Although the Rio Grande Valley is not as much of a manufacturing region as some other places in the state and the country, a local company continues to be a leader in the construction industry. It’s Innovative Block of South Texas.
The La Feria business opened its doors in 2006 and is a major supplier of construction and solid blocks, as well as patio and walkway pavers. In addition, the company also distributes one-ton bags found in many construction sites. The white canvas bags are available at some of the Valley’s major hardware and home improvement stores. The company buys sand, cement, gravel and limestone to make the blocks and it employs 30 some people.
Armando Trevino, the company manager, said making construction blocks in their main line of work. Yet, as time goes by, they have been diversifying their operation by adding newer and more products.
“One of our goals is to become a one-stop shop,” he said during a recent tour of the facility. “We are planning to start selling sheet rock sooner than later.”
IBST is probably one of the few companies in the Valley that actually looks like a factory. Hundreds of thousands of blocks sit outside, waiting for shipment on flatbed trucks. In another section of the yard, a machine consisting of multiple tools fills white canvas bags with sand and gravel. Inside one of the buildings, thousands of construction blocks come out of conveyor belts after they bake for about 26 hours.
IBST produces some 100,000 blocks each month. Many of these blocks stay local while some ship out to places as far as Corpus Christi, Laredo and even San Antonio. The blocks construct projects such as schools, strip malls and courtyards.
Enrique Bravo, a plant manager, said IBST pavers are being used in a major sidewalk project going on right now on South Padre Island.
Company products are also sold at a number of stores. These include McCoy Builders, Home Depot, Alamo Lumber, Southerland, Dr. Ike’s Home Centers and Sakrete.