Increased airport connectivity and a new, major manufacturing site among local business highlights in 2023.
SAN ANTONIO – This year was a rollercoaster for businesses, workers and consumers.
Greater: SATX, a private-public nonprofit dedicated to growing quality, high-wage jobs in San Antonio area, spoke to KSAT about some of the big wins in 2023 and what they are looking forward to in 2024.
“As we were planning for 2023, we had set out a goal of generating 1,200 leads. I think we were a bit astounded by that big number, but we were so proud that our team was able to qualify these leads, some of which materialized into really big wins for us in San Antonio,” said Romanita Matta-Barrera, Chief Business Advancement Officer for Greater SATX.
Together with more than 200 private companies and our municipal partners, greater: SATX focuses on attracting companies into the regional business community and growing the ones that already call the Alamo City home.
In October, Greater: SATX alongside city and county leaders announced that JCB, the world’s largest privately owned construction, agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturing company was expanding to San Antonio. It’s expected to have a $30 billion economic impact over the next 10 years and bring more than 1,500 jobs to San Antonio.
San Antonio’s location is attractive to businesses, but Matta-Barrera said it’s all about the people.
“We have a young community and we have a community that’s striving to become better skilled, more educated and that is going to really lead in to support our competitiveness,” Matta-Barrera.
She said this year, Greater: SATX worked with city officials and Visit San Antonio to increase international air connectivity.
“And we proudly announced two major announcements, direct flight to Frankfurt, Germany, and to Querétaro in Mexico. Querétaro is a highly industrialized city, Toyota, many of the suppliers have operations there and Frankfurt is really going to be our entry way into into Europe,” Matta-Barrera said.
For next year, Greater: SATX is going after more markets and focusing on developing San Antonio’s workforce and supporting local businesses.
“Not only with workforce development efforts but operationally and in any other way that is key to ensuring their economic competitiveness,” Matta-Barrera said.
Some of the group’s target industries include high-tech manufacturing, aerospace, biosciences, financial services and other tech companies.
“We always ensure that we are targeting a diverse group of industries because that really positions San Antonio much stronger in that folks from different careers and backgrounds can either come and make San Antonio their home or that we’re also able to retain that talent here. But we’ve got a strong global strategy going into 2024,” Matta-Barrera said.
The team hopes to work with more surrounding communities, too.
“Just a few years ago, we really leaned into partnering with our regional economic development counterparts all the way from New Braunfels to Schertz, Seguin. They have a lot of key assets, access to land, assets to to people. And so we have really realized that we are much stronger and much more competitive when we all position ourselves as a region, market ourselves as one,” Matta-Barrera said.