More than 400 new jobs have been created on the Port San Antonio campus in the past year, many with new advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity companies that have established operations at the former Air Force base this year, Port President and CEO Roland Mower said Friday.
In the fourth annual State of the Port briefing, Mower summarized the major infrastructure projects in progress that total more than $150 million across the 1,900-acres at the former Kelly Air Force Base.
“This year marks a century since this very large and unique San Antonio asset was launched in 1917,” said Mower, citing the the base’s birth. “… We continue to grow the flexibility of the Port’s assets to create an environment that allows San Antonians to pursue new career paths that are local, regional, national, and global in scale.”
More than 70 private- and public-sector tenants employ about 12,000 people at the redeveloped base and generate over $5 billion in regional economic activity each year, Mower said. Job opportunities available through employers at the Port include aircraft technicians, cybersecurity professionals, programmers, logistics personnel, customer service agents, commercial drivers, and civilian opportunities with the Air Force. Job opportunities at the Port can be found here.
Mower called Kelly Air Force Base’s 100-year legacy in aviation technology the cornerstone of its present-day success. The Port’s industrial airport at Kelly Field helped the Port transition into a major aircraft maintenance center, with companies such as Boeing, StandardAero, and Chromalloy occupying large facilities where they service both military and commercial aircraft and engines.
Port San Antonio also will soon launch advanced manufacturing operations with October’s official opening of Indo-MIN. The India-based company came to the Port last year to open its first location in North America. Specializing in the manufacturing of small precision components using an innovative metal injection molding process, the company will supply customers in the automotive and medical device industries, and other advanced industries.
Over the past year the Port has worked with Indo-MIN to retrofit an industrial facility that is almost 100,000 sq. ft., where the company is now ramping up production. Its startup workforce of about 100 employees is expected to grow to more than 300.
Mower also highlighted continuing redevelopment work totaling more than $150 million, including building retrofits and major infrastructure projects at the Port.
With the Port’s office space nearing capacity, the Port launched the first phase of its Project Tech in April. The multi-facility community will provide state-of-the-art spaces for information technology professionals and their customers to collaborate and execute projects. Construction of the $20 million building is underway and will be completed in early 2018, Mower said.
Mower also pointed to the recent groundbreaking on two flexible industrial buildings totaling more than 200,000 sq. ft. Located at the corner of 36th Street and General Hudnell Drive, the $20 million project is funded by the Port and will be completed in early 2018. The complex will provide additional space for employers requiring manufacturing, logistics, and office space.
Cybersecurity firms also stepped up operations in support of U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and private-sector clients, helping to make San Antonio the country’s second-largest cluster of cyber professionals outside of the Washington, D.C., area. There are now over 1,000 cybersecurity professionals who work at Lackland Annex, a large, secure office complex in the southeast part of the Port.
Mower highlighted recent expansions by IPSecure and Booz Allen Hamilton, who support DOD cyber operations. Earlier this month, Northrop Grumman announced the launch of its new cyber facility at the Port, which also is focused on serving military clients. Newcomer Dynamic Advancement, headquartered in Hawaii, has used its new location at the Port to provide certification and training programs to more than 200 area professionals so far this year.
“Opening a location at the Port made sense for us given the cybersecurity training we provide,” Jordan Davis, vice president of Dynamic Advancement said. “We’re helping the 24th Air Force and others as we train and certify employees in IT and cybersecurity.”
Mower also emphasized ways in which the Port is working to enrich community life and its surrounding neighborhoods. This year, the Port welcomed the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT). In a 15,000-sq.-ft. facility in the historic center of the property, SAMSAT has launched an exhibit space with a vast collection of artifacts that tell the history of advances that heralded the era of computing, advanced technology, and telecommunications.
“Our location at Port San Antonio enables us to reach out to the community to provide critical STEM-based programs using the museum’s collection,” said SAMSAT President James Castro.
The Port also welcomed Paws for Purple Hearts, a nonprofit that trains service dogs to support veterans and active-duty service members.
In closing, Mower acknowledged the important role several Port tenants and members of the U.S. military played at Kelly Field in responding to recent hurricanes along the Texas Coast and in the Caribbean.
As part of rescue and relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Port’s fixed-base operator, Atlantic Aviation, in partnership with Port customers GDC Technics, Air Methods, and Bario Aviation, provided support with dozens of military aircraft and hundreds of personnel who flew missions to areas impacted by the storms.
After Hurricane Irma struck Caribbean islands, Atlantic Aviation and Pinnacle Logistics supported several air cargo flights providing food and supplies to the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, an effort led by former San Antonio Spur Tim Duncan.
“We continue to work hand-in-hand with our partners, our customers and our neighbors to ensure that this big and iconic place continues to support the dreams and ambitions of people throughout the community today and in the century ahead,” Mower said.