WESLACO, RGV – The Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco has listed the skill sets its next executive director must have.

A leader of the group will be needed by April 1, when current executive director Joey Treviño leaves the post.

The board of directors say the position requires a working knowledge of a Type A and/or Type B Economic Development Corporations. The board says the successful applicant must have a minimum of five years of experience in community and economic development in a senior management position with record of success in economic development projects.

Another requirement is that executive director must have political astuteness and knowledge of state and federal economic development agency programs. The successful applicant must also have a history of involvement in the community through business organizations or professional associations, civic clubs, nonprofit agencies, etc.

The board of directors also wants to find someone with experience in the field of economic development/planning, public administration, business administration, real estate or any other relevant area of advanced/professional study, or have equivalent economic development experience and familiarity with economic development incentives, negotiations, development agreement structures, etc.
Finally, the successful applicant must have excellent writing skills and experience in giving formal presentations to organized groups.

“The Executive Director will lead and manage the overall operations of the EDC under the guidance of the Board of Directors. The Executive Director will provide administrative and management of the EDC office and will oversee its staff,” an advertisement by the board of directors states.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, current resume, current salary and salary history, and work-related references including contact numbers by March 31, 2016. Resumes should be submitted to the EDC Search Committee, 275 South Kansas, Suite A, Weslaco, Texas 78596.

The advertisement states that finalists will complete a thorough interview and background investigation process to include verification of all credentials and experience. References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. Under Texas Public Information Act, all documents filed with the EDC are subject to public disclosure.

For further information regarding this position potential applicants are asked to contact Maria Cisneros, Administrative Assistant, The Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco, 275 South Kansas, Suite A, Weslaco, Texas 78596, or by telephone at (956) 969-0838 or [email protected]

At a recent retail shopping center conference held at TSTC in Harlingen, Treviño told the Rio Grande Guardian that he will stay on with Weslaco EDC until April 1. He said he wishes the Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco well in the future.

“The Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco serves as a catalyst in increasing economic wealth and growth in Weslaco by fostering a positive business environment, assisting and facilitating investment in business interests in Weslaco and by adding value to Weslaco’s tax base,” Treviño said.

“The EDC remains dedicated to the creation of jobs through the recruitment of new industry and helping existing companies relocate and/or expand to create jobs and add wealth to the city of Weslaco.”

Treviño said one of Weslaco’s recent success stories is the Sesa company, which is in the oil and gas industry. “They started five years ago with two employees and a small office in Weslaco. We sold them some property in our industrial park. When the owner, a Weslaco native, opened it last year he had 60 employees. Now he has 160 employees. That is the sort of success you can achieve in Weslaco.”

Treviño added that Weslaco is pro-business and the business, retail and education hub for more tan 100,000 people. “Investors are taking notice of the Weslaco Advantage.”

Treviño said that in order to help Weslaco attract more retail stores the EDC last year hired The Retail Coach company. “Part of their contract was to help existing retailers identify new trends and new marketing ideas.” Aaron Farmer, vice president of The Retail Coach, gave two presentations at the Business Visitor and Event Center on Thursday.

“I think there is an opportunity to get some destination-style retailers and destination-style restaurants here. Maybe an entertainment venue because of your central location in the Rio Grande Valley. You can pull people from each direction,” Farmer said in his presentation. “The goal is get people here and to get them to stay here.”

Farmer said Weslaco’s orbit extends out to include 184,000 people. They have an average household income of 41,000. The median age of the population is 29.2. “That is an asset,” Farmer said.

One area for concern is how much potential business leaves the Weslaco area, Farmer said. This is called leakage. He said that while Weslaco does $978,000 in retail sales, it “leaks” about $837,000.

“Are we ever going to capture all of that leakage? No. But if we can reduce it by 20 percent, that is our goal.”

Farmer said six cents of every dollar spent at big box retailers is recirculated in the local community. Twenty percent of every dollar spent at a chain store is recirculated in the local community. Sixty cents of every dollar spent with a sole proprietor or local business stays to recirculate in the local community.

“That is why we are putting a big emphasis on local business,” Farmer said.