Linking Technology and Higher Education with the Private Sector

Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century. 

I was deeply honored to be recognized as a Champion of Change on July 6. It was particularly gratifying for me as well as my counterparts from rural America to have the President of the United States visit with us during our roundtable discussion.

In keeping with President Obama’s historic steps to lay the foundation for the innovation economy of the future, it has been my privilege to lead an initiative to develop a Technopolis Village that will leverage and link technology innovators and the resources of higher educational institutions with the private sector to create a technology cluster in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

As the founder and president of the Texas Valley Communities Foundation, I applaud the Obama Administration for championing increased broadband access as a key input for rural economic development in our community. Broadband access has allowed our organization to move forward with plans to develop a polytechnic institution, an innovation science park, incubator facilities and other multi-use space in the Technopolis Village.

The end result of this initiative will be to foster job creation and business growth that spans the local and regional economy.

Roland Arriola holds a doctor of education degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. He was elected as the first Hispanic Mayor of Waco, Texas in 1982.

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