Cyber Talk Radio: Job Creation & Innovation at Port San Antonio

Bret Piatt, CTR host, and Jim Perschbach, president and CEO of Port San Antonio - Episode 170 of Cyber Talk Radio

This past Saturday, December 28, episode 170 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I sat down with Jim Perschbach, president and CEO of Port San Antonio, to discuss updates on the most recent stages of development going on the tech, military and aerospace focused Port San Antonio.

Before we dive deep into conversation, Jim gives listeners a brief overview of what Port San Antonio really is — because it’s not a port for ships and it’s not near any bodies of water! It’s really a technology port for connecting people, tech and employers. They have aviation, manufacturing, robotics, AI, etc. The port is located on the 1,900 acre former Kelly Air Force Base that closed in 2000, which has a history that continues today, of repairing and modifying aircrafts. How many people do they have working on aerospace at Port San Antonio now? In terms of the more limited, traditional view of “aerospace,” Jim estimates around 3-4,000. But, with the more inclusive and up-to-date version, combining related fields of tech, software, training and security, that estimate jumps to around 14,000. We then dive into getting to know Jim’s career background. He grew up wanting to either fly airplanes or work for Disney, but eventually found his way to law school and spent 18 years practicing, including some aviation defense work, and that’s when he moved to San Antonio and saw something special in the Port. Port San antonio’s current goal is to realize the opportunities of the local workforce’s talent and motivate employers and industries to connect with them. A trend they’re seeing now in this current period of growth is that San Antonio is uniquely equipped in its quality of offerings to both employers and employees in aviation companies and tech education/research institutions and cyber growth within the Department of Defense. The Port has taken advantage of this opportunity with the recent expansion of two new buildings, one of which that has been built and was leased fully within nine months of completion. Their even newer building is 75 percent leased already. Part of their strategy is to attract talented young workers to want to have a career out there. One of the older Kelley Air Force Base buildings is now a STEM museum, called San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology, which is looking to expand with a learning facility.

The port is now in the process of designing their new Innovation Center that will make a larger space for a museum, add more space for interactive learning, a simulated cyber security operations center environment,a development/creative space, and also provide a gaming arena with 2,000 seats. It’s a great opportunity for companies to incubate and collaborate, since the main purpose is to create an environment where different disciplines come together to create business and personal relationships that further innovation and education.The Port’s current goals are to have a financial close and decisions made by June of 2020.

Listen to the full episode replay to learn more about new developments at Port San Antonio.

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