Fox Valley Molding Expands Operation In Harlingen, Texas

 

Harlingen, TEXAS – Fox Valley Molding, a plastic injection molding company located here in Harlingen, in partnership with the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation, is pleased to announce the expansion of their operations. Fox Valley Molding, Inc., was founded in 1984 in Plano, Illinois. Fox Valley Molding is a custom processor of thermoset molding compounds and engineering grade thermoplastics, serving customers throughout North America. Many of their products are used in the manufacturing of appliances.

“Since we started operations in Harlingen in 2001, we knew this strategic location would allow us to serve our customers in the United States and Mexico faster and more efficiently saving us time and money,” said Don Haag, owner. “Harlingen is a city with long-term growth potential, and we are honored by the outstanding support we’ve received from the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation.”

“They will be expanding their existing facility and creating 28 new high skilled, high wage jobs that the city strives to attract.” stated Mayor Chris Boswell. These new jobs will increase Fox Valley Molding’s annual payroll by 35% over the next three years, with very competitive wages and good benefits for the new employees.

Lupita Gutierrez-Garza, incoming Chairwoman and President for Harlingen EDC, expressed her delight in the announcement: “The Board and staff at HEDC understand that real economic growth comes from the creation on primary jobs, and this project does just that. As part of our Business Retention and Expansion Program, HEDC staff reaches out to local manufacturers and helps with expansion plans or other issues that our manufacturers may face, to help them remain competitive in this global economy.
“Small to mid-sized manufacturing companies are the backbone of manufacturing base here in Harlingen, and we strive to help them grow whenever we can. Fox Valley Molding wanted some help with some of the upfront costs of setting up new equipment and with some of the expenses related to expanding the existing facility. HEDC presented them with a proposal to help with some of those expenses based on job creation and the investment being made by Fox Valley Molding,” stated Raudel Garza, Chief Executive Officer for HEDC.

Fox Valley Molding is located within the Harlingen Industrial Park off of FM 509 (an overweight corridor to the Los Indios International Bridge) and Grimes Road on the east side of Harlingen. The Harlingen Industrial Park encompasses approximately 530 acres of land, with only about 80 acres available for sale. There are over twenty companies with a total employment of about 1000 positions, and over one million square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space, with only a seven percent (7%) vacancy rate, within the Harlingen Industrial Park. The Harlingen Industrial Park is strategically-located only two miles away from the Port of Harlingen, one mile away from the Harlingen Aerotropolis, and 13 miles away from the Free Trade International Bridge at Los Indios. The Harlingen Industrial Park is home to other manufacturers such as Cardone Industries, Penn Aluminum, Aloe Labs, Pentair, Atlantic Tool & Die, ITD Metal Stamping, Pan American Hydrogen, and more.
Over the last four years, this concerted effort to bring in primary jobs to Harlingen has resulted in a drop of about four percentage points from 9.1% in August 2012 to a 5.2% rate this past May. That trend is expected to continue as our industrial base grows, and as our healthcare industry grows as well.

For more information on opportunities in the Harlingen area, please visit www.harlingenedc.com.

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Possible Retail Shell Building Site is Close to Bass Pro Shops

Photo Courtesy of Dina Arevalo/Valley Morning Star.

Photo Courtesy of Dina Arevalo/Valley Morning Star.

More growth may be coming to the Bass Pro Shops area soon.

Trying to spur growth, the Harlingen Economic Development Corp. board might contract with an architectural-engineering firm to construct a shell building for retail use of up to 6,000 square feet on Bass Pro Drive.

This is what HEDC staff is recommending “in order to spur development in the area,” CEO Raudel Garza said yesterday.

The board will consider this at its regular meeting today, starting at 11:30 a.m., 2424 Boxwood St.

Garza is asking the board for authorization to execute an engagement letter with Megamorphosis Inc. of Harlingen for architectural and engineering services.

Garza said the development corporation owns six-tenths of an acre by Bass Pro Shops’ boat storage, which could be used to construct a building that could be leased, generating both rental fees and sales tax revenues for HEDC.

“But I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” Garza said yesterday, noting the board would be discussing the proposal in executive session and it would be its decision to make. “I take direction from the board,” Garza said.

At present, he said the only thing staff was asking the board for is, “to allow us to draw…

Read more at The Valley Morning Star.

Boswell Praises TSTC at its 50th Anniversary Gala

Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell has praised Texas State Technical College for the impact it has had on economic development in the Rio Grande Valley.

Speaking at a gala to celebrate TSTC’s 50th Anniversary, Boswell told the Rio Grande Guardian that TSTC-Harlingen provides a “wonderful opportunity for the young people of the Valley to get a great skill.” However, he said there is more to it than that. “It has been an economic development partner for the City of Harlingen. We can customize training for industry that wants to locate in the Rio Grande Valley and the State of Texas.”

