WESLACO, TEXAS – To celebrate its 30th Anniversary, RGV LEAD is hosting its inaugural “State of Education and Industry in the Rio Grande Valley” event in Weslaco next week.

The event takes place at Knapp Medical Conference Center between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Keynote speaker will be Adriana Cruz, executive director of economic development and tourism in the Office of the Texas Governor.

LEAD stands for Linking Economic and Academic Development. The group’s president, Lizzy de la Garza Putegnat, gave an exclusive video interview to the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service about the organization and the upcoming event. 

“RGV LEAD’s mission is to foster partnership between education and industry to equip students with college and career readiness to meet the region’s highly skilled workforce demands,” de la Garza Putegnat said.

“And thanks to the our great board members in the past, thanks to our staff, our education partners and community partners, we’ve been able to foster these collaborations communication throughout the last 30 years with exciting programs and initiatives that really are preparing students with the tools and resources to succeed not only in college, but also in career and in their life.”


It was put to de la Garza Putegnat that RGV LEAD could be one of the Valley’s best kept secrets. She did not disagree.

“We did a strategic planning last year and one of our goals is to tell our story in a more effective manner. We do so much. We’ve got so many programs and I invite everyone to visit our website at rgvlead.org so you can see the wide plethora of programs that we have. But where we can improve is in telling our story.”

It is the intent of the RGV LEAD board to have more events and fundraisers to raise awareness of the group’s work, its president explained.

“Which leads me to one of the exciting events that we’re having October 5, at the Knapp Medical Conference Center. It’s our inaugural State of Education and Industry in the RGV,” de la Garza Putegnat said.

“We always we hear about the state of the cities, every city has their state of the city. We also hear about state of education. But, we haven’t heard of one where they combine education and industry and approach it in a regional level. And so we thought, you know what, this hasn’t been done before. If anyone’s going to lead this effort it should be RGV LEAD because that completely aligns with our mission.”

To purchase a ticket for the event, call 956-405-3091 or email [email protected]

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