The UHV Regional Partnership for Economic Prosperity began in September 1, 2016 as the Regional Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. In the Spring of 2019, the department name was changed to better reflect the services and work being performed.
In May of 2017, UHV received a grant from the Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration for renovation of UHV property at the Town Plaza location to provide offices and meeting space for PREP and for the Small Business Development Center.
The department began a collaboration with The Texas Rural Leadership Program in partnership with Texas A&M AgriLife and Texas A&M's Public Partnership and Outreach office.
The initial community and leadership project began with UHV RCEDE and TRLP working in DeWitt County with an outstanding group of DeWitt County residents to focus on challenges and opportunities focused on asset-based community development and the concept that every community member contributes skills, talents and connections. Assets include more than just money and infrastructure. Education and skills of residents, social connections, cultural heritage and traditions, political process, and environmental assets are equally important. This is an ongoing project.
The Regional Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship (RCEDE) was rebranded during the 2019 Fiscal year. The new name, Partnerships for Regional Economic Prosperity (PREP), reflects the goal of growing UHV regionally and increasing UHV brand awareness. PREP will concentrate on Victoria, Victoria County and the ten counties surrounding Victoria, and look for other opportunities in the contiguous counties UHV serves. PREP will emphasizes regional partnerships and collaboration, maximizing the resources of UHV faculty and promoting student engagements. PREP’s primary partnership will be UHV’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). PREP and the SBDC will be working together on outreach and collaboration efforts. Fiscal Year 2018 saw PREP and the SBDC complete a community development project in DeWitt County.