HEDC Attended One of the Largest Packaged Goods Expos & Why Manufacturing Jobs Are Important

HARLINGEN, TEXAS (Oct. 22, 2019) – The September 2019 PACK EXPO, Las Vegas drew more than 30,000 professionals and more than 2,000 suppliers filled the show floor with exhibits. Those exhibits included packaging equipment, digital packaging solutions and other supply chain solutions.

The Harlingen Economic Development Corporation’s industrial manager, German Rico, got a firsthand experience of the trade show and connected with various industry leaders.

“My job there is to expose Harlingen as an international distribution location and manufacturing friendly place to do business in,” Rico said.

Professionals like Rico also get a chance to connect with companies that manufacture products in the U.S. or overseas and need a new place to call home.

The growing manufacturing industry is expected to employ at least 320,000 people in Texas by 2026, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Manufacturing and industrial jobs pay an average of $60,000 a year. Creating more jobs in this field is a major positive for this region’s economy.

“We want our residents to prosper, and jobs in manufacturing can change our economic landscape,” Raudel Garza, HEDC CEO, explained.

To put it quite simply, the more money people are making, the more money they have to put back into our economy. And that equals growth.

According to a PBC Education article, the U.S. needs more tradespeople. There is a declining number in skills trade and manufacturing trained employees, companies are being proactive and increasing wages.

Harlingen, among other cities regionally and nationally, understands the concern, as the industry grows, so does the demand.

“HEDC’s primary focus has always been on targeting larger employers that pay higher salaries,” Garza explained. “We continue to boast about our access to markets, our young trainable workforce, our affordability, and our pro-business environment, along with our great schools, colleges and universities.”

A snapshot of Harlingen’s labor force as of 2018.