By: Special to The Laredo Sun
The first-ever agreement between the two educational institutions will help foster academic collaborations for the benefit of the sister cities’ labor forces and the training needs of existing industries.
The partnership also will help promote the sister cities as a more viable and attractive option for potential industries in search of a quality workforce.
Heading the summit were Blas Castañeda, chief external affairs/economic development officer at LCC, and Marco Garza-Delgado, director de vinculación, UTNL.
“This partnership will help enhance the economic infrastructure of both cities by allowing LCC and UTNL to collaborate on educational endeavors that will support the creation of a world-class workforce in both communities,” Castañeda said.
Garza-Delgado added, “(The agreement) will allow each educational institution to showcase its strengths (through its programs of study) by reviewing existing educational programs that can be of immediate benefit to our sister cities, and by exploring the possibility of creating new educational programs for our border region.”
The summit led off with a series of short presentations by representatives of various colleges and workforce organizations, including Alamo Colleges, South Texas College, LCC, Coastal Bend College, UTNL, Asociación de Maquiladoras de Exportación de Nuevo Laredo, South Texas Workforce Solutions, Border Workforce Alliance and the Association of Laredo Forwarding Agents Inc., among others.
After the general session, participants disbursed into breakout sessions to discuss economic development and three areas of industry identified as being in high demand or emerging in the sister cities, including logistics (transportation), manufacturing and oil and gas production.
With input from the participants, event organizers were able to develop a “call-to-action” plan with a list of priorities for each of the summit’s four areas of focus.
Following the summit, LCC President Dr. Juan L. Maldonado and UTNL Rector Juan Leonardo Sánchez Cuéllar signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize the partnership between both institutions.
The signing ceremony was held in the Philip V Room of La Posada Hotel.