The Alamo Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) is led by the University of Texas at San Antonio and is an eight-county region that makes up the San Antonio-New Braunfels metro area. The AMP Consortium is focused on Transportation and Equipment manufacturing which has its strengths in three major product lines: aerospace manufacturing, motor vehicle and parts manufacturing and heavy/industrial vehicle manufacturing. In San Antonio, transportation equipment manufacturing is strong in the region and represents approximately $8.8 billion in regional economic impact annually, including $2.4 billion worth of local exports and support of over 13,000 jobs. While the region has had a long history in aviation (especially related to the U.S. Air Force) and has always had a strong Tier 2 & 3 automotive supply sector, the establishment of Toyota production facilities in the region has led to an increase in supplier manufacturing presence.
The AMP consortium is focused on building upon their existing strengths, and strong collaborative relationships between key regional organizations, to create an advantage for the Transportation Equipment industry by benefiting from public and private investments that contribute to community prosperity. The AMP consortium partners determined that the most critical issue facing their regions’ KTS is current and future availability of a skilled workforce capable of supporting industry needs. They bring together a diverse set of partners from OEMs like Toyota, Caterpillar, and Lockheed Martin to non-profits like Project Quest, which focuses on training workers from lower income backgrounds. They seek to facilitate the development of a technology-focused workforce, provide R&D support for large and small/medium enterprises, and accelerate technology development and use.
Workforce and Training: The AMP consortium will continue to collaborate with regional educational assets to promote education in manufacturing and training for advanced manufacturing jobs. Some projects include An Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program (AMT) to add needed highly-skilled technicians to the workforce, potentially providing employment of an additional 3,000 highly skilled manufacturing jobs. Other programs will expand to meet other high-need areas as well, such as the manufacturing oriented career and technical education (CTE) programs for high school students and the “Just-In-Time” Program to target post-secondary students to become certified in high-need areas. More manufacturing internship and apprenticeship programs also will be established and expanded.
Supplier Networks: Toyota’s assembly site, Toyota Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) emphasizes strategies of co-location of sequential production steps with the major objective of reducing in-process inventory. Lean manufacturing, used by TMMTX and the 23 co-located Tier 1 suppliers at the site, emphasizes strategies of co-location of sequential production steps with the major objective of reducing in-process inventory. Combined with the local Manufacturing Partnership Center, they can accelerate supplier capacity and growth. Consultation, technical support, and training by partners of the AMP consortium will be provided in the areas of operational improvement, workforce development, lean manufacturing systems, quality management systems, and various industrial automation and robotics solutions for businesses related to the TMMTX assembly site. With the experience acquired through this project, the AMP consortium will further expand the Supplier Support model to other transportation manufacturing sectors, such as aerospace, heavy equipment and parts suppliers. A majority of manufacturing companies in the region are small businesses and their needs differ greatly from large companies.
Research and Innovation: In partnership with industry, universities and research institutions will assist in the maturity of improved manufacturing techniques. The partnership between applied research and manufacturing applications can help develop innovative methods and practices to integrate new technology into the supply chain, such as advanced robotics applications. A focus will be to engage small and medium-sized supply chain enterprises to increase productivity through technology. Providing incubator facilities and services will further advance startup companies which can leverage these technologies to spur economic growth and job creation. Larger manufacturers can share facilities with local industry and start-ups to reduce the cost and risk of commercialization and production scale-up.
Infrastructure and Site Development: AMP will institute a variety of transportation and capital improvement projects such that infrastructure and site development will meet Texas’ changing needs. For example, infrastructure will be expanded to meet the needs of expanded workforce development programs at places such as the Central Texas Technology Center. Other plans include helping to further development of business and industrial parks, such as the Brooks City Base Business Park (formerly a military base) and Port San Antonio that can benefit new manufacturing in transportation equipment by developing the facilities and amenities required by these manufacturers.
Trade and Investment: The San Antonio Trade and Investment Strategy created a clear path for companies to access community resources and leverage community initiatives for their successful global engagement. In addition, the City of San Antonio provides manufacturers a direct connection to potential consumers in Mexico via the Casa San Antonio program. With representation in Mexico’s three principal cities, the Casa program offers San Antonio manufacturers a personalized system of accessing the Mexico market via market intelligence, trade missions, and a robust network of contacts. As the global transportation equipment manufacturing industry continues to evolve, their regional efforts and initiatives will better position these companies to face challenges of a competitive landscape while bolstering the attraction and development of manufacturing jobs and investment.
Operational Improvement and Capital Access: AMP has a diversity of strategies to improve manufacturing operations and capital access that span the ecosystem. Through the ROS-Industrial Consortium, they will promote broader adoption of robotics solutions to transform industry through lower costs, improved productivity and increased competitiveness in the global marketplace. Outreach will be expanded by the Texas International Business Accelerator (TIBA) to expand Foreign Direct Investment in the region, thereby improving capital access. Outreach activities include “Road Shows” organized by Select USA, State of Texas Economic Development office, and partner cities to meet with potential investors and visit local manufacturers and companies.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is the lead organization for this consortium, which includes a wide array of partners.
Non-Profits: San Antonio Manufacturers Association (SAMA), Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC);
Government Entities: Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Bexar County Economic Development Department, City of San Antonio Economic Development Department (SAEDD), City of Seguin Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF), Workforce Solutions Alamo (WSA);
Higher Education Institutions: Alamo Colleges, Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Lean Systems (CAMLS) at University of Texas at San Antonio, Institute of Economic Development (IED) at University of Texas at San Antonio.