The City of Harlingen was honored at the gala, which was held in the Governor’s Ballroom at the Hilton Austin on Wednesday evening. Appropriately, Gov. Greg Abbott was guest of honor. Former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs was emcee and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn sent a video message.

More than $330 was raised for the TSTC Foundation to support the needs of TSTC’s students.

The gala was attended by almost 700 VIPs, including state legislators, the TSTC Foundation Board, the TSTC Board of Regents, sponsors, community leaders, industry leaders, TSTC alumni, current students, retirees, leadership, faculty and staff.

“Harlingen is being honored for its contributions to the development of this great school. We are really proud of the relationship we have between the City of Harlingen and Texas State Technical College because it has been a tremendous asset for our community, but not just the City of Harlingen but the entire state of Texas,” Boswell told the Rio Grande Guardian in a video interview.

Boswell said the City of Harlingen benefits from the 550 people TSTC-Harlingen employees. “More importantly, they have been an anchor for economic development and the development and attraction of other industries into our community,” he said.

Wednesday was 50 years to the day since the legislation creating TSTC was passed. Four individuals/entities were honored by the TSTC Foundation: Former State Senator Murray Watson, Jr., of Central Texas; the Honorable R. Temple Dickson, III (awarded posthumously) from West Texas; the City of Harlingen, and Marshall Economic Development Corporation from East Texas.

TSTC was established in 1965 as the James Connally Technical Institute of Texas A&M University in Waco to meet the state’s evolving workforce needs. In 1967…

Read more at The Rio Grande Guardian.

EDITORIAL: McAllen, Harlingen Among Least Expensive Cities in US

Photo Courtesy of Google Images.

Photo Courtesy of Google Images.

Our Rio Grande Valley is showing some good economic indicators lately.

A recent report rated two Valley cities among the least expensive in the United States, including McAllen rated No. 1 and Harlingen No. 3. The Council for Community and Economic Research noted these cities among the best for “Cost of Living Index” among 264 urban areas. Most expensive on the index was New York City and Honolulu.

McAllen’s cost of living index was 81.5 — nearly 20 percent below the national average. Harlingen’s index was 83.5. Likewise, NYC’s index was 214.5. The cost of living index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households.

In addition to these figures, the city of McAllen recorded its highest-ever…

Read more at The McAllen Monitor.

Harlingen Annual Car Show Open to Public

Photo Courtesy of the Valley Morning Star.

Photo Courtesy of the Valley Morning Star.

The eighth annual Jackson Street Classic Car Show will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in historic Downtown Harlingen.

Cars will be displayed along Jackson Street between 4th and Commerce streets.

The car show is organized by the Rio Grande Valley chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America. It is free and open to the public.

In addition to the cars, there will be…

Read more at the Valley Morning Star.

Harlingen Prepares Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

Photo Courtesy of the Valley Morning Star.

Photo Courtesy of the Valley Morning Star.

The city of Harlingen will present Fiesta Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, May 2, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Lt. George Gutierrez Jr. Park, 500 W. Harrison Ave.

Children’s activities, live music and cultural performances are scheduled during the fiesta at the park in the La Placita District.

Please contact Harlingen Convention & Visitors Bureau Events Manager Esmeralda Martinez about sponsorships and details at 956-423-5440 or emartinez@myharlingen.us.

Cinco de Mayo is a major holiday in Mexico traditionally observed on May 5. Many people worldwide celebrate the occasion.

The date marks the military anniversary of…

Read more at the Valley Morning Star.

Harlingen earns Governor’s award for beautification

City of Harlingen elected representatives and administrators learned recently that the city will receive a $250,000 beautification grant thanks to a first-place finish in the 2015 Governor’s Community Achievement Award competition.

Funding will go toward further beautification projects and ongoing initiatives that led to the award, Mayor Chris Boswell said. “It’s a tremendous honor for our citizens and organizations that volunteer to assist the city improve its image or environment,” he said. “Many people worked together for years to allow the Capital of the Rio Grande Valley to reach this goal.”

According to the Keep Texas Beautiful website, the KTB organization in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation annually has offered the Governor’s Community Achievement Awards to 10 Texas communities with the best grassroots environmental programs in the state. The awards distribute $2 million in funding from TxDOT across the 10 communities, with the amount based on population size. Cities receiving awards will be recognized at a special ceremony Tuesday, June 16, 2015, during the 48th Annual Keep Texas Beautiful Conference in Forth Worth.

A community’s environmental program is judged on achievements in community leadership and coordination, public awareness, education, beautification and community improvement, litter prevention and cleanup, solid waste management, and litter law and illegal dumping enforcement. The funds are used for landscaping projects along local rights of way.

