MERCEDES, Texas – Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension is launching its first government contracting academy called B.I.D. (Business in Development) in the Rio Grande Valley.

The 7-week curriculum-based B.I.D. Academy will focus on increasing the knowledge and skills necessary to compete and win state government contracts with the State of Texas HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) certification.

The program has been developed by the Community and Economic Development (CED) Unit of the Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University. It is aimed at limited-resource communities.

“In many instances, limited-resource clients are first-generation business owners who may lack the training and knowledge necessary to market, bid, and win state/county contracts,” said CED Willacy County Agent Megan Rodriguez.

CED Hidalgo County Agent Rina Castillo told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service: “There are over 200 state agencies in Texas and all of them, including universities, are required to make a good-faith effort to include HUB certified vendors in their procurement opportunities.”

Castillo added: “That is why the B.I.D. Academy is so important for small businesses to get the necessary knowledge on how to get HUB certified and how to use their new HUB certification.”

The B.I.D. Academy will kick off Wednesday, May 4 at the First National Bank in Mercedes Texas. The program is 7 weeks, every Wednesday from 6-7:30 PM and will end Wednesday June 15 with a graduation/mixer.  

“The Academy will be hybrid, starting with an in person following with virtual classes and ending with 3 in person classes. Upon program completion, participants became certified by The Community & Economic Development Unit of the Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University and included on their exclusive list of trained vendors as well as free business marketing through their various multimedia outlets and network of State purchasers,” Castillo said.

“Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Everyone is welcome to attend.”

Editor’s Note: To sign up for the 2022 B.I.D. Academy go to:

Editor’s Note: If you have any questions about the B.I.D. Academy contact Rina Castillo 956-383-1026 or Megan Rodriguez 956-689-2412.

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