Why Central Texas Manufacturers Should Join a Trade Association

July 05, 2018


If you feel like a little fish in a big pond, you’re not alone. It’s easy to feel lost in a field with so much complexity to navigate amid globalization and advancing technology. Gleaning from insights we gathered about the future of manufacturing in central Texas, experts advise tapping into associations to keep up with evolving needs and conditions of the manufacturing ecosystem.

Joining a trade association can help you boost your business, enhance your reputation, and find solutions with a community of like-minded professionals and industry experts. Moving forward, committing yourself to continued education and resources is one of the best ways to stay on top of ever-changing news, trends, and legislation.

There are plenty of good reasons to join a professional, industry-specific trade association, including:

  • Resources for education
  • Legislative representation
  • Cost savings
  • Industry news and research
  • Network of industry leaders

If you’re a player in the manufacturing industry, here are two associations to keep a pulse with in Central Texas:

Austin Regional Manufacturers Association (ARMA)

ARMA is a non-profit association committed to improve the regional manufacturing community. They aim to ensure that policy makers and officials understand what’s important for manufacturers to thrive, promote manufacturing awareness and education in schools and communities, advocate professional development and create events and forums for networking opportunities.

ARMA has committees working to inform members in the following areas: workforce, lean manufacturers, energy, programs and memberships. The association offers workshops, seminars, luncheons and mixers, and participation in various committees to address issues and challenges.

There are three types of membership: manufacturer, affiliate, and stakeholder.

Manufacturer membership dues are based on full and part time employees in the Austin area.

  • 1-10: $200/year
  • 11-50: $250/year
  • 51-150: $325/year
  • 151-300: $400/year
  • 301-400: $500/year
  • 401+: $750/year

Affiliate memberships are based on a flat fee of $750 with a required recruitment of two manufacturing members before joining. Stakeholder memberships are based on a flat fee of $500.

San Antonio Manufacturers Association (SAMA)

Serving the greater San Antonio metropolitan area, SAMA is an organization dedicated to strengthening the local and regional manufacturing industry through advocacy, workforce development and networking.

Membership includes representation in council and regulatory agencies, educational programs, networking opportunities, access to action and event committees, and product and services referrals. SAMA’s committees focuses on problem solving in the following areas: Workforce and Economic Development, Environmental Issues, Lean Manufacturing, Energy and more.

Like ARMA, dues depend on the size of your company. The fees are as listed:

  • 1-10: $250/year
  • 11-50: $350/year
  • 51-150: $450/year
  • 151-300: $600/year
  • 301-400: $750/year
  • 401+: $1000/year

By joining and getting involved in your local manufacturing association, you reap the benefits for your business by connecting with others in the field, having a team or committee to push innovation forward in your work, accessing resources and professional development materials from other industry aces, and staying up to speed in valuable educational opportunities or conferences.

Preparing for the future of manufacturing is not a one-person job; with advancing technology and market shifts, investing back into your industry is a crucial way to ensure the future growth your company.

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Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is a Founder of Business Bank of Texas. Serving as a licensed CPA since 1983, Ed’s extensive experience in the banking industry has led him to become the founding president of four national bank charters including Business Bank of Texas, N.A., and the chief financial officer of five national banks during his 45 year career. Ed serves as director of the Texas Bankers Association District 4, chairman of the Executive Advisory Council to the School of Business at Texas Lutheran University, and is a life member of the Texas Association of Business.
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