BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The executive director of the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation says a huge jobs fair she organized last month was one of the highlights of her career.

Helen Ramirez noted that the event, titled Careers and Coffee, was the largest of its type ever held in the Rio Grande Valley. It featured more than 1,500 job opportunities with various organizations, including the City of Brownsville, SpaceX, DHR Health, SteelCoast, Southwest Key, and National Electric Coil.

“This event, which was held June 28, was probably one of the highlights of my career, ever. I have had a long career in public and private industry, over 20 years. And I would say it was a celebration of community,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez, pictured above, is also deputy city manager for the City of Brownsville. She made her remarks at a recent luncheon hosted by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, the City of Brownsville and GBIC. It was titled the BTX Developers Event. 

Speaking abut the careers expo, Ramirez said: “We have a lot of talent here in Brownsville. But, there is also a lot of brain drain where we have students, talented engineering students, aerospace, astrophysicists, go to Austin and San Antonio and Houston for jobs.”

To fight the brain drain, the organizers of Coffee and Careers, targeted some of the large metro areas in Texas.

“We had commercials running specifically in hotels by Vimeo and we really targeted a lot of our great universities that we have in Texas. And many just came out, many were registered, and also we gave free resources,” Ramirez said.

“The great thing about this event, we started at 7:45 in the morning and we did not end until the last person was interviewed and 7:30 p.m. That speaks to… many career expos, if you have been to one, they are formal, they can be very in-personable. This career expo was just, you are going to get interviewed, if you want an interview, you are going to get considered. You can actually speak to some of these large companies.”

Ramirez cited DHR Health Brownsville, which is looking to hire around 300 people by the end of the year. She also referenced SpaceX, which generated a huge level of interest from jobs seekers at the expo, and Steel Coast. 

“The talent is here and to have so many people say, we want to live, work, we want to come back to Brownsville, or we just want to have a different life (was gratifying),” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said some people are tired of one hour traffic commutes on the LA freeways. Why would they want that when they can enjoy everything Brownsville has to offer, she asked.

“Why would I do that? I have this beautiful community, a beach 20 minutes away. I can have it all. I can have quality of life, I can have career and I can be near family and near an international border. I think that is a lot of the quality of life that we see (in Brownsville),” Ramirez said.

Editor’s Note: The above podcast is the fifth in a five-part series on the recent BTX Developers Event. Click here for Part One, featuring Constanza Miner, Brownsville’s retail and redevelopment manager. Click here for Part Two, featuring Brownsville City Manager Noel Bernal. Click here for Part Three, featuring Spaced Venturs founder Brant Arseneau. Click here for Part Four, featuring Brownsville Community Improvements Corporation executive director, Josh Mejia.

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