 831-9981 North Alamo Water Supply Corporation 420 S. Doolittle Rd. Edinburg, TX 78539 Phone: (956) 383-1618 AGUA Special Utility District 3120 N. Abram Rd. Palmview, TX 78572 Phone: (956) 585-2459 City of La Grulla Water Plant 266 Los Alegrias Rd. Grulla, TX 78548 Phone: (956) 487-4558 El Sauz Water Supply 1169 N Fm 649 Roma, TX Phone: (956) 486-2273


East Rio Hondo Water Supply Corporation P.O. Box 621 206 Industrial Parkway Rio Hondo, TX 78583 Phone: (956) 748-3633 Fax: (956) 748-3179 www.erhwsc.com El Jardin WSC P.O. Box 3491 Brownsville, TX 78523 Phone: (956) 831-9981 Fax: (956) 831-9983 Olmito WSC P.O. Box 36 101 Clara Bennett Drive Olmito, TX 78575 Phone: (956) 350-4099 Fax: (956) 350-4480 www.olmitowatersupply.com

Union WSC 5992 FM 1430 Rio Grande City, TX 78582 Phone: (956) 487-3744 El Tanque WSC 17 Country Estates Drive Rio Grande City, TX 78582 Phone: (956) 487-2869 El Sauz WSC 1169 North FM 649 Roma, TX 78584 Phone: (956) 486-2659 Falcon Rural WSC P.O. Box 24 Falcon Heights, TX 78545 Phone: (956) 848-5461 Port Mansfield PUD 400 West Hidalgo Avenue, Suite 200 Raymondville, TX 78580 Phone: (956) 689-3332 Fax: (956) 689-6165

Military Highway WSC P.O. Box 250 Progreso, TX 78579 Phone: (956)-565-2491 Fax: (956)-565-9471 www.militaryhighwaywsc.org

LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY WATER DISTRICT MANAGERS ASSOCIATION

North Alamo WSC 420 South Doolittle Road Edinburg, TX 78542 Phone: (956)-383-1618 Fax: (956)-383-1372 www.nawsc.com

Adams Garden ID #19 Wayne Halbert*, President P.O. Box 148 Harlingen, TX 78551 Phone: (956) 423-7015 Fax: (956) 423-4671 Mobile: (956) 873-2816 waynehalbert@hidcc1.org

Sharyland WSC P.O. Box 1868 Mission, TX 78573 Phone: (956)-585-6081 Fax: (956)-581-5738 www.sharylandwater.com Agua Special Utility District P.O. Box 4379 Mission, TX 78573 Phone: (956)-585-2459 Fax: (956)-585-1188 www.aguasud.com Rio WSC 42 North Suntex Road Rio Grande City, TX 78582 Phone: (956) 487-2085 Fax: (956) 716-8483

Bayview ID #11 Sergio Gonzalez 110 S. San Roman Rd. Los Fresnos, TX 78566 Phone: (956) 233-5800 Fax: (956) 233-4343 Mobile: 371-9823 bayviewirrigation@yahoo.com Brownsville I D Arturo Cabello, Jr. 6925 Coffee Port Rd. Brownsville, TX 78521 Phone: (956) 831-8462 Fax: (956) 831-2632 acbid06@sbcglobal.net

RGV UTILITIES

WATER SUPPLY CORPORATIONS

CCID #2 Sonia Lambert P.O. Box 687 San Benito, TX 78586 Phone: (956) 399-2484 Fax (956) 399-4721 Mobile: 499-4346 ccid2@swbell.net CCID #6 Tito Nieto P.O. Box 295 Los Fresnos, TX 78566 Phone: (956) 399-7186 Fax: (956) 399-7213 nietotito@ymail.com CCWID #10 Carl Macomb 29776 Tract 43 Rd. Los Fresnos, TX 78566 Phone: (956) 233-5513 Fax: (956) 233-3260 cwmacomb@hotmail.com CCID #16 Willie Cruz 34366 FM 1577 San Benito, TX 78586 Phone: (956) 399-7791 Fax: (956) 276-9065 ccid16@yahoo.com Delta Lake ID Troy Allen 10370 Charles Green Rd. Edcouch, TX 78538 Phone: (956) 262-2101 Fax (956) 262-5695 Mobile: (956) 605-6598 troy@deltalakeid.org Donna ID Nora R. Zapata P.O. Box 775 Donna, TX 78537 Phone: (956) 464-3641 Fax (956) 464-9955 donnaid747@hotmail.com Engelman Irr. Dist. Xavier Garcia P.O. Box 307 Elsa, TX 78543 Phone: (956) 262-3373 engelmanirrigationdistrict@yahoo.com

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Harlingen IDCC #1 Wayne Halbert P.O. Box 148 Harlingen, TX 78551 Phone: (956) 423-7015 Fax: (956) 423-4671 Mobile: (956) 873-2816 waynehalbert@hidcc1.org HCID #1 Rusty McDaniel P.O. Box 870 Edinburg, TX 78539 Phone: (956) 383-3886 Fax: (956) 383-5593 Mobile: (956) 929-3004 rusty@hidalgocountyirrigation.com HCID #2 Sonny Hinojosa P.O. Box 6 San Juan, TX 78589 Phone: (956) 787-1422 Fax: (956) 781-7622 hcid2@sbcglobal.net HCWID #3 Othal Brand, Jr. 1325 Pecan McAllen, TX 78501 Phone: (956) 686-8303 Fax: (956) 686-1022 Mobile: (956) 793-0103 obrand@rioplexwireless.com HCWID#5 Archie Miles P.O. Box 670 Progreso, TX 78579 Phone: (956) 565-1058 Fax:(956) 565-3258 Mobile: (956) 498-4299 progreso.coop@pcca.com HCID #6 Joe Aguilar* Secretary-Treasurer P.O. Box 786 Mission, TX 78572 Phone: (956) 585-8389 Fax: (956) 585-9920 hcid6@bizrgv.rr.com

H & CCID #9 Jo Jo White P.O. Box 237 Mercedes, TX 78570 Phone: (956) 565-2411 Fax: (956) 565-0521 hccid9a@hotmail.com

Santa Cruz ID #15 John Miller P.O. Box 599 Edinburg, TX 78539 Phone: (956) 383-3441 Fax: (956) 318-3709 scid15@swbell.net

HCID #13 Jim Hoffman 1601 Westway McAllen, TX 78501 Jimho1601@aol.com

United Irr. Dist.* Mike Warshak, Vice President P.O. Box 877 Mission, TX 78573 Phone: (956) 585-4818 Fax: (956) 585-9743 uid@rioplexwireless.com

HCID #16 Mike Warshak P.O. Box 1044 Mission, TX 78573 Phone: (956) 585-4818 Fax: (956) 585-9743 uid@rioplexwireless.com HCWCID #18 Jerry Ahrens 2500 S. Bentsen Palm Drive Ste. 267-B Mission, TX 78572 Phone: (956) 287-2800 ahrens@ktc.com HCID #19 Lee Gernentz 5000 W. Military Hwy. Suite 114 P.O. Box 1043 Mission, TX 78572 Phone: (956) 618-9405 Fax: (956) 618-9412 hcid19@aol.com HCMUD #1 Jack Martin 7400 W. Expressway 83 Mission, TX 78572 Phone: (956) 585-2131 jeremiahj1975@yahoo.com La Feria IDCC #3 Rick Smith P.O. Box 158 La Feria, TX 78559 Phone: (956) 797-2421 Fax: (956) 797-2099 rsmith@xanadu2.net

Source: City of McAllen, Water Supply Corporations, Lower Rio Grande Valley Water District Managers Association

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Valley Acres WD Rick Smith P.O. Box 128 Santa Rosa, TX 78593 Phone: (956) 636-1641 Fax: (956) 383-7404 rsmith@xanadu2.net

WATER SAVING TIPS Appliances can sprout leaks because of aging materials, improper connections or ruptured hoses. Sometimes leaks can go unnoticed for weeks, wasting water and potentially causing damage to your home. Be sure to check your water heater, washing machine, refrigerator and other appliances regularly. Toilets manufactured before 1994 use up to five gallons per flush compared to 1.6 gallons for newer toilets. According to Savingwater.org, replacing an old toilet can save up to 10,500 gallons of water each year, depending on utility rates and usage habits. You may be surprised by the waste from a dripping faucet, one faucet that drips 4 drips per minute wastes 138 gallons of water a year.


