UTSA-led Alamo Manufacturing Partnership gains new resources to cultivate local investment
By Joanna Carver
San Antonio’s eight-county manufacturing community, The Alamo Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), led by The University of Texas at San Antonio, was among 12 communities that have received designation under the Obama Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative.
Since 1979, the UTSA Institute for Economic Development has worked to create jobs, grow businesses and foster economic development. Through the institute, small businesses in San Antonio are given new opportunities to grow, expand and strengthen the local community. Minority business leaders are fostered through the institute’s Minority Business Development Agency.
“The significance of the IMCP designation by the US Department of Commerce is a testament to the economic growth experienced in the south Texas region by the manufacturing sector. The AMP partnership demonstrates that strategic alliances are important tools for economic development,” said Robert McKinley, UTSA Senior Associate Vice President for Economic Development. “The combination of industry, education, and economic development organizations are valuable assets for the growth of manufacturing sector investment in the Alamo region.”
The Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems (CAMLS) also calls UTSA home. There, research and development is conducted in state-of-the-art laboratories while students receive education and training in lean manufacturing, logistics engineering, warehouse systems, automation technologies and advanced sensors and robotics.
“As a faculty member of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems (CAMLS) and mechanical engineering department at UTSA, I am thrilled about the new designation of San Antonio as a manufacturing community,” said Krystel Castillo, GreenStar Endowed Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “This designation might allow us to access federal funds to conduct research in advanced, integrated and sustainable manufacturing to strengthen San Antonio’s economy. Enhancing and facilitating access to workforce training and education will serve as a response to the rapid growth of San Antonio’s manufacturing base.”
With the new designation, San Antonio will receive coordinated support for its strategies from eleven federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, and Department of Housing and Urban Development, with more than $1 billion available in federal economic development assistance.
The communities also will receive a dedicated federal liaison at each of these agencies who will help them navigate available federal resources and will be recognized on a government website, accessible to prospective private foreign and domestic investors, who are looking for information on the communities’ competitive attributes.