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Harlingen District Office
2422 E Tyler Ave Suite E
Harlingen, TX 78550
United States
Phone: 956-427-8533
Fax: 956-427-8537
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM, except Federal holidays.

Dos Logistics, Inc - Eric Ybarra Success Story

BORDER SECURITY HAS A BRIGHT SIDE: A STIMULATED ECONOMY WESLACO, TX

Picture of Eric Ybarra

 

The silver lining in the dark cloud over the border is that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other Department of Homeland Security agencies infuse millions of dollars into the local economy. Besides enjoying the relative peace resulting from CBP’s protective presence, Valley businesses are increasingly the beneficiaries of spending by the federal agencies as well as by their off-duty employees.

In the late 1980sthe Rio Grande sector covered by CBP’s predecessor had between 300 and 500 agents. By 1998, the number had risen to 1,000. Today, the same sector, which covers 17,000 square miles, has 2,400 border patrol agents who are based at the new headquarters in Edinburg or at the nine regional stations: Brownsville, Fort Brown, Harlingen, Weslaco, McAllen and Rio Grande City plus Kingsville, Corpus Christi and Falfurrias. That surge in numbers reflects the federal response to both increased threats to homeland security and to the flood of illegal immigrants and smugglers probing the border for weak points. Amid the grimmer statistics are reassuring economic data: federal border spending has tripled in the last ten years. One estimate has put the spending on border security at $90 billion for the past decade.

The General Services Administration (GSA) is the central procurement division for federal agencies. It awards contracts for the installation of high tech watch towers and contracts for technology companies to maintain multi-million dollar rail and cargo screening equipment. It lines up food service for alien detention centers and contracts with veterinarians to care for drug-sniffing dogs and the animals of the horse patrol. The list of services and products seems endless; stabling, office supplies, equipment upgrades, vehicle tires and copy machine repairs. “Many of the products CBP uses are purchased from local vendors,” said Daniel Milian, supervisory border patrol agent, office of public affairs in Edinburg. “Often times, CBP tries to make purchases from small businesses but CBP also uses nationwide retailers in the RGV as well.

GSA offers businesses the opportunity to sell products and services to those agencies. When making a purchase, we use GSA when required and will verify if the purchase can be made through GSA. If not, then an outside vendor can be used.” Eric Ybarra of Weslaco-based Dos Logistics, Inc., in April signed a five-year contract to provide engineering and architectural professional services for various agencies of the Department of Homeland Security. “It is a great revenue generator for a small business like ours,” Ybarra said. “The SBA has provided me with the resources and tools to obtain federal contracts.” Dos Logistics became a certified 8(a) minority-owned small business, which enabled it to compete for contracts on the same level as much larger firms.

Since 1999 Dos Logistics has also worked with municipalities and counties and helped them develop infrastructure by pulling all the components together from design to funding and project management. Routine vehicle maintenance on CBP’s huge fleet of vehicles is generally handled by CBP employees. “However, local vendors are contracted for towing services and when there is a backlog of vehicles that require maintenance, vehicles are sent to local dealers,” Milian said. The Rio Grande Valley sector is the home of about 13 percent of CBP’s deployed forces on the border. Nevertheless, the number of border patrol agents per mile of border in California, Arizona and New Mexico is about double that found in Texas. Like other residents, border patrol agents and their families eat out in restaurants, shop for clothes, computers and groceries. Their kids take piano and karate lessons and participate in Little League and scouting. In fact, your neighbor with CBP could easily have been a history teacher or a news anchor or a graphic designer before moving into a better paying job.

The beginning of the border patrol dates back to 1904 and the mounted inspectors who tracked border smugglers. Interestingly, the RGV sector this past summer acquired its own horses instead of leasing them for its Horse Patrol. The reversion to horses gives greater accessibility in achieving the border patrol’s mission. It also opens yet another avenue where local small businesses can provide services and increase their incomes. CBP is the federal government’s largest law enforcement work force. In the Valley, that translates into over 2,000 firmly middle class households. Border patrol agents and other homeland security employees who live in the Valley spend their salaries in their communities, which have a positive impact on businesses and sales tax revenue. Border patrol agents’ starting salaries range between $38,000 and $49,000. Their average salary is $75,000, in part because overtime and 60-hour weeks are not uncommon, according to the CBP website.

D.L.P. Group Inc. - Mr. Arnold De La Paz

D.L.P. Group Inc. - Mr. Arnold De La Paz Success Story

Owner, Arnold De La Paz,  holding award from SBA for minority small business person of the year.

SBA names De La Paz minority small business person of the year CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — Armed with a binder of pictures of projects his company has done, Arnold De La Paz travels the country getting The D.L.P. Group Inc.'s, name out there. It is a role that builds on De La Paz's past as a salesman and has netted The D.L.P. Group such projects as a $5 million auditorium in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and a building for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Grand Prairie. The contracting company also has put its touch locally on such projects as painting work for the American Bank Center and the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds.

That body of work made De La Paz the U.S. Small Business Administration's Minority Small Business Person of the Year for the agency's Lower Rio Grande Valley district. A Corpus Christi native, De La Paz began the business in 2000 with a small loan granted about a decade ago by a Wells Fargo Bank representative named Yolanda Olivarez, who now heads the Small Business Administration's multistate region. De La Paz said his company is involved in projects from the design phase through construction. The D.L.P. Group contracts the design work to an architectural firm and then builds the structures, but marketing has been able to lead the company through lean economic times. 'Marketing, whether in the commercial or federal government contracting sectors, is about finding out what customers want, then setting out to meet their needs, provided it can be done at a profit,' De La Paz said. 'Our nation has always been about the urge to dream and the will to enable it.' This year is the 29th year the Small Business Administration has celebrated Minority Enterprise Development Week in collaboration with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, SBA Corpus Christi Branch Manager Debbie Fernandez said.

Harlingen Small Business Week 2010 Award Winners

Picture of Harlingen Small Business Week 2010 Award Winners

Sitting:

Merida Escobar, Minority Small Business Champion of the Year
Blanca E. Perez-Moreno, Women in Business Champion of the Year
Jamie A. Bowell, SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Alma Ortega-Johnson, Financial Services Champion of the Year
Maria Nuez-Hall, Home-Based Business Champion of the Year

Standing:

Leon De Leon, Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year
Velma Sue De Leon, Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year
Dr. Robert S. Nelsen, President, The University of Texas Pan American
Baldomero Trevino, Small Business Person of the Year
Sylvia Zamponi, SBA District Director
Javier Martinez, SBDC Advisor of the Year
Joaquin Spammer, Small Business Exporter of the Year
Maria Juarez, SBDC Director

Attached files: Harlingen SBW.JPG_.pdf

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