Gov. Greg Abbott visits Harlingen to tout manufacturing company

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Gov. Greg Abbott shakes the hand of an ITD Precision Stampings employee in Harlingen on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

Gov. Greg Abbott visited ITD Precision Stampings in Harlingen Wednesday to tour the facility, spotlight the company’s role in the Texas manufacturing economy, and to tout the “Made in Texas” brand known around the world.

Against a backdrop of blue-shirted ITD employees and management, Abbott praised the company’s team for their crucial contribution to the economy.

“ITD Precision is a key part of the Texas economic juggernaut,” Abbott said, noting that it’s one of the largest metal stamping plants in the state.

The company, which supplies the automotive industry, has more than 100 employees and about 100,000 square feet in Harlingen, he said. ITD’s corporate plant is located in Houston.

Abbott said Texas is home to a booming manufacturing sector that, in addition to companies like ITD, includes major businesses such as Austin’s Tesla Gigafactory and Houston-based Schneider Electric, which Abbott said he toured last week.

“As a hub of innovation, Texas is leading the way on manufacturing, which will power the Texas of tomorrow,” he said.

Abbott said that for the past year the state has ranked number one in the United States for most new jobs added, and has been ranked by CEOs as the best state for doing business for 19 years in a row. Texas has been awarded the governor’s cup for economic development 11 years in a row, he said.

“Texas has grown so much with our economic prowess we are now home to more Fortune 500 company headquarters than any other state in America,” Abbott said. “Part of the reason that we have that success is because of your local economic development teams, like what you have in Harlingen.”

Gov. Greg Abbott tours ITD Precision Stampings in Harlingen on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

Officials with the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation also were on hand for the press conference and received the governor’s congratulations for securing a grant to develop an industrial park in the city. Abbott also recognized Harlingen for being a “one of the top cities in the United States for small businesses.”

Added together, all the goods and services produced in the state equal a Gross Domestic Product of more than $2.3 trillion, making Texas the eighth largest economy in the world, Abbott said.

“Made in Texas is a powerful brand recognized across the entire world,” he said, adding that the state produces 9% of all manufactured goods in the country.

Abbott also took the opportunity to sign a proclamation recognizing this week as Manufacturing Week, and October as Manufacturing Month.

Quoting from the proclamation, he said that “Texas’ spirit has long been defined by innovation, ingenuity and a relentless work ethic … especially evident in the manufacturing industry.”

“This vital sector of commerce has quite literally built the Lone Star State as we know it,” Abbott said. “The manufacturers of Texas have earned their rightful place as national and international leaders, contributing directly to the great Texas economic miracle.”