“The real success is visible throughout a clean Harlingen thanks to the pride and hard work year-round by groups and private individuals that partnered with Keep Harlingen Beautiful and the city. I am sure the community will be very excited about this statewide recognition,” Boswell said.

Many KHB events are funded by revenue from the Harlingen Recycling Center, which brought in $91,289 in 2014, according to the grant application. Combined volunteer labor in 2014 totaled an estimated 8,500 hours. Among the debris removed by volunteers and city employees from Harlingen in 2014 were 81 tons of litter, 1,636 used tires, and 506 bags of trash.

The Code Enforcement Office, Keep Harlingen Beautiful, and the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District coordinated many public education campaigns in 2014 such as recycling clubs at some elementary schools and “Operation Crackdown” with the Texas National Guard to remove unsafe, dilapidated structures.

Other projects included landscaping around the city’s 700 acres of parks, schools and public buildings. Eleven organizations have taken responsibility for 22 miles of Adopt-A-Highway miles within city limits. There were flowers, bushes and tree plantings at numerous sites and the City of Harlingen has created an efficient maintenance schedule to reduce manpower allocation while increasing environmental cleanup efforts.

“We will celebrate receiving this grant, but we won’t rest. Our citizens want this initiative to build more momentum as together we continue our commitment to improve our community,” the mayor concluded.

For more information about KHB and City of Harlingen cleanup activities go online to www.myharlingen.us. Then, click on “Departments” and go to either the “Code Enforcement” or “Keep Harlingen Beautiful” web pages. Information about the Governor’s Achievement Award is online at www.ktb.org or by calling (800) CLEAN-TX.

Harlingen: Accomplishments, Progress, Goals and Plans for 2015

Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell will present his “State of the City” address on Friday, January 30, 2015. The annual address is hosted by the Rotary Club of Harlingen.

The mayor will report about the city’s accomplishments and progress for 2015; plus, he will share goals and plans for 2015.

The event will be held from 12 noon to 1 p.m. at the Rotary Club’s regular weekly meeting. The meeting will be at the Casa de Amistad, 1204 Fair Park Blvd., next to the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium.

Doors will open at…

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Mid Valley Construction Boom Continues

The city of Harlingen has issued building permits or is reviewing applications for permits for almost $35 million in new construction projects that have either begun or will begin soon.

This year developers plan a $10 million, 72-bed psychiatric hospital for Strategic Behavioral Health LLC’s Palms Behavioral Health at 613 Victoria Lane.

Other projects planned to be completed this year are listed in the city’s December 2014 project lists, and include a $2.8 million Bert Ogden Toyota dealership at 8721 West Expressway 83; a $2.6 million multipurpose building at St. Anthony’s Church at 1015 E. Harrison Ave.; and a $2.5 million Cameron County Communications Center at 501 Camelot Drive.

A $1.6 million addition to Southern Career Institute at 1122 Morgan Blvd. also is planned.

Qualfon plans to spend $1.3 million for interior renovations at its customer service center at 2200 Haine Drive.

Other commercial projects include the new $400,000 Popeye’s restaurant on Ed Carey Drive, interior renovations valued at $350,000 at the Olive Garden restaurant at 1802 West Lincoln Ave., and a $250,000 remodeling project at Garza Funeral Home at 1702 East Harrison Ave.

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Guardian: New Chancellor Impressed with UT-RGV Progress

The new chancellor of the University of Texas System, William H. McRaven, visited South Texas last Wednesday to see how the new UT-Rio Grande Valley is shaping up.

He met privately with administrators, faculty, staff and student leaders at UT-Pan American in Edinburg, UT-Brownsville in Brownsville, and the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen.

Afterwards, McRaven issued a statement about the visit. In it he said everything is on schedule for the launch of UTRGV. Here is McRaven’s statement in full:

This week I traveled to Brownsville, Edinburg and Harlingen for a series of very enlightening meetings with administrative, faculty, staff and student leaders of the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, including its medical school. I was awestruck by the exceptional quality, speed and extraordinary diligence and detail with which the institution is taking shape, as well as the cohesiveness and determination of all involved to open the doors of what may be the nation’s second largest Hispanic-serving institution, only seven months from now.

Having had the opportunity to see this great work in progress, I must pause and offer sincere thanks to the Texas Legislature, the UT System Board of Regents, Chancellor Cigarroa and the entire South Texas community for their vision and foresight to do something so grand and unprecedented for Texas and the nation. When one thinks of the potential of this institution to transform lives, the outcomes will be immeasurable and will have impact in ways that we cannot even begin to fathom.

I am pleased to announce that everything is on schedule. UTRGV will open on time for the 2015 fall semester, and all new students as well as those currently enrolled at UT Pan American and UT Brownsville will be able to enroll in UTRGV as planned. We remain focused on completing an orderly windup of affairs of UTPA and UTB and look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of these two great institutions.

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