South Texas Regional Rural Economic Development Strategy

The STRREDS vision statement is “to promote a regional economic development strategy that will create economic opportunity, build the capacity of rural leaders, and improve the quality of life for the residents of the South Texas Rural Region through education, training, and technical assistance.”

Background and Introduction

This Asset Map is one of several key outputs resulting from the South Texas Regional Rural Development Strategy (STRREDS), a community and economic development initiative led by The University of Texas-Pan American, in collaboration with USDA, the STRREDS Strategy Committee, and other stakeholders.

About this Wiki

This wiki was created for the South Texas Regional Rural Economic Development Strategy. The wiki is a shared workspace used by project team members and the Strategy Committee to share files, documents, studies, website links, research, and information related to the project.

Additionally, this wiki is a knowledge resource tool available to the public, governmental agencies, and other interested persons.

Asset Map Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following “frequently asked questions” and their corresponding answers are intended to help foster a shared understanding of, and orientation to the South Texas Regional Rural Asset Map.

What is a Regional Asset Map?
A regional asset map is a knowledge management tool designed to create an in-depth understanding of the of the key factors that shape the regional economy, indicate gap areas that require further investment, and provide a baseline by which to judge future progress toward regional prosperity.

What kinds of assets are included in the Regional Asset Map?
Significant research has been conducted to identify and include key assets—both tangible and intangible—that can be used as the foundation for a regional economic development strategy.

The following eight asset categories are being included in the asset map: Human Capital, Research and Development, Financial Capital, Industrial Base, Connective Organizations, Legal and Regulatory Environment, Physical Infrastructure, and Quality of Life.

How was the information in the Regional Asset Map obtained?
The regional asset map is being developed with broad-based input from the community through an asset mapping research process and an economic development strategic planning process that involves public and private sector participation.

The UTPA project team is leading the development of the asset map with a Strategy Committee, an Asset Mapping Subcommittee, and input from other key stakeholders and the public through meetings.

How will gap areas in the Regional Asset Map be addressed?
The Asset Map will help lay the foundation for a regional strategic plan; gaps revealed by the map will help the region reallocate resources to key challenge areas.

What is the South Texas Rural Region?

The South Texas Rural Region (STRR) is located in the southernmost tip of Texas, and is comprised of 40 rural communities in the Rio Grande Valley.

The communities included in the Asset Map meet the following criteria:
  1. Population below 20,000 persons
  2. Poverty rate of 10% or more
  3. Median household income that is less than $30,000 and
  4. Not contiguous with a metropolitan area with a population of more than 20,000 persons.

Project Team

George Bennack, Account Manager, Rural Enterprise Development, UTPA
Cris Trevino, Project Director, Community and Economic Development, UTPA
Michael Uhrbrock, Project Analyst, Community and Economic Development, UTPA
Sai Mullapudi, Economic Business Research Associate, Data Center, UTPA
Gaddi Rodriguez, Rural Development Specialist, Rural Enterprise Development, UTPA
Grayson Oxford, Business Development Specialist, UTPA
Brian Kelsey, Project Advisor, UTPA
Edgar Cantu, MPA Graduate Student/Researcher, UTPA
Sylvia Quinones, MPA Graduate Student/Researcher, UTPA
Roland Gonzalez,MBA Graduate Student/Researcher, UTPA

Strategy Committee

The Strategy Committee plays an important role in the asset mapping and strategic planning process. The committee is comprised of experts in the areas of agriculture, business and finance, government, workforce development, and education.

Partners

  1. Acción Texas www.acciontexas.org
  2. Affordable Homes of South Texas www.ahsti.org
  3. Connected Texas www.connectedtx.org
  4. Economic Development Administration www.eda.gov
  5. Llano Grande Center for Research and Development www.llanogrande.org
  6. Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council www.lrgvdc.org
  7. Region One Education Service Center www.esc1.net
  8. Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone www.rgvez.org
  9. Rio South Texas Economic Development Council www.riosouthtexas.com
  10. Small Business Administration www.sba.gov
  11. Small Cities Coalition
  12. South Texas College www.southtexascollege.edu
  13. Starr County Industrial Foundation www.starrcounty.org
  14. Texas Department of Agriculture www.agr.state.tx.us
  15. Texas Department of Rural Affairs www.tdra.state.tx.us
  16. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department www.tpwd.state.tx.us
  17. Texas State Technical College www.harlingen.tstc.edu
  18. Texas/Mexico Border Coalition www.tm-bc.org
  19. Tip of Texas Ag Producers Cooperative
  20. UTB/TSC www.utb.edu
  21. UTB International Innovation Center wtce.utb.edu/iic/index.html
  22. U.S. Department of Education www.ed.gov
  23. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development www.hud.gov
  24. USDA Rural Development www.rurdev.usda.gov
  25. UTPA College of Business Administration www.utpa.edu/coba
  26. UTPA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences www.utpa.edu/csbs
  27. UTPA Hispanic-Serving Institutions Assisting Communities ce.utpa.edu
  28. UTPA Procurement Technical Assistance Center www.utpa.edu/ptac
  29. UTPA Small Business Development Center www.coserve.org/sbdc
  30. UTPA Texas Rural Cooperative Center www.coserve.org/rcdc
  31. Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement www.vidacareers.org
  32. Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc. www.vtci.net
  33. Workforce Solutions Cameron www.wfscameron.com
  34. Workforce Solutions www.wfsolutions.com