BROWNSVILLE — The consensus of panelists at Friday’s U.S.-Mexico border manufacturing summit was that opportunities exist for the Rio Grande Valley to attract advanced manufacturing, as long as the challenges can be overcome.
Topping the list of challenges is the lack of a local workforce with the technical and vocational training necessary to lure companies here — not a new complaint by any means. Nonetheless, changes in how supply chains are managed and other economic shifts stand to position Brownsville and the region well.
U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, and Rio Grande Valley Partnership President and CEO Sergio Contreras hosted the event, dubbed “Future Opportunities and Challenges for Manufacturing on the U.S.-Mexico Border” and held on the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley campus in Brownsville.
On hand were dozens of representatives from U.S. and international manufacturing firms, economic development organization officials and others. Two groups of panelists fielded questions from moderator Ron Garza, executive director of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council.