(July 23, 2010)--The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration has awarded more than $1.3 million to the UTSA Southwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center. The award completes a three-year funding cycle and represents an increase over last year's award.
The Southwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (SWTAAC) provides a range of services to help manufacturing and service firms in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma regain a competitive edge in response to foreign competition.
The center's project managers analyze client operations, determine areas where the firm can use assistance, and provide advice and follow-through to help clients improve their bottom line. Typical services include creating marketing and strategic growth plans, accessing funding and improving the efficiency of operations.
"With this award, we'll be able to increase our project management staff from three to four, and we'll be able to put more money and resources in our clients' hands," said Robert Velasquez, SWTAAC director.
In 2009, the center's tri-state portfolio included 74 firms with more than 3,000 employees. For these firms as a whole, the two-year average decline in sales before seeking SWTAAC assistance was 11 percent. After using the services provided by SWTAAC, firms reported a 49 percent increase in sales. The funding increase is based in part on the center's solid performance record, Velasquez noted.
The center's portfolio includes a wide range of clients. For example, SOS from Texas is a manufacturer of organic cotton products. The business received assistance that led to the company doubling its sales through increased Internet presence, trade show promotion and product development, according to president Gary Oldham.
Similarly, Xenetech Global Inc. in Baton Rouge, La., made use of the SWTAAC services when several of their longtime, domestic distributors were recruited to sell low-cost laser engraving systems produced in Taiwan. Project managers helped them plan for, apply for and receive funds to improve marketing efforts and operating efficiencies.
"I don't know if we would be in business today if it were not for their efforts," said Guy Barone, Xenetech president.
The UTSA Institute for Economic Development is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses and fostering economic development. Its 11 centers and programs provide professional business advising, technical training, research and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders. The programs serve San Antonio, the Texas-Mexico border area as well as regional, national and international stakeholders. Together with federal, state and local governments, and private businesses, IED fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA's community-engagement mission.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.