MCALLEN, Texas – South Texas College and Universidad Tamaulipeca signed a partnership agreement that will provide more opportunities for Mexican students to take classes and earn certifications at STC. 

Representatives from both institutions were present at the signing ceremony, including Universidad Tamaulipeca President Oscar W. Aguilera Rodriguez and STC President Ricardo J. Solis, who both spoke about the momentous occasion. 

The ceremony was held at STC’s technology campus in South McAllen and students from Universidad Tamaulipeca were given a presentation of some of the advanced manufacturing equipment they would be using.

“This agreement fulfills many of our student’s dreams because it prepares them to be able to work in companies that require people that are well-trained,” said Aguilera Rodriguez in Spanish. “And, I believe that universities like STC can help us since STC is one of the colleges that has better preparation and better equipment. And, the truth is, with the disposition of the president to be able to open the doors and to offer us all the support, we will form very efficient people who are very prepared and will serve in the development of the City of Reynosa, the state and, of course, the whole country.”

Solis expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership and said it is just another example of how STC is leading the way in meeting the vocational needs of the region. 

“We look forward to continue this unique collaboration, which is going to be in high demand,” said Solis. “And, we’re at the forefront. South Texas College is working with not only the economic development entities of South Texas, but, most importantly, working where our demand is, and that is with the technical universities in Mexico.”

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) further solidifies the relationship between STC and Universidad Tamaulipeca, which was established in 2019 and limited to research and joint conferences. Now, manufacturing students from UT’s three campuses in Reynosa, Rio Bravo and Matamoros can participate in courses taught by STC faculty and train on advanced machinery. 

“The cohort is going to be training here with our facilities, our machines,” said Luisa F. Rodriguez, global market development coordinator for STC’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing. “So, it’s going to be awesome, and it’s going to be great for our region as a global entity.”

Carlos Margo, associate dean of industry training and economic development at STC, thanked the officials from Universidad Tamaulipeca who attended the ceremony and said their presence speaks volumes about the importance of the partnership. He said international programs like this strengthen STC and aid in the creation of even more opportunities for students.

“We’re broadening our reach, yes, and it’s helping us build capacity at the college, too,” said Margo. “The more we train, the more revenue we generate, the more we can put that revenue as a nonprofit college back into investments such as additional software, equipment [and] developing new programs. And, that’s the way we grow as a college.”

With the interest displayed so far, Margo estimates that between 20 to 25 students will make up the first cohort, though he said it is feasible that upwards of 50 students could enroll due to high demand in the industry. 

Carlos Martinez, instructor and training specialist at the STC Institute for Advanced Manufacturing, explained the need for highly-skilled manufacturing workers is so great, companies regularly poach employees from one another. He says extending opportunities to those across the border will alleviate some of the staffing issues and lead to richer exchanges.

“Right now, there is a high demand for students and especially graduates … not only here in the United States, but also in Mexico,” said Martinez. “…This initiative is going to be one of the best initiatives in a long time. …This interchange of technology between Tamaulipas and the Rio Grande Valley is going to be good.”

Solis said this international partnership is just the beginning for STC and pledged to continue seeking collaborations that will benefit the college, students and the local economy.  

“We are now being laser-focused on specific programs that we know there’s … an immediate demand and outcome for all students,” said Solis. “So, it’s a win-win for all of us. If Mexico grows, we grow as well along the border.”

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