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President Dr. Ricardo J. Solis promises a college that will be ever engaged with the community

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STC President Dr. Ricardo J. Solis addresses students, staff, and faculty at the college’s Pecan Campus Sept 20. Pledging to work even closer with economic development and workforce partners, Solis said among the earliest items on his presidential agenda include improving, being innovative, and providing the best education while focusing on health and technology. STC Image

Texas Border Business

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McALLEN, TX – Education is the region’s ultimate competitive advantage, according to South Texas College President Dr. Ricardo J. Solis.  

Pledging to work even closer with economic development and workforce partners, Solis said among the earliest items on his presidential agenda is providing the best education, focused on health and technology. 

Solis addressed a packed house during the latest leg of a Presidential Welcome Tour that has him visiting all STC campuses and addressing students, faculty, and community stakeholders.

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The latest tour had Solis speaking at Pecan Campus, and then at a luncheon with trustees as well as leaders from local school districts, Hidalgo County, chambers of commerce, and the local business community. 

“We have a very unique college. We are the largest institution of higher education in south Texas due to our rapid growth in just over 25 years,” Solis told attendees at the luncheon. “I very much look forward to working with all of you in moving our mission forward. We are tasked with providing the best programs in workforce and academics.

“Now that we are seeing the emergence from the pandemic, as well as changes in the economy, it necessitates that we move and innovate even faster to different platforms,” Solis said. “What better place to offer these things than the Valley.” 

In attendance at the luncheon were City of Mission Mayor Dr. Armando O’Caña, McAllen ISD Board Vice President Tony Forina, La Joya Board Trustee Alex Cantu, Hidalgo ISD trustee Ben Arjona, McAllen City Commissioner District 6 Jose R. “Pepe” Cabeza de Vaca, McAllen Commissioner District 3 Omar Quintanilla, Hidalgo County Pct. 3 Commissioner Everardo Villarreal, and representatives from Hidalgo County Pct. 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres.

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STC Trustees present included Mrs. Victoria Cantu, Board Secretary, and board members Gary Gurwitz, Paul R. Rodriguez, and Danny Guzman.

“I believe Dr. Solis is very centered on people…and this is one of the greatest dispositions I feel a leader can have,” said Ana Gonzalez, Executive Director of Teach for America who was present at the luncheon. “I believe we are a diverse group of stakeholders working together on a common purpose, and this is why STC has been very dear to my heart from my time at ISDs and watching the early college high school work.

“STC has been about its students, its families, and the needs of the community,” Gonzalez said. “I invite Dr. Solis to that continued work knowing that he arrives with that disposition.”   

At the luncheon with stakeholders, Dr. Solis emphasized his background in economic development to outline his plan that will combine technology and health to grow local economies.

At its roots, economic development is about setting up those conditions to improve growth and quality of life for communities, according to Dr. Solis.

Drawing upon experience in international trade, from international bridges to industrial parks in diverse regions including Mexico, South America, China and finally the Rio Grande Valley, Solis said it’s the community colleges that are now perfectly positioned to provide the next generation of skills providers in the nation.

“Dr. (Ricardo) Solis is the right person to regain that momentum that was delayed because of the pandemic, and who will get us back to where we were and lead us on to bigger and better things,” Trustee Gurwitz said at the luncheon. “We are looking forward to him leading us in that direction.”

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