The Manufacturing Reshoring initiative for South Texas was formally launched at an event hosted by The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) this past January.
The initiative was developed by a consortium that includes UTRGV, the United States Mexico Foundation for Science (USMFS), McAllen Economic Development Corporation (MEDC); I-Dream4D and The Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC).
Funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration EDA is financing this project which seeks to identify and promote the growth of existing regional suppliers in South Texas and North Mexico to attract new investment and fill gaps in the supply chain.
Keith Patridge, President and CEO of MEDC and Chairman of the Board of USMFS believes this initiative will encourage the growth of existing suppliers in that region which will lead to job creation, commercial expansion and increased productivity of companies.
One of the main barriers for foreign manufacturers to establish operations in the region is the difficulty in identifying available suppliers who can supply parts and raw materials with the desired quality or in the required quantity and at the same time, desired cost level to maintain its global business competitiveness.
At the launch event, Patridge explained that one goal of this project is to support companies interested in moving their manufacturing to North America and the South Texas border region. The data collection phase will also help to identify the training programs that the local workforce will need.
For his part, David Ortiz, Regional Director of TMAC at UTRGV, explained that this project will be carried out in several phases. In Phase one, the team will perform a detailed asset mapping of the South Texas border region with a focus on small and medium manufacturers, collecting data on machines, technicians, products, raw materials, processes and capacity.
The data collected will indicate the trends and processes needed to help the region become competitive and develop a supplier training program to prepare small manufacturers and help them qualify as a supplier to a selected industry sector as well as prepare them for certification and trade compliance.
Eugenio Marín, CEO of USMFS in Mexico, highlighted the importance of working together to strengthen competitiveness on both sides of the border and build resilience in the supply chain. He pointed out that these opportunities are mainly in industries such as electronics, home appliances, aerospace, automotive, military equipment and medical devices.