RGV UTILITIES

KNOWING OUR WATER & SEWER RATES This example is intended for general informational purposes only and was accurate at the time this publication was released. In the case of errors or discrepancies listed in this publication, including deadline dates, the official printed materials maintained by each city department, agency, or office will take precedence.

McAllen

Harlingen

Brownsville

Water Rates (Inside City Limits) Water Base Fee.......................$4.65

Water Rates (Inside City Limits) Meter Size Base Fee (Includes 3,000 gallons of water ) 5/8" or 3/4" $7.93 1" $10.07 1 1/2" $14.56 2" $33.02 3" $49.17 4" $112.87 6" $231.80 8" $426.15

Water Rates (Inside City Limits)

Residential 0-12,999 gallons ....................$1.30 per 1,000 gallons 13,000-17,999 gallons .........$1.60 per 1,000 gallons 18,000gallons & over ...........$1.80 per 1,000 gallons Sprinkler All consumption ....................$1.80 per 1,000 gallons Multi-Family, Commercial, & Industrial Usage up to last fiscal yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s avg. cons. $1.30 per thousand gallons Wastewater Rates Sewer Base Charge ...............$9.00 Residential ...............................$1.30 per 1,000 gallons Commercial.............................$1.30 per 1,000 gallons Industrial Level 1 .......................................0.10 of water consumption Level 2 .......................................0.50 of water consumption Level 3 .......................................0.70 of water consumption Level 4 .......................................0.90 of water consumption

Charge per thousand over base $1.65 plus $.06 cents fuel per thousand Wastewater Rates (Inside City Limits) Meter Size Base Fee 5/8" or 3/4" $2.18 1" $5.44 1 1/2" $17.41 2" $21.77 3" $48.97 4" $130.60 6" $272.08 8" $435.33 Charge per thousand over base $3.66 plus $.11 cents fuel per thousand

Residential water service is applicable to single family dwellings.

Customer Service Charge, Monthly Fee 5/8" x 3/4" Meter ...................$9.93 1" Meter .................................$18.63 Consumption Charges 0 to 3,000 gallons..................$1.63 per 1,000 gallons 3,001 to 9,000 gallons..........$1.80 per 1,000 gallons 9,001 to 16,000 gallons.......$2.23 per 1,000 gallons Over 16,000 gallons..............$3.36 per 1,000 gallons Wastewater (Inside City Limits) Residential sewer service is applicable to single family dwellings. Sanitary sewage volume for residential customers is based on 80% of metered water consumption. Sanitary sewage volume for all customers will change to 100% of metered water consumption when a second meter is installed for irrigation purposes.

Customer Service Charge, Monthly Fee 5/8" x 3/4" Meter ...................$7.17 1" Meter .................................$12.51 Wastewater Charge by Volume 0 to 7,000 gallons..................$3.29 Over 7,000 gallons................$3.57

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“Brackish groundwater desalination provides our community with reliable fresh water supplies from challenging sources.” Enrique Najera, President Southmost Regional Water Authority

DEMYSTIFYING DESALINATION Drought & Diversification The waning years of the 20th century saw precipitous declines in the Amistad-Falcon reservoir systems as inflows into the Rio Grande from Mexican tributaries dwindled. Stream flow in the river fell drastically, to the point that in much of 2001 and 2002 the Rio Grande stopped short of reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, Brownsville, the last straw on the river, was facing increased demand for drinking water: a rapidly growing population had pushed its two surface water treatment plants to 75 percent of capacity, the point triggering state mandates to expand. The solution: diversify away from uncertain and overappropriated river water with alternative supplies from previously untouched brackish aquifers in the area that have ample volume to meet long-term needs. On May 6, 2002 Brownsville PUB’s John Bruciak and Genoveva G. (GG) Gomez and NRS Consulting Engineers’ Bill Norris sketched onto a paper napkin the initial design for a regional network to treat and deliver water to more than 150,000 customers of five different entities in southern Cameron County, Texas. Less than two years later, that sketch had been transformed into reality - a 7.5 million gallon per day (MGD) regional brackish groundwater reverse osmosis facility owned by the Southmost

