BROWNSVILLE, RGV – A major investment by a European automotive manufacturer is to be announced in Brownsville on Wednesday.

A press conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Brownsville Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) offices. Brownsville Mayor Martinez will be in attendance, along with state leaders and a federal economic official.

Gilberto Salinas
Gilberto Salinas

Gilberto Salinas, vice president of BEDC said executives for the European manufacturing firm will also be at the event to share their story about their investment in the Greater Brownsville Borderplex.

“Tomorrow is a big day, not just for BEDC and Brownsville but for the entire Rio Grande Valley. We will be hosting a company, a European firm, who will make an announcement for a significant investment in this region. They are going to be in the manufacturing sector,” Salinas told the Rio Grande Guardian.

Asked how many new jobs will be created, Salinas said: “Employment-wise, we are looking at several hundred individuals they will be hiring over a ten-year period. This is yet another company that will be coming not only into our city but our region. They are looking at the Rio Grande Valley as a whole. The manufacturing base is in Brownsville but they will be looking for a labor force from Brownsville to McAllen for their particular operation.”

Salinas said there will be advanced manufacturing component to the project. “What is great about this particular project is that in the long term the European manufacturer will have an advanced manufacturing component to what they do.”

BEDC officials have been working with the Governor’s Office and Select USA for many months to land the automotive manufacturing company. The working title was Project Sizzle. “The company was looking at several dozen sites all along the Gulf Coast, the Southeast, Texas and Mexico,” Salinas said. “Ultimately, it came down to a competition between Brownsville and Monterrey. As of tomorrow, Brownsville should be the sole finalist in their site-selection process.”

Salinas said local education institutions have also been involved in the project.

“The manufacturing company will be looking for engineers. We are already working with our local community colleges, the university, in addition to our school district to develop a pipeline of human capital for this particular company – which has a potential, with another set of companies, to create three to four thousand jobs in the long run in the heavy manufacturing sector. That is an important piece of the puzzle.”

Salinas said a number of “heavy hitters” will be present at the news conference on Wednesday. “In addition to the company, we are probably going to have a federal official on hand as well. It is testament to what Brownsville is doing.”

Salinas gave a shout out to the Governor’s Office, the Valley’s legislative delegation, and Select USA for their help in landing the project. “We just came back from the Hannover Messe show, where we partnered up with state officials, and met up with Select USA. We explained how Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley are open for business.”

Salinas added: “I can’t wait to see what Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley is going to look like in the next five to ten years. This is a very significant project for the region.”

Editor’s Note: Click here and here to read previous stories about Project Sizzle.