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May 18, 2012 - Building Foundations - ready, SET, go!

Posted: 05/18/2012
Author: Raudel Garza

Foundations are the key to having buildings last for a LONG time.  It's interesting to me to see how some homes in our area have been around for about 100 years, while others are gone in less than 30.  I assume most of us have heard the parable about the house built on sand versus the house built on a rock.  Houses built on sand (unless you use modern construction techniques such as stilts with anchors or a seawall system surrounding a traditional poured concrete foundation) aren't prone to last, while a house built on solid rock will last forever.


In our economic development world, it is equally important for us to build our organizations on solid rock.  Much of the foundation for an organization is done in the planning stages.  Rio South Texas Economic Council did a good job of building a foundation in terms of defining goals and implementing strategies for marketing the region.  Other local organizations have done the same, and yet others are in the process of building that foundation.  I'd say we aren't finished with ours yet either.  But more on that later.


There's a group of small Valley cities and other interested parties that have been meeting over the last year or so working on building a foundation for sustainable economic growth in the less urban areas of the region.  In 2010, USDA Rural Development launched Stronger Economies Together (SET), a regional economic development project designed to enable rural communities and counties to work together to develop strategies to build their economies based on the current and emerging economic strengths of their region.  Some of the SET communities are RSTEC members, but most are future members :) or at least I would hope they are.  As people continue to talk about regionalism, the need to work together will become greater.  RSTEC will be playing a larger role in this effort in the near future.


On that same note of regionalism, as larger projects consider the Rio South Texas region, support from the entire area will be vital to show a prospect that the region welcomes them.  But the reality is that in order to get support, you have to be part of a team.  So, for the lone rangers out there, get on our team and enjoy the benefits of that support!


This week, we continue to work on completion of our financial audit.  We have also been working on preparations for the WindPower 2012 trade show in Atlanta.  The team that will be joining me in the booth includes the Port of Brownsville's Manuel Ortiz and German Rico, Mission EDC's Alex Meade, and Harlingen EDC's Don Hubbard. 


Today, I'll be joining STC, McAllen EDC, Workforce Solutions, and others in talking with Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar and State Rep. John Davis (Chair of the House Committee on Economic and Small Business Development, and member of various other committees).  This is another great opportunity to educate those outside the region on some of the exciting things happening when education, economic development and business entities get together.  Way to go, TEAM!


For those of you planning on going out to the ICSC RECON show in Las Vegas beginning on Sunday, GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY HUNTING!  Remember, we are 1.3 million people strong on the US side of the region.  Don't sell yourself short!

May your weekend be filled with rest, relaxation, fun, or anything else you wish for.