UTSA to assist Tabasco, Mexico with disaster preparedness

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At signing of memorandum of understanding are (from left) Cliff Paredes (IED), Al Salgado (Small Business Development Center), Luis Andres Dominguez Alejandro (UPGM) and Bob McKinley (IED)

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By Amy Dalrymple
Communications Coordinator, Institute for Economic Development

(Oct. 24, 2012) -- The UTSA Institute of Economic Development has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Universidad Politecnica del Golfo de Mexico (UPGM) to develop training programs to help the Mexican state of Tabasco develop disaster preparedness programs. The universities will begin collaborating this month.

In 2007, natural flooding struck the Mexican state of Tabasco. Approximately 80 percent of Tabasco was under water and more than one million residents were affected. According to UPGM President Luis Andres Dominguez Alejandro, it "…was the worst disaster Tabasco has ever seen."

Officials in Tabasco realized that they were not ready to respond to something of this magnitude. As a result, communications began with UTSA and small business development centers from Florida and Mississippi to develop a disaster preparedness and assistance program to satisfy the needs of and support the local community.

The MOU outlines how UTSA and UPGM will create quality training programs including two certificate training programs focusing on disaster preparedness best practices and assistance services.

The program was authorized by UPGM through funds from El Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).