The Rio Grande Valley is known for its strong sense of camaraderie and closeness. Each business, city, and individual helps contribute to strengthening one of the region’s most significant assets: its people. However, the famous saying, “no man is an island,” also applies to the region.
As strong as the sense of community is, it does not do the people or region any good if it is isolated from most of the world. Many may say the Valley is not as well known as it could be.
COSTEP’s Board of Directors and Management saw the potential the area offers and has set out to raise awareness and further widen the region’s reach.
On Sept. 1, both COSTEP’S Vice President of Economic Development Matt Ruszczak and Senior Vice President of Business Development Adam Gonzalez flew to Munich, Germany, to attend the IAA Mobility 2021 tradeshow. Recently, they attended the North American Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Expo in Novi, Michigan, with further plans of traveling to Pontiac, Michigan, to attend the North American International Automobile Show’s Motor Bella event.
The main goal COSTEP wants to achieve is increasing awareness of the region and hopefully attracting more domestic and international mobility industry manufacturers to invest in the area. The trade shows also serve as a fact-finding undertaking for Ruszczak and Gonzalez that will help them to not only garner knowledge about current and upcoming industry technology, but also learn which companies are looking to localize or expand their operations.
“One of the challenges that our region has is not the value it has to offer but the fact that it may not be well-known,” Ruszczak said. “So one of the things we are excited for is to tell the story to our new contacts and really engage actively in promoting our region to a new audience.”
Another excitement for the team? Having front-row seats to a changing industry.
“We’re getting all these different angles and learning which direction the mobility industry is going to head to next,” Ruszczak said. “So it’s not just exciting to learn about how things are going to be changing, but the fact we’re going to get to be on the cutting edge of that knowledge. And with any industry that changes, this always creates opportunity.”
Gonzalez says that COSTEP’s efforts have been going well.
“We have been talking to a lot of people,” he said. “It’s not just cars, trucks, and trains. … It’s very interesting to see the direction where it is all headed. It is becoming clear that in order to supply the necessary workforce, the region’s colleges and universities cannot just focus on the current demands, but also need to focus on future skills requirements in the advanced technology area and the STEM field. I think there will be a lot of opportunities for our region.”
More information can be found on COSTEP’s social media (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) and on their website, www.costep.org.