San Antonio proudly boasts a manufacturing stronghold and that’s great news for the transportation industry.


San Antonio measures up when it comes to the manufacturing sector.As the fourth-largest market in Texas, employing more than 57, 000 workers, it pays 11 percent more than other workers in the city. The Brookings Institution, in 2014, named San Antonio, one of the strongest performing economies among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. “Taking into account the various preferences of Millennials and offering training in the manufacturing sectors is how our city is able to both attract and retain this population while growing a vital industry sector,” said Mario Hernandez, president of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.


Companies such as Boeing, Caterpillar, Frito-Lay, Johnson Controls, Tenneco, Chromalloy, Pratt & Whitney, Toyota, Valero, Lockheed Martin and Tyson. In just the past two years alone, the city has added 18 new manufacturing facilities. Not surprisingly, San Antonio saw the biggest growth in millennial population of any U.S. city in 2014, and from 2000 to 2013 the city’s population grew 30 percent. And of course, the transportation industry will only benefit from this manufacturing gem known as San Antonio. The city attracted national attention when in 2015 it was listed as one of 12 communities chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce to join its Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership program. Communities that are part of the program receive preference when applying for federal grants to promote their local manufacturing industries.


San Antonio benefits from the Alamo Based Academies, a STEM-based instructional model operated by the Alamo Area AcademiesInc., a non-profit organization, in partnership with the Alamo Colleges, San Antonio area high schools, industry and cities of San Antonio, New Braunfels and Seguin. Students enjoy tuition-free career routes into critical demand technical STEM (science/technology/engineering & math) professions. The program utilizes industry-driven curricula resulting in 94 percent of graduates entering higher education or high-wage careers in aerospace, information technology, manufacturing and heavy equipment.


One company that has beeninvolved in the heavy equipment segment of Alamo Academies is HOLT CAT. Established in 1933, Holt sells and services CAT equipment and also fabricates its own line of custom engineered products including root plows and water tankers. “As a company we saw an increase in both demand and competition for workers,” said Corinna Holt Richter, chief administrative officer of HOLT CAT. Richter added, “The supply is not there, so we partnered with community leaders and economic development organizations to build awareness of these professions as well as create education and training opportunities.” A crucial component of retaining-and growing-San Antonio’s population is the need to offer a good quality of life. Business leaders and community members alike recognized this by offering affordable housing options to attract and retain millennials in particular. “Younger people want to be in an urban setting,” says Hernandez. He added, “The city offers viable housing options and is doing a lot of redevelopment.” It is wise to identify and consider the various preferences of millennials by offering attractive career opportunities and affordable housing options; San Antonio has gone to great lengths to ensure their economic prosperity and continued growth, which is also great news for the transportation industry overall.