The Weslaco Economic Development Corporation has a new executive director and its new leader comes from within the organization.
Steven M. Valdez was selected as the executive director by the EDC’s board on May 19. Valdez formerly served as the EDC’s director for nearly five years. He comes into his new job with an understanding of the organization’s key functions. He also knows how it interacts with city government. Those were all key reasons for his selection as the EDC’s new executive director.
“We are excited to move forward with a hard-working, unified EDC board of directors, a supportive City Commission, and now our new executive director that we believe to be the most prepared, well-rounded and invested in Weslaco,’’ said Benita R. Valadez, the EDC board president.
Valdez is a Weslaco native who came to the EDC in 2016 after a 25-year stint at the local school district. Here, he rose to leadership positions in developing both the district’s broadcasting operations and performing arts center. Valdez’s community connections from his years at the school district were beneficial when he began working at the EDC.
“I can relate to everyone here. Weslaco is my home,” he said. “I’m a home-grown product.”
Straight To Work With Industrial Park
A top agenda item in Valdez’s new job is one he has been working on in recent years. Weslaco’s Mid-Valley Industrial Park north of the city has seen rapid growth in recent years. Valdez is actively working to bring new industries and companies to two planned phases that will expand both the scope and size of the business park.
The 84-acre first phase tract already has seen seven letters-of-intent from companies looking to locate in Weslaco. A major prospect has already indicated strong interest in developing a sizable portion of the 65-acre tract of phase two at the industrial park.
“My ambitious goal is to have it filled up in three to five years,” Valdez said of the industrial park. “The EDC’s goal is to have as much manufacturing, distribution, food processing and warehousing as we can get with jobs paying at least $12 to $16 an hour, and when these primary jobs are filled, retail will follow.”