Regional Water Authority and operated by the Brownsville PUB. Ten years after that initial sketch, Brownsville PUB management is planning significant expansions to its desalination portfolio. Over the next decade, General Manager & CEO John Bruciak told Texas Water News, the Board is looking to more than double the capacity of the current plant, to about 20 MGD. “I don’t see why we wouldn’t do this, given the abundance of brackish groundwater in the region.” The viability of a seawater reverse osmosis plant is “the only thing that would change this forecast,” Bruciak said. “We do see Brownsville having the first seawater reverse osmosis project in the next 10 years,” added GG Gomez, Director of Water & Wastewater Engineering & Operations for the utility. This move, she stressed, will produce “even more diversification.” Texas weather has been accurately described as “persistent drought interrupted by periods of intense rainfall.” Dry is the norm, and rainfall usually comes all at once, typically from frontal activity in the spring and tropical storms in the fall. As a consequence of these prevailing weather patterns, main-stem reservoirs have been an attractive and efficient water supply strategy for the

204 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce

Lone Star State: water stored during the wet periods can be used to get through the dry ones. During the 20th century, this strategy served Texas well. In response to major drought events, Texas made an unprecedented investment in reservoir construction that ensured water supplies kept pace with population growth, despite recurring periods of little rainfall. In the 21st century, however, most of the state’s dependable freshwater resources have been developed. Texas must implement new approaches to ensuring adequate water supplies for a continually expanding population in a drought-prone climate. Desalination is at the top of the list of proven, accessible, and economical technologies for drought-proofing water supplies in Texas. Ongoing concerns about water supplies in the aftermath of Texas’ worst-ever one-year drought are helping shine the spotlight on desalination, thereby clearing up misconceptions about the process. NorrisLeal Engineering Water Solutions are pleased to help set the record straight about desal costs and permitting hurdles at both the national and state levels.

Source: Texas Water News Photo: Southmost Regional Water Authority

Joseph W. (Bill) Norris, P.E. 823 Congress Ave., Suite 245, Austin, TX 78701


A suite of water conservation initiatives developed and promoted by the Harlingen Irrigation District (HID) of Cameron County has been honored as one of nine global “good practice” projects included in a report presented to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, during 2012. A Catalogue of Good Practices in Water Use Efficiency, prepared by the Stockholm International Water Institute for the 2030 Water Resources Group, highlights agricultural, municipal, and industrial water efficiency and conservation projects that can be replicated elsewhere. The

Catalogue defines a “good practice” project as one that “demonstrably improves the efficiency or productivity of water use (through water savings and/or yield increase).

method of irrigation, actually can produce increased yields with less water,” said HID General Manager Wayne Halbert. “Our results can be replicated across Texas and the entire world.”

The District manages 52,000 acre-feet of water for irrigation use in agricultural operations in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and was recognized for its innovation and technological advances in the area of irrigation flow control and water usage measurement.

HID has demonstrated it is possible to conserve water without losing money or affecting the quality of a crop. Surveys conducted show that these innovative irrigation system controls and data streams achieved water savings of nearly 35 percent.

“This project has proved that proper management, regardless of the

Source: Texas Water News

Texas Mean Annual Precipitation (1981-2010) The precipitation analysis for the state of Texas was prepared by the Oregon State University PRISM Team! It takes the mean rainfall over a 30-year period from 1981-2010 and overlays that information onto a map of the state of Texas including county borders. This is a great resource for quickly referencing how much rainfall should be expected in one year. Texas Weather Q & A’s Q: Where is the warmest region of Texas located? A: Southwest Texas is the warmest region of the state on average. For example, Laredo is known for its consistently high temperatures. In the wintertime, the warmest temperatures are found closer to the coast, near Brownsville, helping to make the Lower Valley a popular destination for those wishing to avoid winter weather. Q: How many tornadoes touch down in Texas each year? A: On average, 155 tornadoes touch down in Texas a year, more than any other state in the U.S. Q: Is "cloud seeding" a viable option for manufacturing rain in Texas? A: Cloud seeding is presently carried out across a large portion of Texas. These weather modification activities are overseen by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Source: Office of the State Climatologist

