KARLEE Mfg. Celebrates 40 Years of Excellence

June 24th, 2014 Comments off

We’d like to congratulate Jo Ann Brumit, CEO/President, Published Author, Hardworking Mother & Wife on a SUCCESSFUL 40 years of manufacturing business. Read story below written by our friends at The Valley Town Crier.

SOURCE: The Valley Town Crier

“I didn’t know that being a girl made a difference.” CLICK FOR FULL STORY –> KARLEE Celebrates 40 Years of Excellence

JoAnn

 

McAllen: #1 Most Recovered City Since The Recession

June 24th, 2014 Comments off

McAllen: Ranks #1 for Entrepreneurship

June 19th, 2014 Comments off

1. McAllen, TX

Bottom line: The number of solopreneurs isn’t growing at a breakneck pace in McAllen, but these entrepreneurs’ businesses are doing well financially. They also make a substantial contribution to the local economy.20140318_122153

Click the LINK for full list and rest of the story: http://blog.sparefoot.com/6384-top-places-for-solo-entrepreneurs/

Are you an Introvert?

June 3rd, 2014 Comments off

FASTCOMPANY: “Introverts of the workplace are having a moment. The office furniture company Steelcase teamed up with Susan Cain, author of the bestseller, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, to create a series of five spaces that address the need for more focus and privacy at work.” -Mimi Zeiger (Fastcompany Magazine)

zenofc

What’s so cool about Steelcase and living in McAllen, TX or Reynosa?

Steelcase owns and operates a 300,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility that employs over 950 people in Reynosa. Not to mention, 500-700,000 chairs are made to order daily. Here is a picture of a few of our McAllen city commissioners at the Steelcase plant in September, 2013. There’s a reason why the maquiladoras in Reynosa are so successful!

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For rest of the story: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3031341/steelcase-and-susan-cain-design-offices-for-introverts

 

Lineage Logistics Acquires Largest Cold Storage Operation on U.S.-MX Border

May 29th, 2014 Comments off

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Lineage Logistics Acquires McAllen’s Largest Cold Storage Operation on the U.S.-Mexico Border

McAllen, TX - Lineage Logistics (“Lineage”), a warehousing and logistics company backed by Bay Grove, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Loop Cold Storage (“Loop”), Oneida Cold Storage (“Oneida”) and Millard Refrigerated Services (“Millard”), which was previously announced in March. With these three acquisitions, Lineage expands its national cold storage footprint to over 544 million cubic feet and a facility network of 102 facilities in 21 states. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

Based in McAllen, TX, Loop has the largest cold storage operation on the U.S.-Mexico border servicing the imports of fruits and vegetables and specializing in the international produce trade. In addition to cold storage services, Loop provides value-added packaging and cooler services for produce distributors. Former owner John McGuire has joined Lineage’s management team as VP of Fresh Business to focus on developing Lineage’s fresh services segment.

“This indicates job security for the already existing 250 jobs between Loop and Millard in McAllen. Aside from that, as the region grows, so will Lineage. Our industry (food/produce logistics) focuses on international logistics which is great for our area” said Tony Godinez, director of business development for Lineage Logistics.

Headquartered in Henderson, CO, Oneida is the largest cold storage provider in the Denver metropolitan area. At over 400,000 square feet, Oneida’s state-of-the-art facility provides customers with a variety of services including custom freezing programs, multi-temperature storage, tempering services, and retail distribution solutions.

“The addition of Millard, Loop, and Oneida represent another transformational moment for Lineage and continues our long-term strategy to build the leader in temperature controlled logistics”, said Kevin Marchetti, Managing Director of Bay Grove.

“We are thrilled to officially welcome the newest members to the Lineage family,” said Bill He
ndricksen, CEO of Lineage Logistics. “We look forward to continuing our commitment to our customers by offering innovative, creative, and customizable logistics solutions as a unified organization.”

For more information on Lineage Logistics, Loop Cold Storage, and Millard Refrigerated Services, please visit the following websites:

www.lineagelogistics.com   -  http://www.loopcoldstorage.com  -  http://www.millardref.com

Most Inspiring Quotes by Maya Angelou

May 28th, 2014 Comments off

maya_web

1. Nothing will work unless YOU do

2. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like it, change your attitude.

3. I know for sure that love saves me, and it is here to save us all.

For more, visit: http://www.buzzfeed.com/krystieyandoli/maya-angelou-quotes-that-will-inspire-you-to-be-a-better

RGV Moves/Thinks Forward Despite Negative Press

April 25th, 2014 Comments off

RSTEC mounts national marketing campaign to fight negative border coverage

Last Updated: 25 April 2014
By Steve Taylor
[The
The Rio South Texas Economic Council board of directors met at Brownsville City Hall on Thursday afternoon. (Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)
BROWNSVILLE, April 25 – Rio South Texas Economic Council is speeding up a $200,000 national marketing campaign to counter what members say are negative stories about the border region in TIME and Texas Monthly.

Meeting at Brownsville City Hall on Thursday, RSTEC agreed to ask Washington, D.C., based DCI Group to start pushing positive stories about the Rio Grande Valley to reporters working for national media outlets.

“It is really important we get moving on this. I do not know if you have seen it but we made TIME magazine, a very negative story on South Texas as a war zone, and then we also made Texas Monthly and the whole damn publication is on the border and why the border becoming a combat zone,” said Keith Patridge, CEO and president of McAllen Economic Development Corporation and a board member of RSTEC.

The TIME article Patridge referenced is titled “10 Cities Where Americans Are Pretty Much Terrified to Live.” Citing a Gallup survey, the article states: “In McAllen, Texas, where Americans were least likely to feel safe, less than half of all respondents were comfortable outside of their homes after dark.” Click here to read the story.

The Texas Monthly article Patridge referenced is titled “Who Will Watch the Watchers?” by reporter Nate Blakeslee. Introducing the story, Texas Monthly Editor Jake Silverstein states: “Unless you happen to live along the United States–Mexico border, or have friends or family there, or are called by business or pleasure to travel through the region with regularity, it may have escaped your notice that over the past decade or so, that area of Texas has come to resemble an occupied territory.” Click here to read the intro to the story.

RSTEC comprises various cities, ports, counties and economic development entities in the Rio Grande Valley. The group has entered into a $200,000 contract with DCI Group for a national marketing campaign involving earned media and polling. Around 400 white collar workers from around the nation will be polled to ask how they view the Valley. “That is our target audience. We expect to have the results of that poll in the next few weeks,” said RSTEC Executive Director Alma Puente Colleli.

Eddie Campirano, executive director of the Port of Brownsville, chairs RSTEC. Discussing the national marketing campaign at the board meeting, Campirano said: “We have got to get this thing kicked off. Here we are entering into May and we still have not got this kicked off. I do not want to have a repeat discussion at the next board meeting. Let us get it done. I am happy we are getting this off the ground.”

The RSTEC board of directors voted unanimously to get moving with the national marketing campaign. Colleli said she would call DCI as soon as the board meeting finished. Interviewed by Sue Groves of Beyond ARTS RGV magazine, Colleli said she received a call from the director of a musical venue to say that a certain artist wanted to know if it was safe to visit the Valley for a performance.

“We have to put out the positive stories. We have a lot of successes here with companies that have located and expanded and done very well,” Colleli told Groves. “We have to start working on inserting ourselves on national stories, such as workforce, transportation, medical. This agency (DCI) has relationships with national reporters. It will be earned media. They will be pitching stories.”

Colleli said RSTEC members would pay for about half of the $200,000 for DCI. The other half, she said, would be raised from the corporate world, such as banks, hotels and car dealerships in the Valley. Corporations would be asked to pay $5,000 to help the national marketing campaign, Colleli said. For this they would be granted associate membership of RSTEC.

Interviewed by the Guardian after the RSTEC board meeting, MEDC President Patridge said that in addition to negative media coverage, the Valley also has to “fight back” against extremist language from certain politicians running for state and national office. “We are also caught up in the political campaigns with Dan Patrick making comments about how it is a war zone on the border. We are getting really hammered.”

Patrick is a state senator from Houston. He is expected to become the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor.

“It is critical we mount this national marketing campaign. If these negative stories and comments stand without any kind of rebuttal then people think these things are true. We are not big enough to take on the national media so we have to look at professionals to get our story out to rebut some of that information. We are going to be an issue on the state political debate and the national political debate because it all ties into the whole immigration debate. We are getting buffeted by a lot of things,” Patridge said.

Patridge also said it was not just state and national media outlets that were hurting the Valley with negative stories. He said some local TV stations were not helping matters.

“Channel 4 had a former tourism secretary of Tamaulipas telling people never to go over to his state because it is dangerous. Unfortunately, because of our location people think that violence is bleeding over to this side. Everyone is beginning to see this area as a war zone,” Patridge said.

“As that continues to be promoted by our media… Channel 5 does it, Channel 4 does it… I understand they are trying to gain viewership but the bottom line is they are killing their advertisers, the ones who make the newspapers and TV stations profitable. You are getting a lot of people saying I am not going to locate my company there or expand my company there. Which means people do not get jobs and then they don’t buy cars and then if they don’t buy cars the car dealerships are probably going to cut back on their advertising on Channel 4 and Channel 5. It is a vicious circle.”

Patridge said he was not proposing border violence be covered up. “But I want to know the facts. I do not want sensationalism in an attempt to gain a viewer or a rating or to sell newspapers. All of this coverage is having a result on our local people. They think it must be true because no one is saying anything to the contrary. Our political leadership is not saying anything.”

Patridge said he could not understand why local media outlets concentrate on border violence and not on all the positive things that are happening in the Valley. “The local community is saying yes, they understand what all this negative coverage is doing to us. It is almost like we are eating our young. Our own media are destroying us. I think it is something we just have to look at.”

Asked how long the contract with DCI would last, Patridge said: “It depends on how they do. We will review it in six months. We are looking for results. But, I think the campaign itself is going to be a long term campaign. I see it being at least a year and probably two or three years to turn this around. We are constantly being used as a whipping post for political campaigns or ratings. We have got to fight it.”

Mexico: Global Manufacturing Hub

April 25th, 2014 Comments off

What you need to know:

  • MX and the U.S. continues to grow despite “crime and safety” perceptions and sensationalism driven by the media
  • MX benefits from the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): 44 free trade agreements, which is more than any other country
  • By 2015, manufacturing-labor costs in Mexico are projected to be 19% lower than in China
  • The U.S. has an advantage since products made in Mexico contain 4 times as many U.S. made parts
  • Many factors are driving the economic growth
  • The Rio Grande Valley has a unique advantage with two options to choose from (US/MX) for manufacturing purposes, import/export, and competitiveness

China’s low-cost labor force wages, weak yuan, and high investment helped make it a manufacturing and exporting hub.

But over time, as the yuan appreciated, wage inflation ticked up, and supply chains became more complicated, multinationals started exploring other options.

In what’s been dubbed the American manufacturing renaissance, many U.S. companies have been reshoring operations.

However, another big beneficiary of rising Chinese labor costs and U.S. economic growth has been Mexico. This has come despite concerns about crime and safety.

Mexico benefits from the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). At 44, it also has more free-trade agreements than any other country. Mexico also benefits from having its natural gas prices tied to those in the U.S. where prices are substantially lower relative to the rest of the world.

Average electricity costs are about 4% lower in Mexico than in China, and the average price of industrial natural gas is 63% lower, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group.

The same study found that by 2015, average manufacturing-labor costs in Mexico are projected to be 19% lower than in China. In 2000, Mexican labor was 58% more expensive than in China.

First, let’s take a look at what’s been going on in China.

The average urban, non-private-sector wage in China has climbed 14.2% per year between 2002 and 2012. While average wages in the private sector have grown at a slower pace, they too have grown. The key figure to watch is unit labor costs.

“As productivity gains slowed in recent years, the continued rapid wage growth has led to a robust growth in ULC – averaging more than 5% a year since 2008 in the urban non-private sector,” according to  Tao Wang, a China economist for UBS.

Of course this is also in part because the yuan has appreciated over 25% against the U.S. dollar since January 2007. This appreciation (despite the recent modest depreciation) has hurt China, since “many of China’s competitors and trading partners saw their currency weakening against the green back,” writes Wang.

China’s unit labor cost has grown over 60% since 2007, in U.S.-dollar terms, which is the fastest growth among trading partners and competitors in part because of yuan appreciation, explains Wang.

