UTSA Institute for Economic Development hosts manufacturers' roundtable

manufacturer roundtable

From left are Robert McKinley (UTSA Institute for Economic Development), Rep. Henry Cuellar and Robert Vasquez (UTSA Southwest Trade Adjustment Assitance Center).

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(April 2, 2013) -- The Southwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (SWTAAC), part of the UTSA Institute for Economic Development, hosted a manufacturers' roundtable with Rep. Henry Cuellar last week.

Robert Velasquez, director of SWTAAC, said the Southwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center was pleased to provide a venue where manufacturers and business owners could have a private and candid discussion with Representative Cuellar to discuss issues impacting business owners throughout the nation.

"I commend UTSA's Institute for Economic Development for their vision in helping the region's businesses prosper and find new markets, both here in the states and internationally," said Congressman Henry Cuellar. "It is through initiatives like these that our area's businesses are able to grow, thus contributing more to the local economies."

Firms in attendance included Amigos Foods (food and beverage), Charles Alan Inc. (furniture) and HOMEART (cabinetry). Discussion focused on exporting initiatives and recommendations to improve the grant process. SWTAAC clients also gave their testimonials.

SWTAAC helps qualified manufacturers and service firms with federal grants to implement improvement projects. The San Antonio regional office serves Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Trade Adjustment Assistance programs nationally have created 76,242 jobs and generated more than $15 billion in sales.

"Our company is extremely grateful to the SWTAAC team for helping us obtain the assistance we need to become more competitive in our industry and remain one of our areas largest employers," said Brock Townzen, vice president of finance and accounting at Amigos Foods.

The UTSA Institute for Economic Development is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses and fostering economic development. Its 12 centers and programs provide professional business advising, technical training, research, and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders. The institute serves San Antonio, the Texas-Mexico border area, and regional, national and international stakeholders. Together with federal, state and local governments, and private businesses, the institute fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA's community engagement mission.