Author Archives: Gerry Garcia

86th Legislative Session Update #8

 “I dreamed a thousand new paths. I woke and walked my old one.” Chinese Proverb SENATE: The Senate was in session Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week conducting routine business. On Wednesday, they recessed until Friday for first reading and referral of bills to committees. On Wednesday, the Senate adopted SR 300, which increased the Senate Higher Education Committee from seven to nine members. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick named Senators Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) and Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) to the two new slots on the committee.   BUDGET: House Appropriations Committee: Subcommittee on Articles I, IV & V (General Government, Judiciary, and Public Safety & Criminal Justice) met on Monday to discuss budget recommendations for Article I and Article V agencies; and on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss Article I, IV, and V agencies. Subcommittee on Article II (Health & Human Services) met on Tuesday to discuss budget items…

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86th Legislative Session Update #7

February 18, 2019 “One man with courage makes a majority.” Andrew Jackson Last week during the 86th Legislative Session, the following took place: BUDGET: Senate Finance Committee: This past Monday, the Senate Finance Committee took testimony on the following Article III Education Agencies: Texas Education Agency Teacher Retirement System Optional Retirement Program Higher Education Group Insurance Windham School District School for the Blind and Visually Impaired School for the Deaf This past Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee took testimony on the following Article III Education Agencies: Texas A&M University System and Component Institutions Texas A&M University System Health Science Center and Agencies Texas State University System and Component Institutions University of North Texas System and Component Institutions University of North Texas Health Science Center This past Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee took testimony on the following Article III Education Agencies: Texas Tech University System and Component Institutions Texas Tech University…

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McAllen Begins Outreach Efforts for U.S. Census 2020

The City of McAllen, in partnership with the U.S. Census, has already rolled out its first of many public service announcements regarding the 2020 Census, encouraging McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley to “Make Texas Count!” for next year’s census.  Featuring McAllen Mayor Jim Darling in English and McAllen Chief of Police Victor Rodriguez in Spanish, the message is a broad overview of why the census is conducted, why it is important, the various ways to fill out the Census and finally, how individuals can apply to help be a part of the Census team in McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley. In both videos, Mayor Darling and Chief Rodriguez encourage the community to fill out the Census to help make sure that everyone in Texas is counted. “This message is especially important in our part of Texas, the entire Rio Grande Valley,” said Mayor Darling.  “It is so important…

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STC’s President Reed honored in New York by Community College Baccalaureate Association

South Texas College President, Dr. Shirley A. Reed, was invited by the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA) to accept the 2019 annual Pioneer Award on behalf of the College. The award recognizes an individual who has shown great leadership, as well as someone who went above and beyond to provide financial support and resources for a higher education institution. The event took place Saturday, Feb. 23 in New York City. The CCBA strives to promote better access to baccalaureate degrees on community college campuses and serves as a resource of information for community colleges interested in offering bachelor degrees. As the founding president, Dr. Reed developed STC from a “blank canvas” to serve South Texas, formerly a region that was once plagued by limited access to higher education and workforce training. Because of Dr. Reed’s leadership, STC is now Offering over 120 degrees and certificate options with 32 fully-online programs.…

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McAllen to Celebrate Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day

Mayor Jim Darling and the McAllen City Commission proclaimed the month of March as Women’s History Month in McAllen,  and March 8 as International Women’s Day in McAllen, in celebration of the of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  City leaders were proud to point out that the City of McAllen is unique among Rio Grande Valley and border municipalities, with an equal number of men and women who are directors of the City of McAllen departments.    The world of work is changing, and with significant implications for women. “The City of McAllen is an organization where women flourish and is proud to boast an equal number of women and men in positions of leadership, influence, and decision and policy-making as directors within the organization, helping to bring new vision and perspective to the growth and direction of the municipality and more importantly, the community,” said Mayor…

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Passport Division open second Saturday of the month

The City of McAllen would like to remind residents that its Passport Division is open every second Saturday of the month. They will open Saturday, February 9. They will accept applications from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.   No matter where you go, a U.S. passport will get you back home. To learn more about travel requirements for U.S. citizens visit City of McAllen Passport Acceptance Facility is located in the Downtown Parking Garage at 221 S. 15th Street.

86th Legislative Session Update #5

Thanks to McAllen Mayor Jim Darling for the city’s legislative update and agenda.   At our next Government Affairs Council Meeting, on Wednesday February 27, we’ll have County Judge Richard Cortez share the county’s legislative agenda and issues. STATEWIDE: Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act – On Thursday (last week), Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dennis Bonnen held a joint press conference to announce their support for the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act. They were joined at the press conference by Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), who filed SB 2, the Senate version of the bill; and Representative Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), who filed HB 2, the House version (the bills are identical). Governor Abbott said, “These two bills start the conversation for meaningful property tax reform and relief for all Texas taxpayers. As I said at the opening of the 86th Legislative session, we are going to solve school…

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McAllen Public Library and Workforce Solutions Invite the Public to Job Fair

McAllen Public Library, in partnership with Workforce Solutions, invites the public to Job Fair 2019 on Saturday, February 2, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the McAllen Public Library, located at 4301 N. 23rd Street. Attendees will get to connect with employers from several different companies, fill out printed and online applications, and have onsite interviews. Attendees should bring updated resumes and dress interview ready. “The City of McAllen prospers when we all prosper and having a good job is key to making that happen,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.  “Partnering with Workforce Solutions to host this job fair helps our community and residents to become a part of our area’s workforce, contribute to our local economy and just as importantly, provide individuals with a job to provide for themselves and their family a bright future.” McAllen Public Library hopes the job fair will act as a “one-stop…

