Rio Grande Guardian: Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco wins prestigious award

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Video & Audio: Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco wins prestigious award

WESLACO, Texas – The Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco has won a prestigious 2023 Workforce Excellence Award.

The award comes from the Texas Economic Development Council. It was presented to Weslaco leaders during TEDC’s 2023 Mid-Year Conference in Allen, Texas.

Weslaco won in the population category ranging from 40,001 to 100,000. 

Carlton Schwab, president and CEO of TEDC said his group created the Workforce Excellence Award to recognize the “exceptional contributions” of Texas communities that have implemented “successful workforce initiatives.”

Schwab said: “Our TEDC’s Workforce Excellence Award is one of the ways in which our organization honors the outstanding work done by our communities and regions, their leaders, and their economic development professionals in the area of workforce development.” 

Steven M. Valdez, executive director of EDCW, said the award recognizes the EDCW for developing a strong partnership and collaboration with South Texas College, along with the successful implementation of its Job Training Program.

Valdez said the program offers a variety of skill development training for currently employed workers within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Weslaco.

“This award is a validation for the work that is being done in our local community through the intergovernmental relationship between the EDCW, the City of Weslaco, and South Texas College,” Valdez said.

Valdez said that through the initiative, the EDCW awards a $75,000 grant annually to South Texas College to provide training and up-skilling opportunities to businesses seeking to enhance their employee’s skills. He said this ultimately supports the growth and development of the workforce talent in the community. 

Juan J. Serrano, board president of EDCW, said the corporation and STC have been able to provide training to roughly 640 employees within the calendar year of 2022.

“This partnership has greatly benefited local businesses by providing skilled workers to meet their demands,” Serrano said. “The award recognizes the dedication and effort put forth by all parties involved to strengthen the workforce in the community.”

Castañeda’s perspective

The Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco recently hosted a reception to tell the community about the TEDC award. At the reception, April Castañeda, director of business development for EDCW, gave an exclusive interview to the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service. The Guardian sought this interview because Valdez had praised Castañeda for coming up with the idea of applying for the award. He said there was a lot of paperwork to submit.

Here is an audio interview with Castañeda:


Castañeda explains how Weslaco EDC won a prestigious 2023 Workforce Excellence Award

July 04, 2023

Everything said at the EDCW-STC reception

The Guardian also video recorded all the remarks made from the podium at the reception. The speakers, in order of appearance, were EDCW’s Valdez, Dr. Anahid Petrosian, vice president for academic affairs at STC, Carlos L. Margo, dean of industry training and economic development at STC, Kim Moore, apprenticeship navigator at STC, EDWC’s Serrano, and EDWC’s Castañeda.

Here is the video: