IGNITE Hidalgo County
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD OPEN NOW! (until Sept. 7, 2010 at 5 p.m.) Click here to comment
The IGNITE Hidalgo County initiative
was launched in Summer 2007 to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen the regional economy. Spearheaded by the Hidalgo County Judge's Office and supported wholeheartedly by the Hidalgo County Commissioners' Court, Hidalgo County applied for a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration to develop an asset map and Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.
Asset mapping identifies the assets a region has, whether they are human, intellectual, financial, physical or instutional, and serves as a starting point for comparison to other regions. An asset map can help leaders identify gaps and understand networks and cultural attitudes. It gives all users -- such as economic development planners, educational institutions, non-profits, local communities, and our federal and state legislators -- a baseline to judge future progress and provides a base for strategic planning.
The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (referred to as a CEDS) analyzes the regional economy and serves as a guide for establishing regional goals and objectives, developing and implementing a regional plan of action and identifying investment priorities and funding sources. A CEDS sets forth a strategy necessary to solve the economic development challenges of the region, clearly defines the metrics of success and provides a useful benchmark by which the regional economy can evaluate opportunities with other regions in the national economy.
In October 2008, Hidalgo County put out a request for proposals/qualifications for a researcher to conduct the asset mapping and CEDS. Hidalgo County was proud to award our fine local institution of the University of Texas-Pan American with the contract in February 2009. Work began on the project in April 2009.
Come February 2010, Hidalgo County hosted the IGNITE Community Summit at UTPA. People were invited to give feedback on a variety of findings live at the event via electronic polling devices or on the web. The purpose of the event was to garner public feedback to be included in the county’s 5-year Economic Development Strategic Plan.
The polling questions, which were developed by researchers from the Center for Community Engagement at UTPA, economic development consultants and a team from the Hidalgo County Judge’s Office, were based on the findings from the asset mapping process and various public meetings conducted in the county. About 80 responses were collected and analyzed from the event. Additional polling was also conducted at health care and business forums. Comment forms were distributed so people could elaborate on what moved them.
Today, the draft end product, titled
"Ignite Hidalgo County: A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Hidalgo County 2011-2015,"
is ready for public comment. Public comment will be accepted through Sept. 7, 2010 at 5 p.m.
Public review of the document can be done by visiting the Hidalgo County Judge's Office at 100 E. Cano, 2nd Floor in Edinburg, Texas or the University of Texas Pan-American International Trade and Technology Building, Room 1.404K. The document can also be downloaded
. Or visit the project's
Written comments are encouraged and will be incorporated into the document where applicable.
Fill out this online form
or send an email to
. Comments can also be faxed to (956) 318-2699 or mailed/dropped off at the Hidalgo County Judge's Office, located at 100 E. Cano, Edinburg, TX 78539.
The Hidalgo County IGNITE committee thanks you for your participation!