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HARLINGEN IRRIGATION DISTRICT TOUTED AS GLOBAL LEADER FOR “GOOD PRACTICE PROJECTS”


RGV UTILITIES

TELECOM & BROADBAND Verizon Residential: 1-800-837-4966 Business: 1-888-743-7211 Wireless: 1-800-256-4646 www.verizon.com AT&T 721 Beech Ave., McAllen, TX 78501 1-800-499-7928 • www.att.com VTX1 Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc. 881 E. Hidalgo Avenue Raymondville, TX 78580 1-800-446-2031 • www.vtx1.net Time Warner Cable Commercial Business Class Customers 956-365-6644 or visit www.twcbc.com Time Warner Cable Residential Customers 1-800-222-5355 or visit www.timewarnercable.com Time Warner Cable Retail Centers for Residential Customers Brownsville 705 Paredes Ln., Brownsville, TX 78520 Harlingen 2309 W. Lincoln Ave., #B, Harlingen, TX 78552 McAllen 921 W. Dove, McAllen, TX 78501 Rio Grande City 3543 West Hwy 83, Rio Grande City, TX 78582

ARE Y U READY? Hurricane Season June 1 through November 30 Hurricane Preparedness National Weather Service Brownsville, TX Weather Forecast Office 20 S. Vermillion Road Brownsville, TX 78521 956-504-1432 • www.srh.noaa.gov/bro/ 206 Rio Grande Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce


RGV UTILITIES

Starr County

Hidalgo County

Willacy County

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RGV UTILITIES

FIBER OPTIC TECHNOLOGY IS HERE VTX1 Builds Fiber Optic Broadband Network for South Texas High-speed Internet, quality television and affordable telephone services are available in South Texas using fiber optic broadband access, the industry’s most reliable technology. “We continue to expand our capabilities as a broadband provider,” said VTX1 CEO Dave Osborn. “Therefore, our business partners in Mexico and across the nation will greatly benefit from this project. Higher bandwidth speeds are only the beginning to an array of services and advancement opportunities for South Texas communities.” For over 60 years, Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc. and its affiliates: VTX Communications, LLC and VTX Telecom, LLC have provided advanced telecommunication services to rural communities in South Texas. VTX Communications and VTX Telecom were established to reach new communities and diversify their

original product line, telephone service, to other lines of business such as wireless Internet and data transport. In an effort to continue to provide the best quality and the most value to its approximately 10,000 customers, the organization is unifying its corporate identity under a single brand name VTX1. Business Offices are located in George West, Jourdanton and Dilley. The main Work Center is located in Lasara and corporate headquarters are located in Raymondville, Texas. “Our network will fundamentally alter the technology landscape in South Texas and make it one of the most desirable locations in the country for business growth and new business relocations”, said Osborn. “We already have good weather and a workforce with a strong work ethic – adding the fiber-optic broadband component will make us unique and highly desirable on a national scale.”

VTX1 wireless tower in San Diego, TX is approximately 300 ft. high. Broadband access in new rural communities will spark endless development opportunities in the areas of education, health and commerce. This is why the organization is expanding its fiber optic broadband network to include 12 new communities: Raymondville, Lyford, Sebastian, Santa Rosa, Agua Dulce, Orange Grove, George West, Three Rivers, Jourdanton, Charlotte, Falfurrias and Premont. Education and health institutions across the Rio Grande Valley will also be connected to the VTX1 Fiber Optic Network including The University of Texas - Pan American, The University of Texas at Brownsville, South Texas College, Texas State Technical College and the University of Texas Health Science Center. Broadband Internet access within VTX1 communities is available through fiber optic or wireless connection starting at $30.00. Interested customers may call 1-800446-2031 or visit: www.vtx1.net to learn more.

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