Category Archives: e-Brief Features

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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Champions Don’t Lose

fight

Winning the fight isn’t easy. Our current opponent is tough, but Team Rio Grande Valley is tougher. The hours run long, the sweat pours, punches hit us and we become weary. The enemy is sneaky, but local businesses and organizations, led by determined, resilient and competitive people, will not be defeated. We stand our ground together and then, as a unified people, we will win this war. Here at VBR,…

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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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Doors Now Open for Janet Oliva Cortez

VIDA: Janet Oliva Cortez

The team at Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement knows all too well about doors closing in keeping underemployed and unemployed people in the Rio Grande Valley from career advancement and higher pay. Janet Oliva Cortez knows about those challenges. Cortez works for the Weslaco Independent School District as a data entry clerk. It’s a good employer, secure job, and a decent salary. Cortez knew, however, that without a degree,…

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Work Search Requirement Reinstates July 6 for Unemployment

unemployment

Work search requirements for Unemployment Insurance benefits in Texas will return July 6, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The requirements were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Work search is a federal requirement to receive unemployment benefits. Individuals will continue to receive benefits, but must document their efforts to find new employment, with the first report due to TWC on July 19. Those currently receiving unemployment should keep good records…

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Pipes Turn Into Artist Canvases in McAllen

(Keep McAllen Beautiful photo)

The Rio Grande Valley is known for its irrigation pipes alongside the network of canals that have historically provided water from the river to farm fields. The pipes remain standing amid a now urbanized region with farming pushed further out from expanding city limits. McAllen is among the Valley cities that have utilized property alongside canals for hike-and-bike trails. There are more than 200 irrigation pipes in the city, many…

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Keppel AmFELS Readies Delivery

Delivery of the M/V George III to Pasha Hawaii from Keppel AmFELS is scheduled for this summer.

The construction of two 774-foot-long container ships for Pasha Hawaii continues on schedule at the Port of Brownsville. On June 5, Keppel AmFELS hosted a presentation and tour for port and city of Brownsville officials. Here, they presented an update of construction for the M/V George III and the M/V Janet Marie. Delivery of the M/V George III to Pasha is set for this summer. The twin U.S. Jones Act…

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TIAA Institute Honors STC President’s Leadership

South Texas College President Dr. Shirley A. Reed is the recipient of the 2020 Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education. The award recognizes college or university presidents or chancellors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities. Reed is the founding president of South Texas College, devoting the last 26 years to making higher education accessible to the Latinx community of South Texas. Through Reed’s leadership, STC serves…

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Independence Day Brings New Island Celebration

The Cameron County Amphitheater and Event Center in South Padre Island will be host to the first annual Red, White and Beach Festival July 3-4.

On June 26, following the Governor’s announcement, the Fourth of July Fireworks show on South Padre Island has been canceled.  The first annual Red, White and Beach Festival takes place place July 3-4 at the Amphitheater and Event Center on South Padre Island. According to promoters, the event will be “the largest celebration of our Independence Day on the Island.” The festival will feature surprise artists as well as the legendary INTOCABLE…

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