On a Mission to Transform


A steel manufacturer.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Small Business Development Center. The largest padel and pickleball club in Texas.

Ten new Center for Education and Economic Development (CEED) Building tenants. A social media marketing firm with a 25-year-old CEO and app developers. Olive Garden, I-HOP, Schlotzsky’s, Starbucks, and more new restaurants, stores, and small businesses are opening in Mission than ever before.

First-year anniversary hyperbole? No. Flat out no.

In the last 12 months, Mission’s business landscape has been transformed with a diverse group of new firms, local expansions, and the addition of federal inspection facilities at the Anzalduas International Bridge – which will allow commercial cargo to traverse the Rio Grande.

The Mission Economic Development Corporation has created jobs and investment opportunities while enhancing the local workforce.

And it’s only the beginning.

It’s been about a year since the Mission EDC board of directors offered me the opportunity to become chief executive officer. I am honored with the chance to lead a heck of an organization and the CEED. This 55,000-square-foot building serves as a unique coworking space and business incubator with a food park, microbrewery, and coffee shop.

With the leadership and vision of the board led by President Richard Hernandez and Mission Mayor Norie Gonzalez Garza, the Mission EDC has accomplished much in the last year. The Mission EDC’s 14-member team has been efficient and ardent. It is implementing a strategic plan to create more job opportunities for investment and enhance the workforce.

The Mission EDC is a 4B corporation and serves as the city’s job creation arm. But it’s much more thann that. The MEDC assists local small businesses through the Ruby Red Ventures and Downtown Assistance programs and learning workshops at the CEED. Additionally, dozens of community organizations have received financial and in-kind assistance from the MEDC.

Still, at its core is job and investment creation. The MEDC has used all the tools to recruit new projects for Mission and support the expansion of existing businesses in the city. For example, in the last year, the EDC has announced:

  • Bettcher Manufacturing (metal): moves HQ to Mission, brings 60 new jobs
  • Olive Garden Restaurant: $7 million investment, 50 new jobs
  • RGV Padel Club: to build a $2.7 million sports facility, the largest of its kind in Texas
  • Shary Town Plaza: a $7 million shopping center with Dunkin’ as a tenant
  • RODCO Steel Distributors: $9.5 million logistics facility, 20 new jobs
  • Mission Gateway retail center project: Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply and Burlington stores

These projects and many more also expand the city’s tax base and provide more funding that the city can leverage to give residents more police, parks, and pools. Increased sales taxes from retail stores and restaurants also provide significant funding for the city and Mission EDC. Meanwhile, the city has added about 1,000 new jobs in the last 12 months and it collected $25.3 million in retail sales taxes in FY23 – a record high.

The EDC has also been able to help Mission with policy and legislative advocacy in Austin and Washington by working with partners in groups like the Border Trade Alliance, NASCO, and Rio Grande Valley Partnership. Moreover, the EDC has begun working to market the city and expanded the bridge in Mexico to lure more traffic and investment to the area.

A lot has taken place and has been accomplished in the first year. That is for sure. But as I have mentioned, it’s only the beginning for Mission. We have unfinished business. We hope Year 2 can only be so good. #YourMissionStartsHere

Teclo Garcia