Samsung And Tesla Projects Impact Austin; Port Of Brownsville Attracts $25M Food Investment

In Williamson County, TX, continued investment by Samsung and Tesla is fueling economic growth, while Westa Foods locates in the south Texas region.

Last week, Samsung Electronics welcomed U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to its new semiconductor manufacturing facility in Taylor, Texas. The event was to announce up to $6.4 billion in direct funding to Samsung as part of the CHIPS and Science Act. Samsung Semiconductor CEO Kye Hyun Kyung and Secretary Raimondo held a celebration of the investment which will enable Samsung to further expand in the Austin, TX region and create new manufacturing capacity and capabilities for essential chips for the automotive, consumer technology, IoT, aerospace, and other vital industries.

“We’re not just expanding production facilities; we’re strengthening the local semiconductor ecosystem and positioning the U.S. as a global semiconductor manufacturing destination.” said Kyung. “To meet the expected surge in demand from U.S. customers, for future products like AI chips, our fabs will be equipped for cutting-edge process technologies and help bring security to the U.S. semiconductor supply chain.”

Photo: Samsung

Samsung has been an economic engine in Texas for nearly 30 years. Since 1996, Samsung Semiconductor has invested $18 billion in operating two fabs at its Austin, Texas, campus.

In 2021, Samsung announced expansion into Taylor with a minimum of $17 billion to construct a new semiconductor manufacturing facility. This $6.4 billion of CHIPS Act funding provides the company to continue and accelerate its operations into the Central Texas region. Samsung is expected to invest more than $40 billion in the region in the coming years, transforming the municipality of Taylor into an expansive hub of leading-edge U.S. semiconductor manufacturing.

Photo: Tesla

Also in the Austin region, a Tesla supplier reportedly filed to perform improvements on a 212,000 square-foot warehouse in Hutto, TX. South Korean company, Seoyon E-hwa Manufacturing Plant registered the project with the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration. Renovations are slated to begin at the end of May. This move follows Tesla’s announcement earlier this year that it would be opening a facility in Hutto, expanding its operations in Texas.

Westa Foods Locates In Port Of Brownsville Industrial Park

In south Texas in the border region, the Port of Brownsville and COSTEP, Council for South Texas Economic Progress have welcomed Westa Foods. During the last quarter of 2023, COSTEP began working with Westa Foods and found the company a suitable location in the Port of Brownsville Industrial Park. On April 18, 2024, a groundbreaking event heralded an initial private capital investment of $25 million and 120 potential jobs for the Rio South Texas Region.

Photo: COSTEP, Council for South Texas Economic Progress

Rick Carrera, COSTEP Director of Economic Development coordinated the efforts to find the company a suitable site. “The addition of Westa Foods as the first tenant for the Port of Brownsville Industrial Park is excellent for the entire region.”

Carrera continued, “Not only does it demonstrate the Port’s and the region’s capacity to easily support a variety of industries, it exemplifies the region’s locational and logistical advantages as those factors were a big selling point for the project. COSTEP is excited to welcome Westa Foods to the region as it’s a win-win, as they say, for everyone involved.  The facility will be a good job creator for the area, and creates the potential for further similar investments in the future.”

Adam Gonzalez, COSTEP Chief Executive Officer stated that the Westa Foods project showcases that the COSTEP approach to regional economic development works. This approach is regional in scope, data-driven, and focused on business recruitment and industry-focused workforce pipeline development.

“COSTEP’s economic development initiatives have been crafted to complement and support, not compete, with local economic development organizations,” said Gonzalez. “The purpose of COSTEP is to bring together business and stakeholders and advance business prosperity and the economic success of the region and its citizens.”

Also instrumental in the project was the support and collaboration of regional stakeholders. COSTEP thanks the Port of Brownsville, all their Commissioners, their Interim CEO Mr. William Deitrich, and all staff who took part in the groundbreaking event. COSTEP also notes its sponsors: AEP Texas, Texas Regional Bank, CIL (Commodities Integrated Logistics), Titan Fuel, SAMES Engineering, Mexico Industry, Port of Brownsville, Frost Bank, and IBC.

COSTEP, the Council for South Texas Economic Progress is a nongovernmental organization advocating regional economic development for the seven-county region of Rio South Texas (counties of Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Jim Hogg, Zapata, and Webb).

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