Texas A&M to build $30 million advanced manufacturing training facility at Port of Brownsville

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott was present for a groundbreaking ceremony hosted by Texas A&M University at to the Port of Brownsville.

A&M is building a $30 million Rio Grande Valley Advanced Manufacturing Hub facility located on 22 acres at the port.

Organized by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, the center will provide training to Texans in the Rio Grande Valley for in-demand jobs, while stimulating advancements in manufacturing through research and initiatives.

“This new state-of-the-art facility here at the Port of Brownsville will train Texans to lead the workforce of tomorrow,” Abbott said. “Students here will be prepared for in-demand jobs and receive hands-on instruction on real-world projects that are often encountered by workers on the job. They will get the experience and training they need to excel in cutting-edge manufacturing jobs here in the Rio Grande Valley and throughout Texas.”

Abbott said those in the audience were like a Who’s Who of Valley leaders. He said he is proud of the collaboration between Texas A&M and the Port of Brownsville. 

“When you really see the vision of what this is becoming and what’s going to be done by the Port, it is going to be absolutely extraordinary, to the Port, to Brownsville, to Cameron County, to all of the RGV,” Abbott said.

“It is powerful when you have a plan, execute the plan, see it come to fruition and expand. I want to thank everybody here for the role they are playing in seeing their economic future coming to fruition.”

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new Texas A&M advanced manufacturing training facility at the Port of Brownsville. (Photo credit: Texas A&M University)

Abbott said the Rio Grande Valley was at the epicenter of economic growth and innovation in Texas. He said this is where the next generation of manufacturing leaders will be trained. 

Abbott was joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by The Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Board of Regents member Mike Hernandez III, and Vice Chairman Robert L. Albritton; Brownsville Navigation District (BND) Board of Commissioners Chairman Esteban “Steve” Guerra; and former State Representative Eddie Lucio III. Also present were BND Secretary John Wood, BND Commissioner John Reed, and BND Commissioner Sergio Tito Lopez.

Brownsville Navigation District said: Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service – TEEX – will provide training at the facility to enhance the Rio Grande Valley’s human capital by connecting our workforce with the skills they need for a prosperous future. From working in collaboration with local and state educational institutions, the Port of Brownsville is proud to support transformative initiatives for the communities we serve.”

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new Texas A&M advanced manufacturing training facility at the Port of Brownsville. (Photo credit: Texas A&M University)

In his remarks, Chairman Guerra said the Port of Brownsville is the port of the future. He thanked Texas A&M for the new partnership.

“Together, we share the same vision in fostering economic development and bringing job opportunities to the people of the communities that we serve. This groundbreaking ceremony for the advanced manufacturing training facility builds upon the dynamic activity happening at the Port of Brownsville, and the impact that will echo throughout the Rio Grande Valley,” Guerra said.

“As the leading economic engine and major job creator for the region, the Port understands the critical importance of developing a highly skilled workforce to sustain our existing industries and to attract new ones. With over 51,000 jobs generated throughout the state of Texas and more than 10,000 of those here in the Rio Grande Valley, we attribute them to port operations and investing in our human capital. And that is paramount here at the Port of Brownsville.”

Guerra said the Port’s collaboration with local and state educational institutions, technical schools, and workforce development leaders “exemplifies our commitment to creating career opportunities for our communities.”

Guerra added: “This project, situated on these 22 acres at the Port of Brownsville, will serve as a beacon of innovation and excellence in manufacturing education. By developing a technical workforce for in demand jobs and promoting sustainable practices in manufacturing, this project aligns perfectly with our vision. We are proud to partner with the Texas A&M University System to empower our workforce to thrive in the evolving landscape of advanced manufacturing. Today, by showing us break ground, we renew the faith we have in the potential of our community and the opportunities that lie ahead.”

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new Texas A&M advanced manufacturing training facility at the Port of Brownsville. (Photo credit: Texas A&M University)

In his remarks, Chancellor Sharp said companies looking at expanding to a new location want to know two things: how many 18 to 24-year-olds live in the area and what the educational attainment level is.

“This is very special and very different. Because it’s not all about college degrees. These companies that are moving in here and all over the United States know the Rio Grande Valley answers those first two questions better than anybody in the world,” Sharp said.

“What we have to make sure is that we’ve produced the best educated young men and women. that’s going to involve certificates, that’s going to involve technicians, that’s going to involve all kinds of advanced manufacturing and things like that. And that’s what this building is going to provide.” 

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