2018 - Waco Chamber

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In the 1990s, a group came together and formed the Area Industry Managers (AIM) committee, an amalgamation of greater Waco industry businesses who recognized the rapid development of advanced manufacturing and wanted to work together to keep Waco ahead of the curve. The Economic Development team at the Greater Waco Chamber is committed to making Greater Waco the community of choice for business, and AIM helps support and contribute to that mission by providing a forum for Greater Waco’s major industrial employers to share best practices, discuss relevant legislative policies, and serve as a voice for advanced manufacturers and distributors in the region.

 

Made up of 60 members, AIM’s key objective is to foster open communication between major employers in McLennan County. Quarterly meetings are hosted at different member facilities to provide a peer-group setting that allows for discussion of common issues and trends in the manufacturing sector. Some of the recent meetings have covered topics like Innovation in Business, Employee Recognition Programs, Renewable Incentives, and Work/Life Balance and Importance of Understanding Millennials.

 

Allergan

Allergan plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a bold, global pharmaceutical company. Allergan is focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceutical, device, biologic, surgical and regenerative medicine products for patients around the world. Allergan employs more than 17,000 people around the globe, including at their plant here in Waco. Learn more at Allergan.com.

 

Domtar Personal Care

Domtar makes products that people around the world rely on every day. They transform sustainable wood fibers into a wide variety of everyday products, from copy paper to adult and baby diapers. Domtar is the largest manufacturer of uncoated freesheet in North America and one of the largest producers of absorbent hygiene products in the world. Learn more at DomtarPersonalCare.com.

 

Manitou Group

For over 50 years, Manitou Group has been manufacturing material handling equipment. They employ 170 people in Waco who are involved in the production and modification of forklifts. Recently, a $283,000 grant was awarded by the Texas Workforce Commission’s Skills Development Fund to the Manitou Group and Texas State Technical College. This will not only help improve workers skills, but also help create jobs. Find out more at Manitou.com.

 

Packless Industries

Packless Industries is a leading manufacturer of heat transfer and other metal hose products committed to providing the air conditioning, heating and refrigeration industries with the highest quality fluid heat transfer parts in 1933. Based in Waco, Packless products are used across the world, with customers ranging from the giants of American industry to the small, one-man business. Learn more at Packless.com.

 

TYMCO

From small beginnings, TYMCO® now has an international network of dealers with representatives on every major continent. TYMCO employs more than 150 people in a state-of-the-art facility in Waco. They first introduced and perfected the Regenerative Air Sweeper that is the standard by which all air sweepers are measured today. TYMCO maximizes output while minimizing overhead, which translates to economically priced equipment. TYMCO, a family owned and day-to-day managed company, dominates a market traditionally controlled by corporate conglomerates. Learn more at TYMCO.com.

 

Versalift

Versalift is a leading manufacturer of bucket trucks, digger derricks, cable placers and high reach aerial lifts for power generation, transmission and distribution, telecommunication, sign, light, and traffic and tree care industries. Orders begin as raw material and a build list, and transform into one of the safest, most reliable and highest quality bucket trucks in the world, delivered with the promise that they are safe, reliable and will stand the test of time. Based in Waco, Versalift’s family of distributors spans North America, Latin America and Europe. Learn more at Versalift.com.

 

AIM Member Businesses: 

Allergan
Arconic Fastening Systems
Associated Hygienic Products
Axion Structural Innovations
Behlen Country
Capstone Mechanical
Caterpillar Inc.
Central Texas Iron Works
Clarke Products, Inc.
Coca-Cola North America
Commercial Metals Company
Croft Automation
Darr Equipment
Dean Foods
Domtar Personal Care
Elixir Industries
Englander dZignPak, LLC
Evans Enterprises
Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.
First Title Company of Waco
Hobbs Bonded Fiber
HOTEC (Heart of Texas Electric Co-op)
Imperial Woodworks, Inc.
Industrial Rigging Service of Central Texas, Inc.
Jobes Company
Kingsdown, Inc.
L-3 Technologies
Lehigh Cement Co.
Manitou Americas
MarathonNorco Aerospace
Mars Wrigley Confectionery
Merrick Engineering, Inc.
Oldcastle Materials, Inc.
Owens-Illinois
Packaging Corporation of America
Packless Industries
Patrick Industries, Inc.
Pilgrim’s
Polyglass USA, Inc.
Romark Logistics of Texas
Sanderson Farms, Inc.
SC2 Services, Inc.
Sherwin-Williams Co.
Shipp Belting Company
Sonoco
SpaceX
Spectrum
Spenco Footwear
Sturdisteel
Swan Products, LLC
Time Manufacturing Co.
Tractor Supply Co.
Trane
TransTech Fabrication, LLC
Turner Manufacturing
TYMCO, Inc.
VanTran Industries, Inc.
Versalift Southwest
Vossloh Fastening Systems
Waco Composites, Ltd.
Waco ISD

