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Rio Grande City hosts summit to discuss future planning

Rio Grande City. (Source: KGBT Photo)

It’s been almost two decades since Rio Grande City has developed a strategic plan for the city.

"It was back in the mid 90's when we first had the real 2020 plan," said Rio Grande City Mayor, Joel Villarreal.

On Saturday morning, ideas were thrown around at a summit on what the city is lacking.

"So I think we are just at the beginning. This is the foundation for the conversation and hopefully we will now start getting into the weeds to discuss how we can actually implement tactical steps to achieve the desired result," said Ruben Ramos with BBVA Bank Community Relation.

In an area that has struggled with unemployment and tight budgets, every idea on how to improve jobs, education and finances is welcomed.

Saturday's summit is primarily focused on economic and transportation growth.

"Of course, with investments you are looking at traditional retail, commercial industry and moving forward, education," said Villarreal.

A key topic of discussion was education and making sure students learn all the options available to them to benefit the community.

Currently, careers in the government and health care industries are the top jobs in the county.

"One of the things that's happening is with the retirement of the baby boomers, there is going to be a lot of gaps, especially the skill trades. So that's an area that now school districts are starting to target with career and technical education," said Workforce Solutions CEO, Frank Almaraz.

Almarez recommended the city advertise things they prosper in like low crime rates and cost of living to attract more businesses.

The city hopes to hold more summits in the future. Residents with ideas or concerns are asked to contact the city.

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