South Texas Manufacturers Association
25th Anniversary Celebration
STMA members and invited guests will be attending a 25th Anniversary celebration on October 19 that will celebrate the past, present, and future of the industry.
Our event will recognize numerous manufacturers who have facilities that have been open in this region for 25 years or more, which demonstrates that there are still good jobs and careers available in our region in manufacturing. We will also recognize some of the early maquila pioneers in the region, who have also been open for more than 25 years.
Our keynote address will be provided by Brian Daniel, Executive Director of the Texas Governor’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism. We have invited our region’s U.S. Congressmen to attend, as well as representatives from Tamaulipas. There will be a cocktail hour, dinner, and live music.
In 1992 a group of industry leaders gathered at McAllen Economic Development Corporation at a meeting hosted by the late Mike Allen and Keith Patridge. The South Texas Apparel Manufacturers Association had recently disbanded after operating for two years in the RGV as a regional organization.
The consensus of the industry leaders at this meeting was that an independent trade association that was focused on the entire RGV manufacturing industry was needed, especially with the advent of the maquiladora industry and the types of manufacturers that were beginning to relocate to the RGV. At this meeting, the South Texas Manufacturers Association was formed, with a great deal of support from MEDC over the subsequent years.
Today, with the growth of manufacturing in Mexico, the industry in the RGV has evolved. Most of our manufacturers now use high-tech machinery and advanced manufacturing processes to support the large assembly plants in Mexico by manufacturing components and using processes such as Plastic Injection Molding, Metal Stamping, Thermoforming, CNC Machining, Corrugation, Powder Coating, Plating, Tool & Die Repair, and other highly specialized types of manufacturing. We also have a wide range of companies serving the domestic market in Food Processing, Aerospace, and other sectors.
The low-skilled manufacturing jobs of yesterday have mostly been exported to low wage countries or replaced by technology. Advanced manufacturing jobs of today require well-educated people with strong technical skills.
Today, STMA is a regional organization with 176 member-companies- over 90 Manufacturers- and a mix of Transportation, Logistics, Industrial Suppliers, Recyclers, Produce Distributors, Educational institutions, Economic Development Corporations, Banks, Hotels, Staffing Agencies, and other Service Providers who know part of their success depends on a strong manufacturing industry.
While public perception is that there are few manufacturing jobs left in the USA, the fact is that over 12 million people in the USA still work in Manufacturing, and 875,000 are in Texas.