Santana Textiles, a Brazilian denim manufacturer, announces it has begun hiring up to 300 employees for its new 33-acre facility in Edinburg, TX. When completed by year's end, the new plant will house the company's spinning and weaving operations, and storage warehouses. It also will be the biggest facility operated by the world's fifth-largest denim producer, creating high-quality denim lines for numerous fashion designers. The company employs currently 1,800 employees in Brazil and Argentina.
Raudel Garza, executive director of the Rio South Texas Economic Council, said Santana's plant is a multi-phase project expected to take three years to complete. The first phase involves the construction of a 200,000-sq.-ft. plant (expected to open before December), and the hiring of the 300 workers. Once all phases are complete and the facility fully ramped up, "they expect to have a workforce of up to 800 people," he said.
Texas officials have estimated that the project eventually will pour roughly $170 million into the region.
The plant's groundbreaking ceremony took place July 2008, and construction began in late 2010. "The company's equipment is so big that you can't build a building until the equipment is in; and that's what Santana is expecting to arrive soon in Texas," explained Garza. "They've begun hiring to train people as it's anticipated the facility will be operational in the near future."
Garza said that "it's good for Texas cotton farmers" that Santana plans on buying "as much cotton locally as possible" to produce its blue jeans.
The textile company has received a wide assortment of incentives, including a Texas Enterprise Fund grant of $1.65 million, a property tax abatement from.Hidalgo County, and donation of the project's 33 acres at Edinburg North Industrial Park (plus site infrastructure) from the City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The two latter entities also helped Santana obtain an enterprise zone project designation from the State which allows the firm to receive a refund on sales and use taxes paid during the construction period (and several years afterwards) based on the number of jobs created. Moreover, The University of Texas - Pan American, South Texas College, and Workforce Solutions (the local workforce development board) have teamed up and applied for specific grants to provide training for the Santana Textile's employees.
"The fact that a Brazilian manufacturer chose to build their newest plant here in Rio South Texas will come as no surprise to those who understand this region," noted Garza. "Rio South Texas offers everything companies are seeking in these challenging economic times," he added, citing the region's young labor force, low cost of living and ideal geographic location for manufacturers and distributors.