Future of the Region South Texas

Held every two years since 1993, we seek to reach out to the leaders of South Texas to discuss issues and concerns that cut across this 47-county region.

Over the years we have achieved many successes that have come about as a result of new ways of thinking about issues and concerns relating to workforce development, investment, economic development, health care, education, and infrastructure development.


In shaping the future of South Texas, the primary objectives are:

  • Undertake a regional economic development platform for South Texas in collaboration with colleges and universities
  • Develop effective lines of communications with the Texas Legislature and local communities
  • Foster public-private initiatives for long term economic development
  • Enhance workforce training and education


Key issues of interest considered during the conferences:

  • Workforce Education and Training
  • Energy
  • Economic Development
  • Border Issues
  • Infrastructure - Water, Safety and Transportation
  • Health


Future of the Region South Texas comprises of all the counties from San Antonio to Del Rio, Eagle Pass to Laredo, Cotulla to Victoria, McAllen to Brownsville, and from Corpus Christi to Cuero.  I invite you to join FORST as a member and be part of the rich heritage – our members have reached the pinnacle of their careers be it by leading large organizations, starting a business, serving in government or holding elected offices – and together build a united and sustainable South Texas coalition of public and private partnerships engaged in economic, business and community development.


2019 FORST Event Flier

FORST 2019 Updated 12.21.2018


FORST 2019 Keynote Speaker


Julian Alvarez III

Commissioner Representing Labor

2016 - Present



Julian Alvarez III is the Commissioner Representing Labor of the Texas Workforce Commission. Gov. Greg Abbott reappointed him to the three-member Commission on March 7, 2017.  His Commission appointment expires February 1, 2023.

The Commissioner Representing Labor represents the interest of more than 13 million Texas workers with respect to TWC services and ensures that their concerns are considered in all Commission actions.

Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Alvarez served as president and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership fostering relationships and coordinating programs to advance regional economic development and employment opportunities. He also served as a Texas regional director for the U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson advising on legislative and policy issues related to South Texas. Prior to that, Alvarez served on the South Texas Drug Task Force as a state trooper for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). After his service with DPS, Alvarez inspired stewardship and leadership as the director of college information for Texas State Technical College in Harlingen.

Commissioner Alvarez had served on boards for:

  • Teach for America
  • Border Trade Advisory Committee
  • I-69 Alliance
  • RGV Lead
  • Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Texas State Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
  • UT Pan American President’s Circle.
  • North Harlingen Rotary
  • Texas Association of Sports Officials

Commissioner Alvarez earned a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Texas A&I University in Kingsville.


2019 Event Agenda

The 2019 agenda is here! Click this link to see the full event schedule.

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Sponsorships Available!

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Individual Tickets

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Past Speakers

These impactful men and women spoke at the Future of the Region South Texas 2016 Conference:

Live Oak County Texas Judge Jim Huff

Jim Huff

County Judge, Live Oak, TX


Omar Garcia

President, STEER


Melissa Del Bosque

Reporter, Texas Observer


David Blackmon

Oil & Gas Associate Editor, SHALE Magazine


Steve Taylor

Reporter, Rio Grande Guardian

Jennifer Hiller San Antonio Express News

Jennifer Hiller

Writer, S.A. Express News


Mike Sizemore

President and CEO, Sizemore Media & Consulting

FORSTX Headshots for Website - Glynis Strause

Glynis Holm Strause

Community Relations Advisor, ConocoPhillips

...plus many more great speakers!


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