AUSTIN, Texas – 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 $300,000 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, it expanded to include a South Texas campus in Harlingen. In 1969, the College separated from Texas A&M and became an independent technical college system. Today, TSTC has 11 campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Ingleside, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater, Waco and Williamson County.

Click here to watch a video of Mayor Boswell at the TSTC 50th Anniversary Gala. The video was filmed and edited by video journalist Carl Lindemann. He can be reached at