The workshop was an extension of the HEDC’s monthly public board meetings that focused on reviewing goals for the organization.
City leaders and partners were invited to the meeting to provide updates on the work they are doing.
The HEDC board and staff heard reports from City Manager Dan Serna; Harlingen Water Works director Tim Skoglund; Cameron County Bridge System director Josue Garcia; Valley International Airport aviation director Marv Esterly; and Port of Harlingen director Walker Smith.
Esterly reported the success of American Airlines since it came back to the airport last year. With the impressive growth, Esterly said, that there will be a new aircraft added, a 65-passenger jet, in June.
In his report, Smith explained that the Port of Harlingen facilitates 1.55 million tons of commodities annually. He added that in 2018 marine cargo activity at the Port supported a total of $1 billion of economic activity in Texas.
The HEDC marketing manager Selene D. Guerrero, commercial development manager Beverly Ticer-Loftus, and industrial development manager German Rico, also presented.
Staff discussions included a revised marketing plan, connecting business owners to resources and recruiting new businesses, creating and establishing connections in order to promote growth and expansion.
HEDC CEO and manager, Raudel Garza concluded the meeting with a strategic plan that was open for discussion.
Goals in Garza’s plan included focusing on priorities such as growing Harlingen’s human capital and workforce development, infrastructure improvements, supporting small businesses, and building on retail sales and growth.
“Meetings such as these open up the floor for discussion about how we are all contributing to the economic growth of Harlingen,” HEDC president, Mickey Boland, said.
“New ideas and suggestions were made during the meeting, and that’s the point of workshops like these, to collaborate and align our goals.”