Port San Antonio, St. Philip’s College Set Stage for Major Growth of Region’s Aerospace Workforce Training
SAN ANTONIO—Officials from Port San Antonio and St. Philip’s College Alamo Colleges today announced an important expansion of the school’s Alamo Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Programs at St. Philip’s College Southwest Campus. Earlier this month, both the Port San Antonio and Alamo Colleges boards of directors approved an agreement whereby Port San Antonio will donate a 40,000-square-foot building and 21 acres of land to the college school, which is adjacent to the Port’s East Kelly Railport. The facility and surrounding land will allow the Alamo Colleges to expand Business Outreach Programs, such as the Alamo Area Academies, and will allow St. Philip’s Southwest Campus to accommodate its rapidly growing enrollment for years to come. In return for the properties, St. Philip’s Alamo Colleges will provide the equivalent of $5.1 million in specialized training over several years to present and future aerospace industry workers at Port San Antonio.
“This is truly a win-win all around for our community,” said Bruce E. Miller, President and CEO of Port San Antonio. “The aerospace industry at Port San Antonio is thriving and has big plans ahead. A key to its future success—which means thousands of additional jobs for San Antonians—is to have access to a well-prepared workforce through the quality training provided by Alamo Colleges St. Philip’s.”
“Today marks an important milestone for our institution,” said Dr. Bruce Leslie, Chancellor of the Alamo Colleges. Adena Loston, President of St. Philip’s College. “We are very proud to have been partners with the aerospace industry at Port San Antonio over many years—helping it become the success story it is today. Now, with plenty of room to grow at the Southwest Campus, we are ready to take our efforts to the next level.”
St. Philip’s College has The Alamo Colleges have been instrumental in delivering high quality aerospace technology education to hundreds of aerospace workers at Port San Antonio for over a decade—both through degrees it confers and customized programs for Port customers, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Kelly Aviation Center and Chromalloy.
Today there are 14 aerospace-related businesses at Kelly Field, Port San Antonio’s industrial airport. The firms directly employ approximately 5,000 workers and generate over $1.3 billion in regional economic activity.
Aerospace employers at the Port have historically specialized in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of Air Force aircraft and engines. In addition to continuing their military work, in recent years companies have begun to diversify into commercial aviation projects. This growth includes the arrival of several Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 cargo freighter aircraft earlier this year that are currently undergoing part of their manufacturing at the Port, resulting in the hiring of almost 900 temporary employees by Boeing and the development of corresponding training by Alamo Colleges. St. Philip’s College.
Similarly, Gore Design Completions, North America’s largest firm specializing in the outfitting of customized interiors for wide- and narrow-body aircraft, established its headquarters at Port San Antonio in 2005. In less than seven years, it has grown from 150 to over 700 workers, including craftsmen, engineers and technicians.
Beginning in 2012, aerospace firms at Port San Antonio are poised to see additional growth thanks to a road infrastructure project currently underway. The extension of 36th Street into the heart of Port San Antonio, an effort which is being led by the City’s Capital Improvements Management Services Department and will be completed in the spring, will open 150 acres at Kelly Field for the development of additional air-served facilities. The new space is vital to the growth of the region’s aerospace industry, given that the occupancy rate of existing leasable hangars and workshops at Port San Antonio is nearly 100 percent.
According to economists at the SABÉR Research Institute, a collaborative between St. Mary’s University and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, upon full development the upcoming sites at Kelly Field will be able to support an additional 8,000 industry jobs and add $1.5 billion to the region’s annual economic activity.