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South Texas Health System through McAllen Center Foundation donates grant to STC for Nursing Scholarship

 South Texas College students in the Nursing and Allied Health Division can now apply for scholarships courtesy of the South Texas Health System. On Thursday, Jan. 10, South Texas Health System and South Texas College came together for a check presentation benefiting Nursing and Allied Health Division. The $49,000 scholarship will provide opportunities for students to help reduce their financial burden and provide assistance upon continuing their education. “South Texas Health System is always here to support us. They’re providing scholarships to help our students graduate and become registered nurses. They’re hiring our nurses, so it’s a win-win for everybody,” said STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed. “The quality of healthcare is increasing each and every day in our region, and the expectations for the best quality healthcare are really very high. We have to work together to meet that public expectation.” Speakers at the check presentation along with Dr.…

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Texas Workforce Commission to award STC $900K in grants for Advanced Training

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will award South Texas College a total of  $974,665 in grants for advanced training Friday, Jan. 11. These funds will support training in the computer system, healthcare, and manufacturing industries, greatly assisting students in these fields of study at South Texas College. A total of three grant checks will be presented to the college including a Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grant totaling $249,096, a Skills Development Fund (SDF) Manufacturing grant of $409,890, and a Skills Development Fund (SDF) Healthcare grant of $655,153. $315,679 of the Healthcare grant will be for STC to provide job-training opportunities and the remaining portion will go to grant partners for training in their areas of the state. Grant partners involved in the SDF Healthcare grant include United Health Systems and two colleges, Southwest Texas Junior College and Laredo College. The SDF Manufacturing grant business partners are Wood Crafters Home…

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McAllen Passport Division to open the second Saturday of the month

The City of McAllen would like to remind residents that its Passport Division is open every second Saturday of the month. They will accept applications from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. No matter where you go, a U.S. passport will get you back home. To learn more about travel requirements for U.S. citizens visit City of McAllen Passport Acceptance Facility is located in the Downtown Parking Garage at 221 S. 15th Street.

Sister Pimentel Awarded Hispanic Heritage Community Service Award

 On Wednesday, Sept. 12, Sister Norma Pimentel will be presented with the Hispanic Heritage Community Service Award in Washington DC. The Hispanic Heritage Awards were established by the White House under the Regan administration in 1987, with the purpose of commemorating the Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. The Hispanic Heritage Awards are known to be the highest honors by Latinos for Latinos and are supported by 40 national Hispanic- serving institutions. Sister Pimentel, a religious sister for the Missionaries of Jesus community and Executive Director of Catholic Charites of the Rio Grande Valley, led the humanitarian response to the 2014 surge of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States entering through the south Texas border. The Humanitarian Respite Center was created as a safe respite for families where they could be welcomed and offered a place to rest, enjoy a warm meal, shower, change clothes, and receive…

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McAllen Chamber Seeking Nominations for Prestigious Man & Woman of the Year Awards

We have all had the opportunity to be associated with individuals from the McAllen area who have distinguished themselves for their outstanding volunteer service to our community, and sometimes these members of our community don’t receive the recognition they deserve.  Every year, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce Man & Woman of the Year Selection Committee selects two outstanding volunteers to receive the honor of McAllen’s Man & Woman of the Year. To distinguish these deserving individuals, we ask for your nominations to make this recognition a reality for McAllen’s most deserving people.  If you know individuals you feel need to be recognized for their acts of exceptional kindness and tireless energy, or someone who has organized a program for the betterment of our community, given their time and talent to teach, lent a helping hand to those in need, or just made the special effort to ensure that “good things…

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McAllen Receives 76 Awards at 25th Anniversary of Annual Texas Festival & Events Association Conference 

  McAllen hosted statewide festivals and events representatives for education and networking sessions The City of McAllen hosted the 25th Anniversary of the Texas Festival and Events Association Annual Conference this past weekend, bringing in festivals and events representatives from around the state as diverse and far away as Tomball Mud Fest; Ft. Worth Main St. Art Festival; Grapevine’s Grape Fest; Plano Balloon Fest; Poteet Strawberry Festival and even others closer to home, including Weslaco’s Texas Onion Fest; Fiesta Edinburg; Brownsville’s Mr. Amigo,  Laredo’s Washington Birthday Celebration Association,  and George West Storyfest and of course, as well-known as San Antonio’s Fiesta Flambeau Parade and St. Mary’s University Fiesta Oyster Bake. The conference featured informative, entertaining and educational sessions, to help give organizers and event coordinators the tools and tips to better host their events.  Topics ranged from Social Media Do’s and Don’ts; Niche Marketing; Event Security and Credit Card Usage…

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Grainger Industrial Supply recently donated $6,000 worth of tools to assist students in their career choices

In an effort to assist deserving students preparing to enter the workforce, Grainger Industrial Supply has supplemented its annual scholarship to students by donating tools to South Texas College. Grainger, a leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products, has donated $6,000 worth of tools that will then be distributed to students through the college. Grainger has been a constant supporter of South Texas College’s students for several years. “Grainger provides new tools for students in several fields including auto, diesel, heating/ventilation/air conditioning/refrigeration, electrician, construction and law enforcement to name a few,” said Mario Reyna, Dean of Business, Technology and Public Safety at STC. “Over the years, Grainger has provided scholarships and now they decided to donate the tools to our program,” Reyna said. “They had three pallets, almost $6,000 worth of tools, and they opted to bring them here and left it up to us to decide…

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