Valley as leader in rapid response manufacturing?

The Rio Grande Valley is on its way to becoming a world leader in advanced and rapid response manufacturing.

All this stemming from plans to build a research and education park in south McAllen.

The goal is to continually research advanced manufacturing and shorten the time a product takes from concept to consumer.

It started out as a dream that's slowly becoming a reality.

"It was very strategic," said Wanda Garza an executive officer with the North American Advanced Manufacturing Research Initiative or NAAMREI.

She said over 15 years ago the city of McAllen and surrounding areas brainstormed on how to build up the capacity of this area's industry.

Thanks to a grant they were able to come up with new strategies.

One of them focused on manufacturing.

"By building a manufacturing base for every job you create in manufacturing, it creates three indirect jobs," said Garza.

The most recent project to tie together the manufacturing base is a Resarch and Education Park on Rapid Response Manufacturing.

"That's your next level of type of investment you need to be able to grow and attract companies from around the world," said Garza.

With more than 200 manufacturing companies in McAllen, it was only logical that the city house a Research Education Park focused on Rapid Response Manufacturing.

With a park like this, Keith Patridge, the president of McAllen's Economic Development Corporation, or MEDC, said researchers could come up with ways to shorten the time a product takes from concept to consumer.

"What our goal is is to reach a point where we can go from an idea for a poduct to the marketplace in 30 days," said Patridge.

Patridge said this is the future of manufacturing, and because McAllen is becoming a power house in advanced manufacturing, Patridge said companies have already moved portions of their companies to the Valley to join in on the efforts.

Congressman Hinojosa worked with MEDC and the city to secure funding for the park's master plan.