AEP Foundation Awards VIDA $25,000 to Promote Economic Mobility in the RGV through Job Training

Mercedes, Texas (Jan. 23, 2024)—Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement (VIDA) is honored to be a grant recipient of The American Electric Power Foundation. This significant contribution empowers VIDA to broaden its impact, sustaining crucial initiatives in assisting low-income residents of the Rio Grande Valley to achieve economic mobility through job training.

The AEP Foundation grant recognizes the pivotal role of community organizations in fostering positive change. It focuses on addressing socio-economic challenges and creating pathways for job training and economic advancement for low-income adults. This funding significantly contributes to strengthening our community’s economic resilience and providing quality job training opportunities for residents facing financial challenges.

“We are grateful for the AEP Foundation’s support, which not only strengthens our efforts in workforce and economic development, but also resonates with our commitment to addressing basic needs for education completion. This grant will allow VIDA to continue providing the essential wraparound support services for building and sustaining a competitive workforce in the RGV. Thank you, AEP Foundation, for recognizing the importance of investing in human capital to promote economic prosperity  across region”, said Felida Villarreal, VIDA’s President & CEO.

This grant is a vital financial support, showcasing the impactful results when individuals and organizations unite to address key community challenges. VIDA expresses heartfelt appreciation to The American Electric Power Foundation for their unwavering belief in VIDA’s mission.

About Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement:

For over 28 years, VIDA has helped more than 6,000 economically disadvantaged valley residents successfully complete career training programs in high demand occupations and achieve self-sufficiency. In 2023, VIDA served 627 participants with an average persistence rate of 96%. Participants entered VIDA’s program earning an average hourly wage of $10.54, but graduated and secured employment with an average hourly wage of over $23.44! This is a true representation of human capital investment and aligning workforce skills with local industry demand. To learn more about VIDA, please visit or call (956) 903-1900.

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