Preparing Rio South Texas for the Battery Boom
August 17, 2022
Mission, TX August 2022 — After attending the Battery Show Europe 2022, the Council of South Texas Economic Progress (COSTEP) team made some important observations.
“Battery-based electrification is a megatrend that trickles across many industries and develops opportunities for new careers and skillsets,” said Matt Ruszczak, vice president of economic development.
As more and more powerful batteries run everything from handheld devices, over electric vehicles, up to and including heavy duty equipment, that changes how everyday life will look like in the not to distant future. Which leads the COSTEP team to think bigger and beyond just the manufacturing of the battery.
“When folks think of manufacturing, they think we need to have engineers or technicians on the production and assembly lines,” Ruszczak said. “But if the world makes this massive paradigm shift in electrification, how will we handle the re-use of a battery, the recycling of the battery, the repair of a battery, etc.?”
The battery industry’s skills needs include electrical chemists, robotics experts, mechanical and electrical engineers, software developers, and many more.
“We don’t have a battery industry facility in Rio South Texas, yet, but we need to prepare for it,” said Adam Gonzalez, senior vice president of program and sponsor development. “We will need to have the workforce available, so let’s invest in that now so that we are ready when the battery industry comes to Rio South Texas.”
Modern batteries are made up of advanced materials and are highly sophisticated devices, which require specific handling and treatment. That means careful thought needs to be taken into how they are transported. To safely transport batteries, there is a need for specialized containers, handlers with know-how, specific safety inspections, and specialized storage.
The Rio South Texas region is a major player in North American logistics, offering road, rail, air, and waterborne transportation. Maintaining the region’s position at the Heart of the North American Supply Chain for the emerging battery industry means focusing the region’s infrastructure and workforce development on the needs of battery production and transportation. If successful, the battery industry could bring many new job opportunities and economic growth to Rio South Texas.
COSTEP is focused on advancing prosperity in Rio South Texas through a strategic framework for regional economic development. For more information, visit our website www.costep.org today or follow us on social media @COSTEP.