McALLEN, Texas – A software development company is looking to expand into South Texas after discovering that many of the applicants looking to work for the company in Austin come from the Rio Grande Valley.

McAllen Economic Development Corporation is assisting the information technology (IT) company relocate to the Valley but cannot yet name the company. The announcement could come early in 2022, with more that 100 high paying jobs on offer.

Ralph Garcia, a vice president for McAllen EDC, spoke about the project at a recent board meeting of the group.

“If you look up the screen you will see my report for this reporting period. These are the active projects that I am working on currently. The first one is a software development company. They are actually in the process now of just evaluating a land parcel that is owned by the city, which would be something very attractive for the community,” Garcia said.

The city in question is McAllen.

“One of the unique things about this company is they were actually recruiting to the Austin area and noticed that most of the candidates that were being interviewed were coming from this area,” Garcia told the MEDC board of directors.

“So, their preference is, instead of being in Austin, why not be closer to where the people are at. So, they are looking at McAllen for that project. Once we have an option on the property and an actual price, I think they would be interested in moving forward very quickly.”

A high tech company looking at the Rio Grande Valley and not Austin goes against the grain. So, the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service asked Garcia for more details.

“We are working with a tech company that currently has facilities in Austin. They are looking at the Rio Grande Valley, primarily McAllen, because they are able to find people here. In that competing market, right now, there are a lot of tech companies going into the Austin area and so they are all struggling to find skilled talent,” Garcia told the Rio Grande Guardian.

“This company was doing recruitment and they started recruiting from here and realized the numbers were much more attractive. Instead of uprooting families away from they homes, they would rather keep them close and local and so they are looking at making a move down this way.”

Asked about the timeline, Garcia, pictured in the file photo above, said:

“It is great opportunity for us in McAllen. They have not made a decision yet although we feel pretty comfortable that McAllen is the desired location. I think we are just a few months away before they actually define how they will make an investment. We are working with the City of McAllen, particularly on a property that was very attractive to this group. So, we are trying to get that squared away and hopefully have some good news here in the new year.”

Asked for more details about the company, Garcia said: “They are in the IT business and they do software development. That is beautiful for us. Right now they are looking at hiring about 100 employees but that could grow. If they are successful… it is a global company, they have different operations around the U.S. and, obviously, in other countries. But in the U.S. they also do own some manufacturing operations that are high tech. So that could be an opportunity for us as well, to attract some of that other division of their business, into McAllen, to do the tech kind of business as well.”

Normally, Garcia handles manufacturers looking to build plants in Reynosa. Asked why he was working on a stateside project, he said: “The City of McAllen reached out to us and I was able to network with them and I kind of took the lead on the project.”

Asked if the Valley has any similar businesses to this IT company, Garcia said: “Not in that particular type of business. This would be a great opportunity, especially for a lot of the students that are graduating. Instead of looking at going to Austin or Houston or Dallas, they could stay close to home and work from home, work in an office setting that works for them.”

In other words, work in a region that they love and have roots in, Garcia was asked. “Exactly,” he replied.

Garcia said the whole Valley can benefit if McAllen can pull in an IT company hiring 100 to 150 workers.

“It is good for us and it is also good for our neighboring communities. I imagine that companies will start looking and if they are able to find those companies and be attracted to our region because of the skilled talent that we have available, it is best for everybody.”

Asked for any wrap-up remarks, Garcia said:

“We are excited that this type of industry is looking this way. Austin has challenges. We are excited that McAllen is at the forefront for companies and we are hopeful that they land here. I think if we are able to get one successfully, the opportunities grow for us.”

At the MEDC board meeting, the organization’s president, Keith Patridge, gave his monthly report on active projects.

“We are working with 32 companies. They involve about 6,750 jobs, four million square feet of potential space, and about $1.8 billion worth of investment,” Patridge said.

“Three new companies came to us this month. One is a metal parts supplier, one is an automotive supplier, one is a consumer products company. Things are going pretty well.”

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