McALLEN — Economic and workforce development professionals from across South Texas attended the Texas Engineering Extension Service’s (TEEX) 55th Basic Economic Development Course April 3-6 in McAllen.
The 24-hour course is the only one of its kind in the state that is accredited by the International Economic Development Council. The course covers topics such as attracting and marketing to new businesses, business retention and expansion. Participants examine community and workforce development in addition to strategic planning, finance and real estate development.
“The Basic Economic Development Course has built a solid reputation since the first course was offered in 1967,” said Program Manager Dan Griffiths of TEEX’s Technology and Economic Development Division. “This year we expanded the scope of the course, and this class was designed to respond to the regional issues and needs of economic development practitioners in South Texas. This was the first time the course has been offered in McAllen, and we were pleased with the attendance from south Texas.”
Speakers included Chris Scheffman of the Governor’s Office for Economic Development and Tourism, who briefed students on state initiatives and incentives aimed at fostering economic development in south Texas. Hernan Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Weslaco Economic Development Corporation, provided a historical view of the agricultural-based economy of South Texas and future changes needed to spur economic growth.
In addition, Ernesto Velarde-Danache, Chief Executive Officer of an international law firm with offices in Brownsville, Matamoros and Reynosa, gave students an overview of the North American Free Trade Agreement and growth issues along the Texas-Mexico border.
Participants who complete the course earn continuing education units and fulfill one of the requirements for admission to the Economic Development Institute.
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized training, exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond.