The Donna City Council and Economic Development board adopted the economic development strategy formed with support from Advent GX. The Advent GX Strategy Deployment Process (ASD) engaged various stakeholder groups over the course of the Phase 1 Strategy Development project in order to define community priorities and identify best developmental opportunities.
The process results in a set of prioritized projects or functions of the overall strategy, as well as a project implementation timeline and budget. The top five community priorities as defined through the strategy are:
Commercial Traffic on the Bridge
Attract New Businesses
To review specific approaches, timeline and project budget, click below to download the full public report.
Advent GX Interns and local volunteers hit the streets of Donna earlier this week to encourage community members to participate in the community workshop. The community heeded the call, with more than 100 local citizens sharing their ideas for what will help Donna grow in the next 3-5 years.
High school students from Donna encourage citizens to participate in a workshop to plan for the city’s future.
Using the Nominal Group Technique, Advent GX facilitators used a two-hour workshop to capture and prioritize community needs. Participants were asked to respond to one simple question.
“What are the top two needs or most important concerns that must be addressed in order for you (your business or organization) to prosper the most in the next 2-5 years?”
Gathered in the Simon Sauceda Performing Arts Complex, participants used note pads, and stickers to capture, post and prioritized responses. The turnout at the events was most encouraging, letting local leadership and Advent GX know that the citizens of Donna is ready to participate in building the future.
More than 100 citizens heeded the call to contribute their ideas to the plans for the future of Donna.
Next, Advent GX will process all of the input and prepare for the next workshop that will focus on strategies for achieving some of the objectives identified during the initial workshop and through research into best opportunities for the community.
Any Donna citizens who were unable to participate in the workshop can still share their ideas through our online feedback form. To read local news coverage about the workshop, visit the article in The Monitor.
City of Donna leaders, including Mayor David Simmons and City Councilwoman Sonia Gallegos, together with Advent GX Managing Partner JD Salinas III, hosted a meeting with Judith A. Canales, acting Deputy Under Secretary for US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, and USDA Regional Representative Roel Gomez. This week’s meeting followed a briefing with USDA State Director Paco Valentin who facilitated the meeting with Canales.
Advent GX Managing Partner JD Salinas III met with Donna leaders and USDA Under Secretary Judith Canales to discuss the city’s development plans.
These meetings provided the opportunity for city leaders and Advent GX to brief Ms. Canales on the recent activity in Donna and the planned process already underway to move the city into a better economic position. The Under Secretary graciously offered advice to the group and shared ideas on how Donna might save money and compete for future funding support for specific projects.
Some of the topics of discussion included improving the potential for heritage tourism, using the local Donna history to enhance economic development, and providing funding for infrastructure. Mayor Simmons expressed his thoughts on trying to obtain commercial traffic on the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge but said that he wants to take a comprehensive approach to generating economic activity in the City of Donna.
Advent GX will continue to facilitate briefing sessions with state and local entities as part of an ongoing effort to update stakeholders on the progression of Donna.
We are grateful to the Monitor for helping get the word out about the Donna Economic Development Initiative. The Strategy Deployment process is just getting underway. We are learning a lot and already seeing great opportunities in Donna.