by René Kladzyk, El Paso Matters
Daniella Perez, a 22-year-old waitress and UTEP student, lost her job when restaurants closed in mid-March as COVID-19 began spreading through El Paso. “Honestly I’m still kind of in shock. I can’t believe this whole thing. I have been trying to look for more income, but I’m scared because I live with my Mom,” Perez said. This first wave of COVID-19 job losses led more than 50,000 people in the El Paso area to file unemployment claims between March 1 and May 1, according to data from Workforce Solutions Borderplex.
Beginning in 2018, El Paso residents will be riding the rails again. Streetcars, once a staple in El Paso, will return. A $97 million grant from the Texas Transportation Commission and $4.5 million from the City of El Paso is funding the 4.8-mile route. The revamped streetcar system is an example of art becoming reality. A graduate thesis by City Council Representative, Peter Svarzbein, was the impetus for the project.
El Paso is unlike any other city in the nation with its unique cultural dynamic. The city’s arts and events bring thousands of visitors every year and more than $2 million in direct spending. In this TV-style news magazine, journalism students at the University of Texas at El Paso take a closer look at some of El Paso’s artists and how economic efforts are affecting the creative community. The show aired live on Google Hangouts on Air on May 29, 2015. The program was made possible by support from the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies, the UTEP Department of Communication and Borderzine.com
See the complete special report and featured stories here.
EL PASO – Political and community leaders on the U.S.-Mexico border are promoting improved college graduation rates as a key to future economic development in the region. The importance of increasing the number of college graduates to attract and fill high skill, high paying jobs was a big part of the discussion at the 2014 Border Legislative Conference Sept. 12 in El Paso. The conference brought together civic, political and business leaders from both sides of the border to talk about issues of trade, commerce, mobility and education. “There must be a push for higher education in order for the border region to succeed,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas.