Regional News

Nov 2023

SATX360: The Multiplier Effect

Jenna Saucedo-Herrera


It has been an exciting and eventful month and several weeks in the San Antonio region as we announced one of our largest economic development wins of the last 20 years. It’s always fulfilling to finally announce a project because, in economic development, those positive headlines are oftentimes years in the making. While we celebrated a major wins this past month, we continue the work behind the scenes to build toward our next big, advanced manufacturing win.  

JCB, the world’s largest privately owned manufacturer of construction and agricultural equipment plans to establish its second North American manufacturing facility in San Antonio. It’s not a coincidence that JCB joins the likes of Toyota, Navistar, and Tesla in our broader mega-regional manufacturing ecosystem. With each investment in manufacturing, our region is strengthening and growing a supply chain of automotive and equipment parts manufacturers that stems all the way from Austin, through San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley, and into Mexico. That multiplier effect of advanced manufacturing is precisely why we invest in targeting that industry for growth and why JCB’s investment is projected to have a $30 billion economic impact over the next 10 years.  

To support our regional employers and to ensure that San Antonio remains competitive for future growth, our economic development strategy puts our people at the forefront. greater:SATX works with partners across the San Antonio region ensuring they have the workforce ready to fill the jobs they plan to hire in San Antonio. Continuous collaboration with training programs like Ready to Work and Texas FAME, along with the SAISD’s P-Tech School, propels the San Antonio region to the forefront of the manufacturing industry by fostering highly skilled workers. As we continue to further the implementation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Management (TPM), we will continue to unearth the specific needs of our manufacturing employers today and plan for their future workforce needs. 

And to continue elevating our San Antonio story globally, greater:SATX led delegations to Monterrey, Mexico and Seoul, South Korea. The productive missions met with more than 30 businesses within greater:SATX target sectors, as well as supported two regional higher education institutions in formalizing bi-national workforce partnerships that will continue to set San Antonio apart as a workforce development innovation hub. UTSA announced its first international dual degree program with Tecnológico de Monterrey, allowing students to take courses from both institutions and earn two degrees: a Master of Science in Information Technology degree with a concentration in cybersecurity from UTSA and a Master in Cybersecurity from Tec de Monterrey. Alamo Colleges announced its partnership with TecMilenio to train nurses from Mexico in San Antonio to help fill the needs of San Antonio-based healthcare institutions.   

The new jobs and big economic impact investments get headlines, as they should. JCB is going to be a tremendous addition to our community and will provide jobs to San Antonians that have the potential to provide pathways to economic mobility.  

Beyond the headlines, the momentum continues to build as we prepare our region for its even greater future.   


Greater together,  

Jenna Saucedo-Herrera 


Regional Highlights

Investor Spotlight: Jefferson Bank  

Jefferson Bank was established as a community bank right here in San Antonio over 75 years ago. Since then, the bank has expanded throughout the San Antonio region into New Braunfels, Boerne and most recently, Austin. Jefferson Bank remains committed to growth and innovation with its customers’ needs and satisfaction at the forefront of its most fundamental priorities. 

greater:SATX sat down with Jefferson Bank Vice President, Community Reinvestment Act Officer Estrellita Garcia-Diaz to find out more about this organization benefitting thousands of San Antonio residents. 

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Tell us a little bit about Jefferson Bank and their presence in the region. 

Jefferson Bank was established as a community bank right here in San Antonio over 75 years ago. Since then, we have expanded our presence to include New Braunfels, Boerne and most recently, Austin. Our expertise has also expanded to offer a comprehensive range of financial products and services, including personal banking, business banking, online banking, wealth management, insurance, trust, and mortgages. We remain committed to growth and innovation with our customers’ needs and satisfaction at the forefront of our most fundamental priorities. 

To ensure our customers have maximum access and flexibility, we provide various delivery channels and access points to our products, services, and team members. Supported by 13 banking centers within our footprint, our dedication to providing valuable resources and serving our community ensures that our customers can choose the most convenient, efficient, and secure way to conduct their banking business. We place a strong emphasis on meeting our customers’ needs where they are. 

Jefferson Bank was founded in 1946 as a Financial Institution to serve the underserved Jefferson District of San Antonio. Today, it is so much more than that. How do you see Jefferson Bank growing in the future and continue positively impacting our Greater San Antonio region? 

Our mission and purpose have remained constant since 1946: “Earning long term relationships everyday, through integrity, responsiveness, and commitment,” all while providing our customers with the resources they need through the delivery of fair and affordable financial products and services. Our core values will always remain, and our approach to the financial industry is firmly grounded in our commitment to continually elevating our communities, fostering growth, and creating opportunities. 

With this in mind, it is our dedicated Jefferson Bank employees who set us apart from other financial institutions and who will continue to ensure our growth and impact in the communities we serve. “This is personal to us” is more than just a phrase; it is the guiding principle that fuels our passion for assisting our customers in reaching their financial goals and securing financial stability for themselves and future generations. 

How would you like to see the San Antonio region continue to grow? 

San Antonio is undeniably one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, evident in both surging population and economic expansion. San Antonio’s astounding progress expands beyond our population rate, and includes an increased presence of certain key industries, like biosciences, aerospace, and cyber security. Let’s not forget to mention the focus on the concept of a San Antonio-Austin Metroplex along the thriving I-35 corridor adding to our region’s desirability. 

This is an exciting time for our region as we continue to see local, state, federal, and private investment in our labor force, infrastructure, and housing. We are considered a destination for people and businesses alike because San Antonio is affordable, rich with culture and history, and offers a strong community spirit rooted in family. As the region’s stock rises, it is important for us not to lose sight of what makes it so desirable. We must continue to be intentional and strategic in our growth and development to ensure we maintain the character and integrity of San Antonio for years and generations to come. 

Why did you invest in greater:SATX? 

We recognize the crucial role greater:SATX plays in driving the economic growth in San Antonio. Our investment reflects our commitment to supporting organizations and programs that contribute to a stronger and more prosperous economy. Through our investment in greater:SATX, we have gained a front row seat and voice in the conversations that drive San Antonio’s growth and prosperity. This opportunity has also allowed us to share space, ideas, and innovation with some of the foremost thought leaders in the region. 

When asked why we invest in greater:SATX, invaluable perspectives, insight, and relationships come to mind. Earning long term relationships is a key component in our mission at Jefferson Bank, and greater:SATX’s work and network cultivates relationship building and collaboration among key stakeholders invested in the success of our people and businesses, ultimately benefitting our entire community as a whole. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share? 

Jefferson Bank takes great pride in being a part of the San Antonio Region, and we look forward to contributing to its ongoing growth and prosperity through partnerships with organizations like greater:SATX. Our deep love for the communities we serve is inherent in everything we do. We are always here and ready to provide support in the only way we know – with genuine compassion and heartfelt commitment to meeting the community’s financial needs. 



Regional Partner Highlight: City of San Antonio Economic Development Department 

San Antonio is a vibrant city with a thriving economy, deep cultural heritage, and unique communities that are compassionate, inclusive, and proudly diverse. The city has cemented itself in the story of Texas and the United States and offers several unparalleled cultural and historical experiences. 

greater:SATX visited with staff from the City of San Antonio Economic Development Department (EDD), a key regional partner and collaborator with greater:SATX. 

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Tell us a little about the City of San Antonio? 

San Antonio is a vibrant city with a thriving economy, deep cultural heritage, and unique communities that are compassionate, inclusive, and proudly diverse. The city has cemented itself in the story of Texas and the United States and offers several unparalleled cultural and historical experiences. 

As the seventh largest city in the United States, San Antonio is one of the strongest fiscally managed cities in the country and a city that nurtures entrepreneurship, encourages investment, and supports growth and development. Through the City’s Economic Development Department (EDD) and the Strategic Framework finalized in 2022, EDD supports community partnerships and growth opportunities in aerospace, bioscience, cybersecurity, green technologies, healthcare, and information technology. 

The City’s Economic Development Department (EDD) offers programming and resources to support the business ecosystem in San Antonio. Through key initiatives and strategic partnerships, EDD assists both current and future businesses by providing services and support that result in a stronger and more equitable San Antonio for all. 

EDD’s focus is on fostering economic growth through collaboration and innovation. EDD has four distinct, yet interconnected divisions: Administration and Operations, Industry, Small Business, and Global Engagement. The Department is led by our Director, Brenda Hicks-Sorensen. Each of our divisions play a critical role in growing San Antonio’s economy. 

The Industry Division oversees the creation and implementation of strategic policies and programs. The Industry team also manages the administration of the City’s economic development incentive programs, all of which position San Antonio as a key market for industrial investment. 

Industry staff focus on several Strategic Industries, including information technology and cybersecurity, healthcare and biosciences, mobility, sustainable energy, and corporate services. These Strategic Industries build on San Antonio’s existing strengths, offer some of the highest-paying jobs in the country, and drive an ever-evolving, 21st-century economy. 

San Antonio and Bexar County are home to approximately 34,000 small businesses as well. To support the creation and growth of small businesses and promote their success, EDD’s Small Business Division has implemented various programs and initiatives that assist all types of business owners, whether they are at the ideation, startup, or growth phase. These programs focus on providing access to capital, business consulting, education, mentorship, and expanding opportunities for small, minority, and women-owned (S/M/WBE) businesses. During the City’s 2022 fiscal year alone, the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy (SBEDA) Program supported $290 million in city spending with S/M/WBEs. Since the implementation of a revised SBEDA Program in 2010, S/M/WBE participation on City contracts has grown from 13% to 47%. 

EDD’s Global Engagement Division plans and orchestrates many inbound and outbound initiatives focused on prioritizing metros across the globe for investment, expanding San Antonio residents’ access to the world, and elevating San Antonio’s reputation globally. Our city’s international strategy is a multi-faceted approach that includes business, diplomacy, culture, and education. The Global Engagement team provides lead City support for trade missions and international delegations, and also manages a highly successful and internationally recognized Sister Cities program. 

Finally, Administration and Operations aids all EDD divisions to support success across the department. This unit consists of several teams, including Fiscal, Marketing and Communications, and Research & Intelligence.   

If you could highlight one major statistic or project, what would it be? 

EDD manages several nationally recognized and best-practice programs across its four divisions. Of the four EDD divisions, the Industry Division works the closest and most regularly with greater:SATX. 

Following updates to the City’s Chapter 380 Economic Development Policy in 2022, the Industry team developed and implemented three Growth Stage Pilot Programs. These programs included a Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Matching Grant Program, a SBIR/STTR Phase 0 Grant Program, and a Second Stage Grant Program. 

The SBIR/STTR Matching Grant and Phase 0 Grant Programs are for local businesses that are planning to pursue SSBIR/STTR grants from the federal government, or who have already received Phase I or Phase II SBIR/STTR grants. The SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Program will support federal awardees with matching funds up to $50,000 for Phase I grantees, and up to $75,000 for Phase II grantees. The Phase 0 SBIR/STTR Grant Program was designed to award up to five, $2,000 grants to assist companies in costs related to preparing for a Phase I federal grant submittal.  

The Second Stage Grant Program was designed to support export-oriented small businesses that have moved beyond the start-up phase and have a concrete plan for growth, but have not yet reached maturity. The Edward Lowe Foundation defines “second stage companies” as those with 10 to 99 employees and between $1 million and $50 million in annual revenue. EDD’s Second Stage Grant Program offers up to $50,000 per eligible company that apply and are approved. 

In total, the City allocated $1 million dollars to the three programs. Overall, City staff has received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the program from partners in the private and public sectors, as well as in academia. The significantly positive feedback received from the community about the pilot programs and the strong applications submitted illustrate the ongoing need for such programs and emphasized the demand for similar support structures moving forward.

What makes your community a great place for people and jobs? 

 San Antonio is a community rich in history and culture. The city has an abundant arts and culinary scene, cultural attractions, and festivals making it an exciting place to live and a popular destination for students, tourists, and artists looking for a versatile and dynamic place to study, live, work, and play. 

Mark Twain famously said that San Antonio was one of four unique cities in America, along with Boston, New Orleans, and San Francisco. That uniqueness and depth of culture and history continues today. San Antonio is a welcoming community that combines relatively affordable housing with a variety of amenities and entertainment options. The famed Riverwalk and Alamo are the top tourist attractions in Texas, and our historic missions are a designated World Heritage Site – the first and only in Texas. 

The local economy is driven by several strong industries, including, aerospace, bioscience, cybersecurity, and healthcare, as well as the significant presence of military missions across Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), the nation’s largest joint base. From military medicine to research and development (R&D), the regional economy provides residents with a wide variety of employment opportunities. 

A robust higher education and training network anchored by the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) offers residents accessible options for postsecondary education leading to higher paying careers. With over 160,000 students at over 20 different colleges, universities, and research institutions in 50-mile radius, San Antonio offers many educational options. 

The City of San Antonio is investing in our people and place. The $200 Million Ready to Work program has already resulted in 4,600 residents that have either completed training or are currently training for careers in healthcare, IT, advanced manufacturing, and construction trades, just to name a few.  In 2022, voters approved a $150 million Affordable Housing Bond to create and preserve affordable housing in five priority categories, and the FY 2024 budget includes another $42.2 million toward Affordable Housing initiatives and provides a direct investment of $31.5 million to implement various strategies to address homelessness. Growth at the San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is also expanding options for San Antonio and regional residents. The City is committed to expanding route options and has added a number of new national and international routes. Expanded facilities through investments in existing terminals and the addition of new terminals in the future are also adding options for air travel into and out of San Antonio. 

Overall, San Antonio has much to offer, no matter the interest or goal, and provides a welcoming environment and an abundance of opportunities that make it a great place for employment opportunities and quality of life. Learn more about the City of San Antonio EDD here

Blog: Manufacturing Month in SATX 

greater:SATX, in partnership with Texas FAME, the San Antonio Manufacturers Association, and Caterpillar celebrated Manufacturing Month in October, highlighting the region’s thriving and diverse manufacturing employers that range from automotive, aerospace and food, with programming to elevate awareness of manufacturing careers in the Greater San Antonio region.  

The month-long event is an initiative of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Manufacturing Institute to recognize and promote the success of U.S. manufacturers in the global marketplace.   

In October, we celebrated Manufacturing Month, and greater:SATX, in partnership with Texas FAME, the San Antonio Manufacturers Association, and Caterpillar highlighted our region’s thriving and diverse manufacturing employers, that range from automotive, aerospace and food, with programming to elevate awareness of manufacturing careers in the Greater San Antonio region.  

The month-long event is an initiative of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Manufacturing Institute to recognize and promote the success of U.S. manufacturers in the global marketplace.   

Locally, the Bexar County Commissioner’s Court issued a proclamation recognizing the important role of manufacturing in our region, officially declaring it National Manufacturing Month. Not only is the impact of manufacturing in our community recognized locally, but the greater:SATX Talent Pipeline Management Manufacturing Collaborative, comprised of nearly 20 regional employers, recently received national recognition through a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation case study. The Chamber Foundation highlighted the continued success of the collaborative efforts to identify critical industry occupations, alignment of skillsets and competencies, and development of career awareness and exploration. Click here to read and download the full case study. 

With more than 1,200 manufacturing companies employing 54,000+ area residents, the industry’s development of robust career pathways provides our workforce with tremendous opportunities to build a better future and greater economic mobility Over the past year, we’ve engaged manufacturing employers to reach over 900+ high school students and have partnered with them, throughout the month of October, to host various activations to raise interest and awareness in training and careers all month. 

One of these incredible activations was the Construction Career Day, where we sponsored the Associated Builders and Contractors – South Texas (ABC) and Texas Construction Career Initiative (TCCI) event. More than 900 students participated in resume and occupation review, tool and big equipment demonstrations, and a build competition with more than 45 employers exhibiting.  

We also hosted a Young Professionals in Manufacturing Panel that featured amazing panelists Edgar Gonzalez - TX FAME/H-E-B AMT; Duane Sifuentes - TX FAME/H-E-B AMT; and Isaac Lopez - Forma Automotive, Assistant Manager-Quality. The panel video was shared with several school districts, reaching nearly 300 students so far.  

Watch here

Additionally in partnership with ATEAMS, we hosted a Teacher Externship Wrap-Up, where we surveyed teachers on their thoughts regarding manufacturing. Survey findings revealed great opportunities for SA WORX to support and facilitate job shadow days and teacher externships in manufacturing to increase career awareness. 

Not only did we celebrate National Manufacturing Month in October, but we also celebrated Cybersecurity Awareness Week. Some highlights included a Job Shadow Day hosted by USAA, where nearly 20 students and staff from Sam Houston Cyber P-Tech received a tour of USAA’s campus by the Cyber Incident Response Team. The Cyber team also provided students with an overview of cybersecurity functions at USAA, including the threat team’s capabilities and defensive measures. Students had an opportunity to listen to five Cyber Incident Team Members in a panel that discussed internships, career opportunities, and a day in the life of a team member. Watch here



In the News 

  • UK company to build its largest North American manufacturing plant in San Antonio, creating over 1,500 jobs: JCB plans to build a 720,000-square-foot structure on a 400-acre site on the city’s South Side, and San Antonio officials involved in the recruitment say the company plans to hire more than 1,500 employees for the Alamo City facility over the first five years. 

  • How a Japanese baroness fell in love with San Antonio and paved the way for Toyota: Beyond its economic impact, the deal, which came with an initial $133 million in incentives from the city, Bexar County and the state of Texas, would ultimately change the way all three entities did economic development. Both the city and the county began funding the Economic Development Foundation, which in 2021 morphed into greater:SATX. On Wednesday, Toyota and local officials will celebrate 20 years since that deal was inked. Its impact, on San Antonio and Texas, is hard to overstate. 

  • Leading SA: Spokesperson for greater:SATX discusses city growth, job opportunities: JCB’s expansion is expected to have a $30 billion economic impact over the next 10 years and bring more than 1,500 jobs to San Antonio. Sarah Carabias Rush, with greater:SATX Regional Economic Partnership, joined KSAT’s Leading SA on Sunday to explain our community’s implications and other exciting news. 

  • San Antonio airport picks up nonstop flight to Torreón, Mexico: Airport Director Jesus Saenz said pursuing a route to Torreón in northern Mexico was "a strategic decision," and that the service will benefit both business and leisure travelers. Saenz said travel time will be as many as six hours faster with the nonstop flight. 

  • San Antonio airport adds nonstop flight to Querétaro, Mexico: Starting in December, travelers to Querétaro, Mexico, a hive of automotive industry activity, can fly there nonstop from San Antonio International Airport. Mexican low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus will begin offering year-round, nonstop flights on Mondays and Fridays. Tickets went on sale Thursday. 

  • HOLT Renewables unveils solar project at commercial bakery site: HOLT Renewables and Forth Energy have announced the completion of a 1.036 MW solar project on the parking structure for Bakerly Ranch LLC's new construction – a $35 million, 137,350-square-foot French bread and pastry facility set for completion at 2024 at Brooks, a mixed-use community on San Antonio's South Side. 

  • SwRI’s small satellite business booms as SpaceX reduces launch costs: Boosted in part by the decreasing cost of rides into orbit aboard SpaceX rockets, Southwest Research Institute in the past decade has tripled the number of researchers developing small satellites to meet demand from the U.S. and companies racing to dot the skies with spacecraft for research and communications. 

  • UTSA to begin next phase of downtown expansion: San Pedro II will house programs in business, engineering and sciences. It will offer academic programming and collaborative research opportunities tied to the adjacent San Pedro I building. 

  • Morgan’s Wonderland plans multimillion-dollar theme park expansion: Morgan’s Wonderland, a first-of-its-kind, fully accessible theme park, is embarking on a $6 million expansion, its largest to date. Major additions will include a new 4D cinema that will offer park guests a virtual roller coaster experience and a boat ride that will navigate the Northeast San Antonio park’s 8-acre lake. 

  • SA International Airport scores new East Coast nonstop flights: The wins are beginning to pile up for San Antonio International Airport as officials have landed more nonstop flights. The latest score is nonstop service to Newark Liberty International Airport, which also serves New York City, courtesy of Spirit Airlines. 

  • As Austin-San Antonio metroplex solidifies, regionalism is needed more than ever, panelists say: Amid signs that Texas' long-revered economy has downshifted a bit during the past year, regional economic development leaders stress that interest remains high in the Austin-San Antonio corridor — and that more transformative projects are on the horizon. 

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