HARLINGEN, Texas – Harlingen Mayor Norma Sepulveda says she is making good progress in finding another manufacturing company to take over the United Launch Alliance facility at Valley International Airport.

As first reported in the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service, ULA, a rocket manufacturer and launch service provider co-owned by Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security, announced it would be closing its Harlingen plant over the course of the next year, with the loss of 100 good-paying jobs.

Asked if progress was being made to find an alternative manufacturer, Sepulveda told Ron Whitlock Reports: “Yes, we I encourage you to reach out to our director over at the airport, Marv. We had a really great conversation yesterday and there’s a lot of interest and so I don’t foresee any issues in that regard.”

Marv Esterly is aviation director at VIA.

“We are working closely with ULA so we can have a smooth transition,” Sepulveda said. “I think you’ve reported on it, that ULA will not be closing until mid-next year, that’s when they vacate the building. So we do have some time. But, we’re working really closely with them to ensure that we have a smooth transition. I have no doubt that we’ll be able to fill that building.”

In the interview, Sepulveda, pictured above, also spoke about the City of Harlingen’s legislative agenda for the 88th Legislative Session. Sepulveda led a delegation of Harlingen leaders to Austin recently to push that agenda.

“Everything went well at the Capitol. We met with our local delegation and we talked about our priorities. Obviously, our priorities as you heard this morning, are drainage, also water infrastructure. So, we are working to see what we can do to ensure that we get funding down here to the Rio Grande Valley, specifically Harlingen.”

Sepulveda gave her interview during a powerpoint presentation by Cameron County Drainage District No. 5 at the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce. 

“Today’s event is all about Cameron County Drainage District No. 5, so I’m just here to support them. We’ve been working really closely on projects and making our city developer-friendly. And so it was important for me to be here,” Sepulveda said.

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