 

 

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Article by Whitney Richter, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Baylor University, published in the second quarter edition of the Greater Waco Business magazine

 

When the Great Depression of the 1930s dethroned King Cotton as the powerhouse of the Waco economy, the city’s developing manufacturing industry helped carry it through the lean years that followed.

 

Today, Greater Waco is home to a robust manufacturing sector that spans the aerospace, heavy equipment, structural fastener, glass and composite materials, packaging, housing, transportation, consumer goods, food and beverage industries and numerous others.

 

In Greater Waco, more and more companies are turning toward advanced manufacturing — a business concept that capitalizes on non-traditional, newly developed technologies. While the smartest companies have always kept up with new developments, advanced manufacturing requires a higher level of attention to today’s complex and rapidly changing technological landscape. It can be a difficult, expensive process, but Greater Waco-area companies have something of an advantage: many of the most innovative technologies and processes to support advanced manufacturing are being developed right in their own backyard.

 

BRIC - Baylor Research and Innovation Collaboration - Building - Exterior, Interior – 12/18/2013 **Photos Courtesy of Charles Davis Smith Photography**

BRIC – Baylor Research and Innovation Collaboration – Building – Exterior, Interior – 12/18/2013
**Photos Courtesy of Charles Davis Smith Photography**

BRIC: An Innovation for Innovation 

Since its January 2013 opening, the BRIC — Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative — has provided a uniquely conceived environment for the genesis, cultivation and development of new ideas, technologies and techniques, all underpinned by the BRIC’s five foundational pillars: fundamental and applied research, industry collaboration, business acceleration and incubation, workforce development and STEM educational outreach.

 

Fundamental and Applied Research
BRIC researchers are experts in an array of scientific, technological and mathematical fields of inquiry. And the environment in which they work — with full-featured laboratories, microgravity drop tower, clean rooms, testing facilities, and high-performance computing resources — is specifically designed to encourage the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary exchange of ideas. One of the natural outcomes of this combination is the discovery of new knowledge, innovative products and improved processes that help support advanced manufacturing. Indeed, the first patent to emerge from BRIC-industry collaborative research was a completely new, fieldable, non-destructive process for determining the integrity of structural aircraft components made of composite materials for aerospace giant L3 Technologies.

 

Industry Collaboration
L3 Technologies was the first company to tap into the BRIC’s unique repository of resources for innovation. In just five years, the list of BRIC industry partners has grown to seven with over 150 other corporations and organizations, both local and national, exploring the possibility of teaming with the BRIC.

 

Baylor Magazine - John Fitch – Birkeland Current – BRIC – Aviation - 02/22/2017

Baylor Magazine – John Fitch – Birkeland Current – BRIC – Aviation – 02/22/2017

In addition to L3 Technologies, current BRIC research industry partners include technology innovator Birkeland Current, Structural Health Data Systems, Education Service Center Region 12, educational architecture firm Huckabee, Inc., aerospace technology firm Delta G Design, and the most recent addition, ViZiv Technologies, a leader in electrical distribution and management.

 

As they grow in number and diversity, BRIC research industry partners are proving to be synergistic resources themselves, each bringing with them specialized expertise that can provide support to Baylor research or other BRIC industry partners’ research and product innovation. Other companies looking to create a new invention or revolutionize a product or process can do so through sponsored research with Baylor and the BRIC.

 

Business Incubation, Acceleration and Commercialization
Offering the resources and expertise of faculty and students from Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, LAUNCH, the BRIC’s in-house accelerator and incubator for technology-based businesses provides crucial guidance to start-up and existing business owners in moving their companies and products into the marketplace. While LAUNCH’s primary function is commercialization of technologies developed by Baylor researchers, the same resources, infrastructure and services are routinely available to and used by BRIC research industry partners and local entrepreneurs.

