EDINBURG, Texas – Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza says the big Pendulum Development/De Lucio USA trailer assembly project can be the spark for creating a manufacturing hub alongside I-69 Central/Expressway 281 in the north of the city.

Under the De Lucio-Pendulum partnership a 70,000 square feet manufacturing facility is going to be built on the east side of I-69 Central just south of South Texas International Airport. Truck trailers will be assembled there, with some of the parts coming in from Mexico.

More than 100 jobs will be created under Phase One of the project. After the third phase is complete, 300 jobs good paying jobs will have been created.

“We would like to focus our efforts on manufacturing in the northern part of our city because obviously there are a lot of opportunities there,” said Mayor Garza.

“We have the land, we have the interstate, and we have the airport. I think that’s an area for us to really focus on.”

Garza made his comments in an exclusive interview with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service following an Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force meeting in Edinburg. The task force was set up by Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez to address the county’s high rate of poverty.

“Here we are at the Prosperity Task Force and we’re talking about increasing per capita income. Manufacturing does that. It brings high paying jobs. It is primary employment. It is producing a product and exporting that product outside of the Rio Grande Valley. That is the kind of employment you want to bring.”

The De Lucio-Pendulum project is just north of Edinburg North Industrial Park, which sits on the west side of I-69 C. Garza said there is manufacturing going on in that park. 

“I think there’s going to be some more announcements coming up soon at that industrial park. As an administration we are focused on continuing to grow Edinburg. Developing a manufacturing hub helps that.”

A groundbreaking ceremony for the De Lucio-Pendulum project that was hosted by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and held Monday, Dec. 5. The Guardian interviewed Mayor Garza at that event also.

“Highway 281, the interstate, is vital for commerce in our area. We want to thank Pendulum and De Lucio for their decision to manufacture here. I think it will be the spark for what I feel will be an important manufacturing hub in north Edinburg,” Garza told the Guardian.

Raudel Garza, the new executive director of Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, was also at the Prosperity Task Force meeting. 

In his remarks to the group, Raudel Garza said there needs to be a “paradigm shift” in what people consider economic development to be. 

“We celebrate retail shops and stores opening up and think that is economic development. It is maybe two, three, four or five people in a restaurant with management skills that are going to earn a living wage,” Raudel Garza said.

The rest of the workers at such establishments are earning wages at or below the poverty level, Raudel Garza explained.

“We need to celebrate the 70,000 square foot manufacturing facility (Pendulum-De Lucio) that broke ground just a couple of days ago in north Edinburg that is going to hire 100 employees to put trailer manufacturing back here in South Texas. That’s what we need to celebrate.”

Raudel Garza said that unfortunately, the Valley is not celebrating those types of projects. 

“We’re celebrating the Chick-fil-A that opened up. We’re celebrating the Dunkin’ Donuts and the Crumbl Cookies. For those individuals, the sole proprietors who are running those stores, congratulations. But that’s not going to get our people out of poverty. And that’s where my passion lies, in getting those people out of poverty and trying to find the high paying jobs that actually will help all of us succeed.”

State Rep. Terry Canales, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, spoke at the De Lucio-Pendulum groundbreaking ceremony. During his remarks, Canales pointed to the dozens of trailers De Lucio had parked on the premises. 

“We have a strong economy because of our trading partnership with Mexico and because of those things right there, trailers that cross our border by the thousands every day,” Canales said.

“They feed a foreign country. They move our economy and what you’re doing here today with this project is only strengthening that endeavor, making sure that we keep moving capitalizing on our partnership with Mexico. It is a great honor to be here to speak with you today and to be part of a beautiful celebration.”

After the groundbreaking ceremony had ended, the Guardian asked Rep. Canales how big a deal it was to land a manufacturing company that will hire, initially, 100 workers and in the future 300.

“This is an amazing project for Edinburg and the entire Rio Grande Valley. It shows our ability to manufacture which we don’t do as much of anymore,” Canales said. “Having the Pendulum and De Lucio investment complements the root of our success, which is trade and trailers. It is what we do and it is an amazing endeavor. It’s something that we should be proud of.”

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