In terms of labor-intensive manufacturing exports, China has lost market share to Vietnam and Bangladesh. But “in the transport equipment and parts sector, China has lost market share to Mexico in both the US and the EU,” writes Wang. This chart shows China has lost market share to Mexico:

china loses manufacturing share to mexico

And this is good news for the U.S., too. “It’s also good for America, since products made in Mexico contain four times as many U.S.-made parts, on average, as those made in China,” said Harold L. Sirkin, a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group in a report on Mexico’s growing cost advantage.

China’s ongoing economic growth and aging workforce means labor costs are likely to continue rising. All of this means Mexico will be a winner for years to come.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mexico-becoming-manufacturing-powerhouse-2014-4#ixzz2zvKIZ5o3

 

Think forward, Move Forward: Planning for the Next 25 Years

April 22nd, 2014 Comments off

It’s time The Rio Grande THINKS and ACTS like a region. Research and development is where we need to be headed. 

McALLEN, April 21 – McAllen Economic Development Corporation believes the new ideas coming out of the KAIST research park in Daejeon can lead directly to good paying manufacturing jobs in the Rio Grande Valley.

McAllen EDC leaders have just returned from a visit to South Korea’s fifth largest city. They were invited to visit the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology to explain their concept of rapid response manufacturing, which means getting a product from design to marketplace in as short a time period as possible.

They were also on hand to see a memorandum of understanding signed by the City of Daejeon and the City of McAllen.

“Close your eyes and picture a 381-acre research park that employs 10,000 professionals with PhDs. This is what is happening at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology,” said Keith Patridge, president and CEO of McAllen EDC.

Here is the wording of the agreement:

The City of McAllen, a major advanced manufacturing center for North America, and Daejeon Metropolitan City, a global leader in science and technology, have agreed to work together in a spirit of friendship to promote closer partnerships in the fields of economy, science and technology. The cities will work together to provide economic opportunities in business, trade and investment based on a principle of reciprocity. The cities agree that this initial MOU from the mayor’s letters between the cities on May 11, and May 27, 2011 is the first stage of developing closer relationships between the two cities in the years to come. 31 March, 2014.

KAIST was formed 40 years when the South Korean government decided to make Daejeon its national research center. It is now one of the leading research universities in the world and only accepts the top one percent of graduates. Its research park sits on 381 acres. In 2012, KAIST issued 1,381 patents.

In a lengthy interview with the Guardian, Patridge said MEDC wants to engage with the residents of the Valley to see if university research, coupled with rapid response manufacturing is the way to go. If so, he believes, the Valley can learn a lot from KAIST and Daejeon. He said a collaborative agreement McAllen and Daejeon that was signed during the trip to South Korea could be the first step.

“Is this what we would like for our region? We want to know what our citizenry thinks. What we are doing now at McAllen EDC is not for today. It is for 40 years from now.”

Patridge said McAllen made a long shot bet on the maquila industry 30 years ago and it paid off handsomely. He wonders aloud if its leaders today want to make the same long term commitment on advanced manufacturing and allied research. If so, he said, the Valley could benefit from the ties McAllen and the University of Texas-Pan American are making with the City of Daejeon and KAIST. He said KAIST officials have identified ten or 12 Korean companies that would be a logical fit for the McAllen area.

“While we were there, the folks at KAIST said, look, we do a real good job of coming up with ideas, of discoveries but we do a lousy job of commercializing them. We discover something, it goes on the shelf and then we go on to discover something else. They said you guys (in McAllen) are focused on applied research and commercialization. We would like to form a cooperative, commercialization agreement with McAllen and UTPA,” Patridge explained.

“Universities all over the world have been trying to get this kind of relationship with KAIST. A lot of it has to do with the relationship Miguel has. We worked with them. We developed this agreement and we signed it. The goal is to bring new technologies and technology companies from Korea to McAllen and then as we develop commercialization and new companies we take them from here to Korea. It becomes a two-way fertilization of ideas. It is a natural fit.”

The Miguel Patridge refers to is Professor Miguel Gonzalez, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at UTPA. Gonzalez accompanied the MEDC officials on the trip.

Patridge explained the rationale for developing relations with KAIST.

“We have been rightly focusing on education and training and UTPA and STC do excellent job. But, if we keep doing a good job with our educational institutions but there are no jobs it is a zero sum game. Forty years from now we will still be in the same place we are today.

