Rio Grande Valley Linking Economic and Academic Development (RGV LEAD) works to help students in the Valley meet education and career goals through its various partnerships. On October 6, Texas Governor Greg Abbott congratulated the agency for its recent work in the region.

During RGV LEAD’s “The State of Education and Industry in the Rio Grande Valley” panel, the executive director of the governor’s office of economic development and tourism, Adriana Cruz, spoke on behalf of Abbott, according to a press release from the governor.

“We are proud to work alongside our partners in the Rio Grande Valley to foster continued economic growth and promote workforce development opportunities,” Cruz said.

Texas has a “highly skilled, diverse workforce — more than 14.5 million strong” that “provides job-ready talent across the state,” Cruz claimed. Organizations like RGV LEAD help ensure “Texas will continue to develop the workforce of the future.”

Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. provided closing remarks at the panel.

The RGV LEAD event was held to share information about various state agencies partnering to expand and promote the high-demand industries in the region. These agencies include the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and the Texas Workforce Commission.

The Valley is particularly well suited for economic expansion in the state, according to Abbott.

“Meeting the changing needs of employers in the RGV and across the state is paramount to ensure ongoing job growth,” he said.

Recognizing RGV LEAD for creating “education and industry partnerships that inspire and empower students to succeed,” Abbott explained, “Our state thrives when opportunity is abundant.”

By working together, he said, “We are building an even brighter future for all Texans.”

Willacy, Hidalgo, Cameron, and Starr counties work with RGV LEAD in the Rio Grande Valley. The region is home to over 1.36 million people, according to the organization’s website.

“RGV LEAD is focused on helping the Valley develop its most valuable asset: the intellectual capital of its people, especially the students moving through The Valley’s public schools,” the website shares.

Initiatives of the organization encourage students to participate in college-and-career-focused programs of study. Education partners that work with RGV LEAD include Texas State Technical College, South Texas College, Valley Grande Institute for Academic Studies, and Harlingen Public Schools.

RGV LEAD will host the Ambassadors Fall Planning Workshop on October 19 in the student union building on the South Texas College Pecan campus.