Jorge and his family immigrated from Cuba through Spain to the U.S. in 1974 after a long and difficult process. He arrived in the U.S. when he was 12. Despite having very limited resources, Jorge and his family were ecstatic to be in the U.S., a country that his family knew would offer freedom and opportunity for those that were willing to work hard. He and his family experienced the American dream. He learned about hard work and perseverance from his parents, who risked everything in search of a better life for their family. His parents attended night school to learn English and eventually both got their GEDs. Those lessons stayed with Jorge.
Jorge started the 7th grade without being able to speak a word of English. He quickly learned English, but it was his ability in mathematics that was the ultimate equalizer. He progressed through school and eventually to the University of Texas where he earned an engineering degree.
Family is everything to Jorge. He met his wife, Elsa, in college and they have been together ever since, raising three sons. They now also have daughters-in-law, one grandson, and another on the way.
Jorge's TxDOT career started as a summer employee in the Pharr District back in 1983 working in the survey crew and as a Construction Inspector. He started full time employment in June of 1984 at the Dallas District (Collin County Area office). There he worked in construction inspection and roadway design. In 1985, he transferred to the Pharr District where he worked in roadway and bridge design and construction project management until becoming Area Engineer in 1993.
He became District Engineer in January 2002 in the Pharr district. He served as the Pharr DE from 2002 to 2013 and then subsequently as San Antonio DE from 2013 to the present. In Pharr, under his leadership, the district completed the expansion and subsequent designation of over 100 miles of interstate system on I-2 and US 69, along with multiple international projects. In San Antonio, the project delivery portfolio included major project expansions on US 281, I-10 West and East, I-35 NEX, LP 1604 North and South, Energy sector project delivery program, and other initiatives with local partners and stakeholders.
In all three districts, Jorge said he was thankful to work with and lead outstanding teams of sharp, motivated, and dedicated employees. At every step of his career from a summer employee to District Engineer, his approach has always been the same: "I worked hard to earn the respect of all those who I worked with." He never worried about his title because he knew that the only way to be successful was to establish a strong sense of teamwork.
As District Engineer, Jorge worked for five Executive Directors (Mike Behrens, Amadeo Saenz, Phil Wilson, General Webber, and James Bass) and many Transportation Commissioners, all of whom he gives credit to for their support and guidance.