Category Archives: Community

Removing Roadblocks Among Stepping Stones

Gabriel Villasenor

Gabriel Villasenor worked at a tire shop for four years before taking his first steps toward a career in health care. Feeling the pull to go a different route, he decided to return to school to study patient care. Working as a certified nursing assistant at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance was a stepping stone for Villasenor. It was not a final destination. Even then, Villasenor had his sights set on…

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TSC Extends Remote Learning Through Fall 

Texas Southmost College will extend remote learning using various online technologies and alternate operations through the fall 2020 semester. The announcement comes at an unanimous agreement by the college’s board of trustees. “With a robust on-campus student population and hundreds of employees each fall, we strongly believe it is in the community’s best interest to take this measure to help slow the spread of the coronavirus,” said TSC Board Chair…

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Lineworker Finds New Adventure as Instructor

TSTC lineworker

After spending 22 years with the Brownsville Public Utilities Board as a certified lineworker, Candelario Deanda is ready to climb to new heights. His new role is an Electrical Lineworker Technology instructor when Texas State Technical College introduces the program at its Harlingen campus this fall. “We are still in the process of getting everything ready,” Deanda said. “I will be an instructor for courses in obtaining the certificate, as…

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UTRGV Expands Autism Program Across the Valley

UTRGV’s College of Education and P-16 Integration will be able to continue its parent-directed treatment program for children with autism spectrum for another two years. The program began in 2018 and previously served only the lower Cameron County area. It will now expand across the entire Rio Grande Valley. A nearly $500,000 continuation grant by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board funds the program. Dr. Hsuying Ward, a UTRGV associate professor with Human…

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Weslaco EDC Assists Businesses With Much-Needed Loans

Small businesses in Weslaco are the recipients of a special loan/grant program from the city’s EDC.

The Weslaco Economic Development Corporation has awarded 37 local businesses with financial assistance from its small business loan/grant program. The program was announced in early May to help small businesses cope with the fallout of COVID-19 hardships. The EDC said the loan/grant program helps with payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities and basic operation costs.  “The growing economy in Weslaco has based its success on the traditions set by our small business…

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Building a Culture of Health in the RGV

Hidalgo-County residents take advantage of the Hidalgo County Precinct 2 Hike-and-Bike Trail in San Juan.

We have all been deluged with local, state, national and international statistics about COVID-19 in recent months. The term “underlying conditions” is often cited in describing those who have become critically ill or who have passed away. There has been more limited information about the actions individuals and communities can take to improve the chances of fighting COVID-19 and other deadly viruses and diseases. Eddie Olivarez, the chief administrator for…

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Pharr Reaches Out During Pandemic

Pharr has remained busy during COVID-19 era. (Courtesy)

The City of Pharr set up an emergency business loan program similar to other cities – and then did one better in reaching out to its community. The city established the Pharr COVID Recovery Center at its events center to handle all sort of inquiries related to the pandemic outbreak. Among those questions is how local businesses can apply for funds from the Pharr CARES Small Business Loan Program. It…

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Back to Work: TWC Provides Acceptable Reasons for Refusal

The Texas Workforce Commission recently took action to provide guidance on eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits due to refusal to suitable work. Evaluations of each UI benefits case is currently on an individual basis. However, because of COVID-19, the following are reasons benefits would continue if an individual refuses work. Reason for refusal: People 65 years or older and/or people with medical issues. These include heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a…

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Border Trade Alliance Elects Contreras as Chairman

Sergio Contreras, the president and CEO of the RGV Partnership, has been elected chairman of the Border Trade Alliance. Contreras takes the helm of the BTA board during a time of challenge for the cross-border trade community. “I am honored to assume the chairmanship of the Border Trade Alliance, one of the nation’s most respected trade advocacy groups, at a time when our work has never been more important,” Contreras…

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TWC Expands Skill Enhancements to UI Claimants

New virtual skills enhancement opportunities are coming from the Texas Workforce Commission for individuals receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits. According to TWC, Texas has a historic number of UI beneficiaries as a result of COVID-19. The result is an increase in need for a range of services to support Texas businesses and workers. This includes the need to enhance the skills of unemployed Texans to prepare to reconnect to the Texas…

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