Editor’s Note: This article is featured in the latest edition of the Port of Brownsville Directory. Click HERE to view directory or to request a copy.
The Port of Brownsville is the driving economic engine for the region, responsible for more than 51,000 jobs and $3 billion in annual state economic activity, according to the latest analysis, with more than 9,000 regional workers directly employed by activities at the port and infusing $2 billion annually into the Rio Grande Valley.
As a job creator, the Port of Brownsville understands the need to build the human capital necessary to sustain existing industries and attract new ones. For this reason, the port and its 273 tenant companies work with local school districts, colleges, universities, technical schools, and workforce development leaders in creating career opportunities for local residents.
In September 2021 the Texas A&M University System and two of its state engineering agencies – the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service – announced a new initiative at the Port of Brownsville to invigorate advanced manufacturing, with workforce development programs aimed at preparing people for high-need jobs. The Texas A&M RGV Advanced Manufacturing/Training Innovation Now – called TRAIN >> Es Tu Futuro – gathers community input, creates collaborations, and develops training courses that meet the needs of current and future employers at the Port of Brownsville.
Also, in 2020 the Port of Brownsville Scholarship Program was created to help deserving students pursue a higher education and career dreams. Each year, the port awards 30 high school graduating seniors with a $1,000 scholarship each to help them continue their education. To date, the scholarship program has awarded close to $100,000 benefiting many students attending schools within the navigation district.
Brownsville is rapidly growing as a global shipbuilding and ship recycling center, providing a solid base for well-paying industrial skills jobs. This region is home to one of the nation’s most youthful populations where the average age is 29. The local workforce is technically savvy, adaptable and motivated to succeed.
Many of these young people work for the port’s three skilled stevedoring operations, who collaborated in the movement of 13.8 million tons of cargo last year: Dix Shipping, Schaefer Stevedoring and Gulf Stream Marine. These three companies represent the backbone and muscle of the port that works and distinguish themselves with impeccable records of safety and efficiency, serving the focused needs of their clients, resulting in staggering economic impact.