 

The BRIC faculty and staff have assisted various companies to develop ideas from inception to formation to commercialization, including equine therapy simulation company, Chariot Innovations, Higher Education Innovation (HEI), Peak Nano Systems, College Choice Today and Birkeland Current’s most recent spin-off company, Sovrin IoT.

 

(Workforce) bric industrial systems J5D_4406 WEBWorkforce Development
According to a report by economic development consulting firm Camoin Associates published in the December 2014 issue of Expansion Solutions magazine,
“One of the most important drivers for advanced manufacturing businesses is the availability of a skilled workforce. In some industries, workers can be trained to perform duties on the job. Generally, advanced manufacturing is not one of those industries. The integration of technology and advanced machinery diminishes the need for “unskilled” workers and increases the reliance on workers with the sophisticated skills required to operate the equipment. Advanced manufacturing training courses and programs in community colleges, technical schools, and even K-12 education systems are essential to supporting growth in the advanced manufacturing sector.”

 

With 45,000-square-feet of dedicated instructional space in the BRIC, Texas State Technical College, the BRIC’s workforce training partner, provides rapid-response, transformative workforce development closely tailored to the needs of Greater Waco and Texas industries.

 

For more than 50 years, TSTC has anticipated the workforce needs of Texas industries with effective training programs for evolving and emerging technologies such as laser electro-optics, robotics, and biomedical and aerospace technologies. The collaboration between TSTC and Baylor in workforce development is clearly having an impact as shown by the number of TSTC graduates who, working with Baylor faculty and graduate student researchers, are initially trained in conducting research for BRIC industry partners and then go on to become full-time employees of those firms.

 

STEM Educational Outreach
Long-term viability and sustainability of any technology-based economy is reliant on cultivating the next generation of students to fill the ranks of scientists, engineers, mathematicians and other professionals essential to the development of new products and processes. The BRIC educational research and outreach programs are designed to encourage students from kindergarten through high school to choose and persist in a career path in a STEM discipline — science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

 

Baylor faculty, staff and graduate students are working with Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12 and school architect and educational environment designer Huckabee, Inc. to evaluate the impact of new classroom furnishings and arrangements on student engagement in the classroom. The success of this collaborative effort is reflected in the professional development that supports teachers as they transition their classrooms into student-centered active learning environments. Education specialists from ESC Region 12, the BRIC-based Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER), and Baylor School of Education engage in research and directly support STEM teachers through the creation of an instructional and professional development program that will introduce local students to the phenomenon of microgravity (1.5 seconds) using the BRIC’s new state-of-the-art 49-foot, research-grade drop tower. Within the BRIC, students will also get a close-up view of the American space program by touring the BRIC’s $6 million collection of NASA artifacts from the Apollo and Space Shuttle eras.

 

Additionally, each year undergraduate students spend the summer in the BRIC conducting research with Baylor faculty while supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA and other funding agencies. This program places the students alongside Baylor graduate students, where they conduct research, compile data, and reveal their findings in presentations at science conferences.

 

(BRIC Clean Room-Research) IMG_8388 WEB

A Resource of Growing Importance to the Greater Waco Community
Beyond its primary function as a 330,000-square-foot research and development facility, with its convenient location, abundant parking, collection of Karl Umlauf industrial-themed art, and attractive, well-equipped meeting rooms, the BRIC has become increasingly valuable as a meeting venue for scientific, professional and civic events of all kinds. In the fiscal year spanning 2016-17, the BRIC hosted over 750 events and tours and over 15,000 visitors. According to estimates by the Association of University Research Parks the impact of the BRIC to the local economy was over $34 million in 2017 alone, which equates to a 14 percent increase over 2016 and an 82 percent increase since 2014.

 

Through its international speaker series BRIC Foundations: Perspectives from Leaders in Innovation, the BRIC provides a public forum for the presentation of timely ideas of importance to the Greater Waco business and manufacturing community by foremost experts in fields ranging from physics, chemistry and workforce development to artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship and education.