“If we start producing PhDs and we do not have research for them, we are going to be spending a lot of money for nothing. We will lose those students. We need research and the opportunity to create new companies. We are putting the building blocks in place now. We are fortunate to work with Korea, with one of the leading institutions in the world. Everyone would like to have the relationship but we have the relationship.”

The City of Daejeon has a population of 1.5 million people, not much more than the Valley. However, it is much wealthier. It has an annual budget $2.8 billion a year. Its gross domestic product is $27 billion. “The national government has put a lot of money into research in Daejeon,” Patridge said.

Patridge said the City of Daejeon only has about two Sister City agreements. “They are very guarded about who they enter into agreements with. We feel honored to have been selected.” McAllen Mayor Jim Darling and UTPA President Robert Nelsen had hoped to be on the trip to Daejeon but were prevented from doing so by pressing matters at home. They hope to go on a future trip. Darling did appear in a video about McAllen that was presented to Daejeon officials.

The City of McAllen and McAllen EDC have been making regular visits to Korea since 1990. On the first trip were then McAllen Mayor Othal Brand, then McAllen City Commissioner Jan Klinck, then McAllen EDC President Mike Allen, and Patridge. Patridge said it was because of the beautification of the Korean cities they visited that made Brand insist on his city be spruced up by its parks and recreation department.

“Korea was much different back in 1990. It was an emerging country. It was still a bit wild and wooly. We were told not to drink the water in the hotel room. But it was absolutely beautiful, as clean as can be. It was just after Korea hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics,” Patridge remembers.

The relationships forged on that and subsequent visits are starting to pay off now, Patridge said. In fact, one of the reasons for the latest trip was so that Korean officials could learn about the rapid response project being undertaken by the North American Advanced Manufacturing Research and Education Initiative, which McAllen EDC and UTPA are part of.

“There is a whole strategic plan behind this that I am not going to get into but it would make a lot of sense if we could tell you about it. The folks from KAIST come over once a year, bringing companies that may be interested in building a manufacturing operation here, and then, once a year, we go over there and take our companies to see Daejeon,” Patridge said.

So what comes next?

“We have to develop our research park. We have to have a top quality university, which we are developing, and we have to have a research component. And, we have to get our first building for the research park. It costs money and so the question is, how do we fund it? It is unlikely that it will come from the federal government. How do we get the citizenry of McAllen to invest in this? How do we explain we could be the KAIST of Texas?

“We have to tell people what the potential is and see if they want it. This is another of those watershed moments, like the maquila concept. It is up to the citizenry of this region but we believe it is an investment in our grandkids. That is what we have got to think about it,” Patridge added.

 

FULL STORY & SOURCE: http://riograndeguardian.com/business_story_working.asp?story_no=25

10 Most Dangerous Cities in America

April 4th, 2014 Comments off
From 24/7 Wall St., based on the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

1. Flint, Michigan

Violent crimes per 100,000: 2,729.5

Population: 101,632

2012 murders: 63

Poverty rate: 40.6%

2. Detroit

Violent crimes per 100,000: 2,122.6

Population: 707,096

2012 murders: 386

Poverty rate: 40.9%

3. Oakland, Calif.

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,993.1

Population: 399,487

2012 murders: 126

Poverty rate: 21%

4. St. Louis

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,776.5

Population: 318,667

2012 murders: 113

Poverty rate: 27%

Percent of adults with high-school diploma: 83.9%

5. Memphis, Tenn.

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,750

Population: 657,436

2012 murders: 133

Poverty rate: 27.2%

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,548

Population: 299,105

2012 murders: 71

Poverty rate: 25.8%

7. Birmingham, Ala.

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,517.8

Population: 213,266

2012 murders: 67

Poverty rate: 32%

8. New Haven, Conn.

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,439.2

Population: 129,934

2012 murders: 17

Poverty rate: 30.1%

9. Baltimore

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,405.7

Population: 625,474

2012 murders: 219

Poverty rate: 25.1%

10. Cleveland

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,383.8

Population: 393,781

2012 murders: 84

Poverty rate: 34.3%

-So why does McAllen and Reynosa get the dirty headlines of being an “unsafe” war zone area? Because the media likes to sensationalize and make things seem worse than they typically are, unfortunately. Either way, the proof is in the pudding and we are happy that the stats show the reality of what cities are like or not like.

source below:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-10-most-dangerous-cities-in-america-2013-06-22