In 2020, the San Antonito Manufacturers Association (SAMA) and its members mobilized and responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in unprecedented ways. As part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, we supplied medical equipment and supplies to health care workers on the front lines of COVID-19. Local manufacturers also produced essential goods that we relied on for our health and well-being.
We thank the essential employees and SAMA members who made these efforts possible. SAMA’s priorities include the safety and health of our members, their families and the regional community where we live and work. Manufacturers will continue to play a critical role in the region’s pandemic response, recovery and renewal.
During the early stages of the pandemic, SAMA helped members navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and retool their operations. Using our network of local manufactures, we connected Helmy Plastics (https://helmyplastics.com) with suppliers to meet the shortage of medical supplies in our region. Helmy was able to make 25,000 face shields, which they sold to medical companies in San Antonio and Bexar County.
You can learn more about how other SAMA members stepped up to address the challenges of COVID-19 here: https://sama-tx.org/covid-19/
SAMA also formed new partnerships to address the regional medical supply shortage. This past April, we launched the Medical Manufacturing Alliance of South Central Texas with the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC), Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Fusion Success Group and Bexar County. The alliance connects healthcare facilities with manufacturers and aligns the production of medical supplies used in the fight against COVID-19. Help us secure the medical supply chain in South Central Texas at https://www.facebook.com/MMASCT/.
As a result of these efforts, the Alamo Area Council of Governments awarded SAMA the 2020 COVID-19 Response and Recovery Award. This special category recognizes initiatives helping the Alamo Area during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SAMA also celebrated a successful virtual Manufacturing Day with over 250 attendees. With the use of technology, we offered students a glimpse into the world of modern manufacturing with four virtual plant tours. We want to thank our partners Caterpillar, Toyota, Alamo Group, M2Global and Cox Manufacturing for opening their doors to the community. You can watch the 2020 Manufacturing Day videos at https://sama-tx.org/manufacturing-day/.
Despite significant hurdles, the region’s manufacturing industry continues to persevere. Fourth quarter industry data indicates rebounding growth. The Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported expansion in factory activity and employment this past December. National data also indicates manufacturing growth and positive sentiment driven by domestic orders and vaccine distribution efforts.
However, manufacturers continue to face growing concerns regarding future outlooks. Locally, the CPS and SAWS petition effort seeks to dismantle our publicly owned municipal utilities with burdensome government regulation and oversight threatening the manufacturing industry’s growth and competitive advantage. We encourage you to say NOPE to dismantling our well-run municipal utilities by learning more at https://www.nopetitionsa.com.
The disruptions of COVID-19 altered the way many manufacturers think about their operations, supply chains and workforce. As we enter 2021, SAMA is ready to help members navigate critical issues such as addressing our local skills gap, automating operations, localizing supply chains and reshoring services to enhance the region’s manufacturing industry. Together, we will use this unique opportunity to strengthen the region’s manufacturing industry.