 

In his November 2014 BRIC Foundations presentation, Mr. Paul Evans, P.E., Director of San Antonio-based Southwest Research Institute’s Manufacturing Systems Department, spoke of the continuing and growing importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy and specifically addressed advanced manufacturing:

“If you’ve been in any U.S. manufacturing facilities recently you’ll find a lot of advanced manufacturing activities going on. Gone are the days when we think about bringing back some of the kinds of highly repetitive manual manufacturing tasks that have been off-shored… Manufacturing has a higher multiplier effect for every dollar invested than any other sector. I don’t think many people realize that. If you want to start generating economic benefits for your region, you want to put in a manufacturing plant.”

 

As new advanced manufacturing companies form locally and corporations already well-versed in the practice come to the area, and as the advanced manufacturing movement continues to expand in established Greater Waco industries, the BRIC’s capacity to foster and facilitate the success of these businesses will keep pace, helping to ensure a flourishing and vibrant community.

 

 

2Q18_CoverArt webCheck out this edition of the Greater Waco Business magazine online,

featuring articles all about advanced manufacturing in Waco, new

Chamber members, member news and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Article contributed by the City of Waco, published in the second quarter edition of the Greater Waco Business Magazine.

 

Waco is on its way to becoming a major metropolitan city. The significant growth in recent years has transformed this city into a center of excellence and economic development with dynamic potential. Growth in Waco is good. Waco is a great place to be!

 

Waco - Lake Waco 07 WEB w logo

Boosted by its convenient location along the I-35 corridor between Austin and Dallas, this city with humble beginnings now has the qualities to attract new businesses, prime talent, tourists and future residents. Waco’s attractive business incentives and land availability, the abundance of job opportunities and its excellent quality of life with low cost of living has fueled this transformation. But to continue the momentum, investment in necessary infrastructure improvements are essential.
To meet these growth-related challenges, the city implemented Building Waco, a 10-year Capital Improvement Project aimed to renew and rebuild necessary infrastructure to foster and sustain development. The program includes $131 million in water projects, $139 million in wastewater projects, and $50 million in street improvements.

 

The city of Waco currently serves the water needs of more than 131,000 residents and seeks to serve an additional 40,000 over the next 25 years. Waco has initiated numerous project updates to replace storage tanks, install new water lines (replacing some that are more than 100 years old), constructing new water pump stations and replacing Owen Lane Tower with a larger capacity water tower, among other initiatives.

 

While the majority of the Building Waco budget has targeted water projects, necessary capital improvement projects go beyond just water. Other investments in traditional infrastructure—such as roads, bridges and buildings—are also vital to foster Waco’s economic development and keep the city attractive. Preserving and modernizing the city’s aesthetics are just as important as keeping it functional.

 

Buiding Waco - Owen Lane Water Tower WEB

Cities like Waco experience natural ebbs and flows in growth patterns. While there’s evidence the future looks bright, the city can still benefit from fostering economic development and growth now. Waco already offers much for current and future residents, businesses and tourists to enjoy.

 

For example, Lake Waco was originally designed to deliver a safe water supply to the city’s residents. It now also serves as entertainment, and residents and visitors regularly enjoy boating, fishing and swimming on the lake. Long-term city planning provided a man-made lake to Wacoans with a reliable and ample water supply, treatment capacity (more than twice the amount of Waco’s highest demand day) and modern-day delivery infrastructure to safely transport the water to the customer.

 

 

Additionally, like other areas in Texas, Waco has a generous supply of low-cost land available for development. Having land available is appealing to companies seeking to relocate and construct headquarters. Recognizing this need as essential for growth, the city, private individuals and non-profits, such as the Waco Industrial Foundation created eleven business parks. Not only will these business parks attract new companies, they will help further the city’s goal to diversify the job force and offer a wide array of jobs. Further, the city of Waco proactively installed utility infrastructure in these industrial parks, which is a great advantage when recruiting a company to a particular
site. With the infrastructure in place, the site is construction-ready.

 

Water Tower Demolition - West Waco 16 WEB

Another way to ensure the city’s future economic development is through its excellent educational opportunities. Waco is home to one of Texas’ largest and oldest universities, Baylor University, with more than 16,000 students. The university’s graduate programs—including its law school and business school—are nationally acclaimed. Baylor’s athletics department attracts visitors from across the state to sporting events each weekend, which contributes to tourism revenue. Also, Waco is home to McLennan Community College, with an enrollment of nearly 9,000 students, and Texas State Technical College, which has about 4,000 students enrolled. While attracting new talent is vital for the community to thrive, retaining talented graduates is just as important.

