Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) programs traditionally focus on helping a community’s existing businesses grow. That’s just part of the story in San Antonio. The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF), the public-private partnership leading the San Antonio region’s economic diversification and growth, differentiates itself with the level of service and lengths the team will go to in support of local companies and, most importantly, the people who work in San Antonio.
San Antonio’s BRE team is made up of partners from private and public organizations who recognize the necessity of maintaining a strong local business community, whether it be established corporate headquarters, regional operations, or small businesses. Central to the BRE program are the company visits. It’s a seemingly simple tactic, but they provide a forum for Team San Antonio to build relationships with local businesses and, in turn, for those companies to share candid feedback on challenges they’ve had in the local market. When presented with a problem, the BRE program is designed to find solutions.
The BRE team visited and assisted over 150 local companies in the past two years, connecting them to workforce development resources, capital, business development opportunities, and infrastructure improvement support. They also helped companies realize facilities expansions. In action, the BRE team helps companies of all sizes with issues large and small, the goal being to create a business environment in San Antonio where companies thrive.
While members of the BRE team met with Acelity, a global wound-care company headquartered in San Antonio, they learned of a strategic organizational change within the company that would result in subcontracting their corporate IT support. The company’s biggest concern was for the highly skilled IT employees who would be impacted by the change.
In an effort to retain these skilled workers in our community, SA Works, SAEDF’s workforce development team, called on San Antonio’s top technology employers to engage in a job-matching event, hosted in partnership with Acelity to match affected employees with IT employers in San Antonio.
In two weeks, the team was able to bring together 12 local IT employers for the event that hosted 40 technology professionals for matching. Employers including CPS Energy, H-E-B, Rackspace, USAA, DOCUmation, Harland Clarke, IPSecure, Jungle Disk, SecureLogix, TEKsystems, University Health System, and Whataburger attended to speak with the candidates on opportunities in systems administration, enterprise solutions, data center operations, technical program and change management, development, and engineering – all key roles in the tech market.
After the job-matching event, the BRE team continued to engage with Acelity to provide additional support and corporate connections, like hosting a human resources roundtable with other local human resources executives.
“Acelity is working to partner and take advantage of the programs available in the San Antonio community,” said Vice President of Human Resources Korye Jones. “There is a significant corporate network to leverage partnerships and to share ideas and best practices.”
When Steeltron Metal Works, a family-owned sheet metal fabrication shop on the city’s East Side, was having issues with its water drainage, the BRE team quickly connected company owners with the City and San Antonio Water System to resolve the issues.
The company had experienced this issue for many years and didn’t know that a resource existed in San Antonio to resolve it – certainly not as quickly as the team did. The BRE team connected the company to SAWS, who deployed team members in a matter of days.
BD, a leading global medical technology company, established their San Antonio offices in the summer of 2011 to provide business services, including finance, procurement, human resources, technology, project management, supply chain, and customer service for its North American operations. Since opening its offices in San Antonio almost seven years ago, BD has worked with San Antonio’s BRE team to accommodate additional growth.
In 2015, BD acquired CareFusion and began integrating its business functions into BD’s portfolio of services. As part of the acquisition, BD San Antonio was asked to integrate a new technology service to troubleshoot problems with its hospital equipment. To support this added service, BD needed to hire 100 plus skilled technology employees in San Antonio.
“We began testing the waters in San Antonio, adding a few positions to provide these technology services,” said Phyllis Gallay, Vice President of Global Shared Services Operations at BD. “During the trial period, we found in San Antonio a strong, skilled workforce that will allow us to fill the 100 plus positions needed over time. Many of these hires are coming from our local universities.”
BD worked closely with the BRE team to address its growth needs – from connections and expedited service to local vendors and facility expansion – to accommodate adding over 100 new employees.
“From our facility expansion to potholes and traffic issues, we laugh about the range of things we’ve brought to the BRE team for assistance over the years,” said Gallay. “But the truth is there are no small problems when they affect our employees and our clients.”
SAEDF’s goal is to promote an economically healthy and prosperous future for San Antonio. The products and services local businesses provide and the jobs that our local companies create have a lasting impact on the San Antonio community’s culture, economy, and current positive growth trajectory. The BRE team is here to help San Antonio’s businesses stay, grow, and prosper in San Antonio.
For more information on San Antonio’s BRE program, visit www.sanantonioedf.com/stay-and-grow or contact SAEDF Executive Vice President of Business Development Michele Boggs at email@example.com.