PHARR, Texas – Pharr Economic Development Corporation is making a concerted effort to bring a major manufacturing plant to the Rio Grande Valley.

Pharr EDC Executive Director Victor Perez announced the initiative during a celebratory event to mark National Manufacturing Day.

“We want to bring more manufacturing companies here. And industrial companies. That is my focus over the next couple of years,” Perez told an audience of manufacturers from the Valley and Reynosa, educators, and a hundred or so students from four local school districts that are interested in careers in manufacturing.

“Why manufacturing and industrial? We have the land, we have the population. We have the students. We need to get you educated and trained,” Perez told the students.

“I meet with the other economic development leaders and we talk about this. How can we bring Toyota down here, how can we bring Musk (Tesla) down here. By showing interest. By comparing our students and getting them ready for the workforce and getting them ready for whatever comes in.”

Perez added: “I am going to be focusing on the City of the Pharr, on bringing in manufacturing and industry.”

Among the manufacturers appearing at the Pharr EDC National Manufacturing Day event were Bissell, CL Scales, Emerson Tool, Ferrera-Dulces Famosos, I-Dream4D, IHC Suspension, Metal Industries, SEMCO, and Universal Metals.

Among the education institutions at the event were UTRGV Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, UTRGV College of Engineering, and STC Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Technology. The school districts represented at the event were Valley View, Hidalgo, Vanguard Academy, and PSJA Southwest.

Interviewed by theRio Grande Guardianafter the event, Pharr EDC’s Perez gave more details about his plans to bring a major manufacturing plant to the Valley.

“We do not have any big plants down here. We have the workforce. Yes, we need to work on their training but we have the workforce. We have the land, we have the incentives. We have people interested in bringing those manufacturers down here,” Perez said.

“We do not have to go to Dallas and Houston any more. We have the border, we have our bridge, we have everything. We have the logistics in place. We need to get the attention of the major manufacturing companies, to get them to come down and see what we have.”

Perez said he has already been in contact with a number of large manufacturing companies.

“Our region can be very attractive. We just need to work with them, convince them to come down. Once we bring one of those companies down we are going to have everybody else come down,” Perez predicted.

Perez said the “insightful and illuminating” presentations by the manufacturing companies that had booths at the EDC event inspires him even more to land a major manufacturing company.

“With my experience and background in education, with our great mayor and our great board of directors, we have everything in place to land a major manufacturing company,” Perez added.

“USMCA will help. We have the plan, we have the vision. We can bring those investors into the city of Pharr. And we can help the whole region grow. We all benefit.”