 

With these assets, Waco’s economic outlook is bright. The city is projected to grow at a healthy pace. In fact, based on an economic development report by economist Ray Perryman, the metropolitan area (including McLennan and Falls counties) is projected to expand by some 59,100 residents by 2040, for a total population of 323,000. The economy is likely to double in size as measured by output (real gross product) and could accelerate more through effective planning and strategic investments.
Our leaders look forward to diversifying job opportunities and industries, as well as attracting and retaining excellent talent so that current and future residents will continue to experience a great quality of life. All of this will be made possible with a proactive approach toward modernizing and beautifying the city through Building Waco. With many projects underway and more yet to accomplish, Waco is ready to thrive.

 

For more information on Building Waco, please visit www.buildingwaco.com or follow the City of Waco on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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Check out this edition of the Greater Waco Business magazine,

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new Chamber members, member news and more!

 

 

 

 

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TRC 2018: Campaign Wrap Up

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Article by Debbie Keel, Regional Director, AT&T Inc., published in the second quarter edition of the Greater Waco Business Magazine.

 

AT&T is aiming to be the first U.S. carrier to launch standards-based, mobile 5G services to customers this year. It recently announced Waco as one of the first cities where it will launch 5G by the end of this year. But Waco residents won’t have to wait until 5G gets here to start experiencing faster wireless speeds.

 

5G Header WEB

AT&T launched the 5G Evolution network in parts of Waco just a few weeks ago. Our 5G Evolution network has a peak theoretical speed of at least 400 Mbps (megabits per second) and it lays the foundation for 5G by enabling faster speeds now, and preparing for upgrades to 5G when it’s here. The investment in the future of connectivity in Waco is bringing real benefits to real customers today.

 

What will mobile 5G mean for Waco?
AT&T anticipates 5G will eventually deliver data much faster than the current LTE network. Customers may also see much lower latency with 5G. Latency impacts things like the time between pressing play and seeing a video start to stream or hitting a web link and seeing a webpage begin to load. For context, MIT researchers discovered the human brain “latency” is 13 milliseconds.

 

5G could ultimately help change the way Waco residents work, play and enjoy entertainment at home or on the go. It will accelerate the delivery of entertainment at home and on the go, and many more consumer and business experiences. It will enable new experiences like virtual reality, telemedicine, self-driving cars, robotics, smart cities and more.

 

One of the coolest entertainment opportunities with tomorrow’s 5G could be augmented reality and virtual reality, often called AR/VR. Users need the kind of ultra-low latency rates 5G is expected to eventually provide to really enjoy these technologies. 5G could also enhance future self-driving cars using live maps for near real-time navigation. Ultra-low latency – anticipated to be delivered by 5G – will be an essential part of making live maps effective.

 

A hospital could respond faster to changes in patients’ vital signs with edge computing inside and outside the hospital. Doctors could employ telemedicine and robotics-assisted surgery because of 5G’s latency benefits. Or, think of a manufacturer that operates fast-moving machinery. 5G can allow them to identify and fix mechanical failures in record time. The capabilities of 5G could save time and money by helping to identify machine defects sooner.

 

AT&T thinks the 5G opportunities will be endless – whether you’re a mobile consumer, small- and medium-sized business owner, or large enterprise in Waco.
AT&T expects 5G will also help manage the surge in mobile data usage on their network. Since the end of 2011, data traffic crossing the network on an average business day has increased from 30 petabytes to now more than 206 petabytes. It was 114 petabytes a day as recently as 2015. In fact, data traffic on the mobile network has grown more than 360,000 percent since 2007.

 

AT&T 5G Trials in Waco
Waco has also been a city where AT&T has been conducting its 5G trials, most notably at Magnolia Market at the Silos. Here are some key findings AT&T learned about 5G fixed wireless during its Waco trial:
• Observed wireless speeds of approximately 1.2 Gbps in a 400 MHz channel.
• Observed RAN latency rates at 9-12 milliseconds.
• Supported hundreds of simultaneous users on a network that was using a 5G data connection.

 

5G is getting closer to reality and we’re excited to see how people and businesses in Waco will use this ground-breaking technology starting later this year.

 

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Check out this edition of the Greater Waco Business magazine online,

featuring articles all about advanced manufacturing in Waco, new

Chamber members, member news and more!

 

 

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September 28, 2018 read more

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