The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce study shows that manufacturing grew from a $7 billion industry in 1991 to $22.5 billion in 2011.
“That is right up there with the biggest industries that we have in San Antonio,” said Chamber President and CEO Richard Perez. "Salaries have grown, so this is a place for young people to really find excellent jobs that will fulfill the needs of their families and themselves as being citizens of this community."
Although Toyota boosted the industry when it rolled into town, half of manufacturing businesses in San Antonio are considered small, with 50 employees or less.
Education remains the biggest hurdle, said Perez, but a program at the Alamo Colleges called Just in Time is helping train students for specific jobs.
Victor Campos, a veteran, will graduate in March.
"There's not enough of skilled workers out there and basically this program does great in training people, getting them ready to this high-performance manufacturing,”said Campos.
The program guarantees students an interview, which will hopefully lead to a job.
Danine Tomlin works with the students and knows what they're going through. Tomlin was in their shoes when she lost her job in the semi-conductor industry several years ago.
"Personally, for me it's more like a mission than a job; the fact that we are actually helping people do what we weren't able to do several years ago in reinventing yourself, to actually start a new career,” Tomlin said.
The report says manufacturing jobs are not growing everywhere, which is why Perez said San Antonio should take advantage of the rare opportunity.