SAN ANTONIO – In the last 18 months, more than 2,000 jobs have been created at Port San Antonio focused around cybersecurity, aerospace and applied technology.
Port SA – which was created after the closure of Kelly Air Force Base – has become a central hub for the Texas tech scene.
"When you look at a company like Boeing or a company like Lockheed Martin, they can be anywhere. Why be here in San Antonio? Because we have the talent and the capabilities and the companies that can make them even more successful," said Jim Perschbach, president & CEO of Port San Antonio.
Perschbach said the 2,000 plus jobs are centered around cybersecurity, aerospace, and applied technology.
"Boeing announced the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) team program, which is installing new technologies into an airplane that's been around for decades," Perschbach said.
"We've had the CACI labs open here on the property, the CNF technologies lab open on the property, (and) StandardAero bringing in new engine lines," he said.
Mark Buongiorno, with StandardAero – aerospace maintenance, repair, and overhaul provider – said its workforce has doubled in the last two years.
"We're about 550 right now, up from less than 300. When I got here two years ago and, on our way, to over 600 by the end of the year and beyond," said Buongiorno, vice president and general manager of StandardAero's Operations in San Antonio.
Another company on site is Lockheed Martin, which mainly focuses on cybersecurity.
"We opened the facility in the port's new project tech building," David Hathaway, Spectrum Convergence Business Development lead with Lockheed Martin, said. "What the facility is based on is to provide full-spectrum cyber-capabilities for the Department of Defense."
Hathaway said while they have six people working here right now, they are expanding.
"We're growing to about 100 over the next year to two," Hathaway said.
All the companies are looking for different people.
"We look for aircraft and power plant technicians so maintenance technicians that do work on the engines as well as engineers, finance materials and logistics supply chain," Buongiorno said.
"We're looking for software engineers, cyber architects, system engineers," Hathaway said. 'Lockheed Martin, in general, is a huge supporter of veterans transitioning out. We employ one in five. Lockheed Martin employees our veterans. And here in San Antonio, we're near 100 percent."
Port San Antonio said its facility is home to over 80 public and private sector employers.
More than 13,000 workers generate over $5 billion in economic activity for the region.
"We're right next to the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center, which is one of our key customers – next to 24th Air Force, Air Force Cyber, 25th Air Force and the intel community partners that are in and around the port," Hathaway said.
"It allows us to capitalize on not only the customer relationships but also folks that are transitioning out of government service and want to look for an opportunity to continue to serve," he said.
Perschbach said what they are doing is focusing on key industries in matchmaking.
"When you look and you say we've been doing airplanes here for over 100 years. But we also have the capability in real cybersecurity, deep cybersecurity," Perschbach said.
"If you can put those capabilities together there is a tremendous value proposition and that's what we're looking on focusing is leveraging the best of San Antonio with the best of what we do here this year."