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The key role of Texas in the manufacturing industry

The key role of Texas in the manufacturing industry
November 2019
  | Location:
2019 Manufacturing Industry Forum

NBSO Texas attended the 2019 Manufacturing Industry Forum, organized by the Greater Houston Partnership, where the organization shared relevant insights about this relevant sector for the Texas state.

The event had the analysis of Rich Wells, Vice President of U.S. Gulf Coast Operations at The Dow Chemical Company and chair of Partnership’s Manufacturing and Logistics Committee. During his presentation, he pointed that "Houston region is home to more than 6,400 manufacturers that produce more than $82 billion in products annually. The industry employs more than 230,000 workers and helps drive Houston’s substantial export economy".

Wells also commented the results of a survey conducted by this committee to 10 companies with significant manufacturing operations in the Houston area:

  • Companies employ 25,000 local workers, or about 10% of Houston’s manufacturing employment base.
  • Seven of the 10 companies surveyed said they plan to expand their Houston area operations in the next three years. Those collective expansions could mean 3,400 new jobs and $5.2 billion in capital expenditures.
  • Most of the companies surveyed said their primary customers were in international markets and that they expect demand to increase in the near term.

The keynote speaker, Mike Molnar, Founding Director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology stressed the important role the manufacturing sector plays in the nation’s economy. Approximately 10% of U.S. jobs are tied directly to manufacturing, and it’s in that sector where the vast majority of research and development still happens. Molnar said that despite the oft-repeated idea that most manufacturing happens overseas in countries such as China, the U.S. still leads the world in manufacturing advanced technology products.

In this scenario, Texas is the only state that is exporting more manufactured goods than it’s producing, meaning goods manufactured elsewhere in the country, or even abroad, are passing through the state’s ports to be exported to customers overseas. Molnar said that illustrates the critical role Texas plays in the global supply chain.  

"Certainly, with Houston’s central geographic location relative to the U.S. and to the Americas broadly, along with our numerous logistical and distribution channels, the region is an ideal hub for manufacturing companies that need to reach customers around the world", said Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey.

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