By Roz Edward – Michigan Chronicle
With construction on Detroit’s new $160 million manufacturing facility, Flex-N-Gate Detroit, more than half complete, the global auto supplier is gearing up to hire over 400 positions, ranging from hourly workers to management positions. The company will partner with Detroit at Work to train Detroiters for the new positions and has committed to hiring Detroiters first.
Flex-N-Gate owner Shad Khan and Mayor Mike Duggan toured the progress today and encouraged Detroiters to apply for the hundreds of open positions that will be available at the new facility. The $160 million project is the largest investment by an auto supplier in the City of Detroit in over 20 years and will initially create over 400 jobs and up to 700 new jobs in Detroit over the next three years at full capacity.
Flex-N-Gate is a top global auto supplier of exterior trim components, aluminum and steel modular stamped body in white and chassis assemblies, lighting and other OEM automotive products. Breaking ground last year, the facility will supply parts to Ford Motor Company.
The 480,000 square foot facility, which broke ground in April 2017 and is expected to open in October, will become a new centerpiece to the city’s growing I-94 industrial Park and is a sign of the city and state’s success in attracting more manufacturing jobs back to Detroit. Flex-N-Gate joins other new manufacturing and industrial facilities, including LINC Logistics and ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks, in an area that just 10 years ago was mostly vacant land and abandoned buildings.
“This new and state-of-the-art facility will serve as the latest example of Detroit’s urban rebirth, thanks in large part to Mayor Duggan’s leadership and vision, but our inner city location is only a small part of the story,” Khan said. “For me, it continues to come back to careers and jobs. That’s what is happening here – new jobs and promising careers that will support families and contribute to the continued growth of the automotive industry here in Detroit and beyond. We’re at the doorstep of seeing the vision and hard work pay off. We’ll be open for business soon, and that’s great news for our company, our customers and Detroiters who are ready to go to work.”
Detroit at Work
The manufacturer is currently partnering with the City to ensure Detroiters have access to the new positions and training for jobs at the Flex-N-Gate facility. As the facility prepares for is opening in October, Flex-N-Gate will be looking for hundreds of hourly workers from within the city.
“We are building a city where anyone who wants a job has access to one and Shad Khan and Flex-N-Gate have made a strong commitment to hire Detroiters with Detroit at Work,” said
Mayor Mike Duggan. “As we bring more manufacturing facilities to Detroit, we’re going to ensure that they look to Flex-N-Gate as an example when it comes to putting Detroiters to work.”
A Detroit At Work training curriculum to prepare Detroiters for these jobs is being developed jointly by Flex-N-Gate, Focus:HOPE and Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation. Courses are expected to start in February and run through December 2018. Training will be available for over 300 Detroit residents throughout the year for hourly positions like Hi-Lo drivers and operators. Residents interested in training and employment can access http://flex-n-gate.com/Detroit/ for latest announcements of local job fairs and more information.
Detroiters have worked nearly 12,000 hours so far on the project and Flex-N-Gate has contributed more than $120,000 to the city’s workforce training fund, funds which will be used to train the next generation of skilled trade workers in Detroit at places like the Randolph Career Tech Center. Flex-N-Gate is also using 35% Detroit contractors to date. Tooles Contracting Group, a Detroit-based and minority owned company, performed the majority of civil work prior to construction of the new facility. Other Detroit based contractors working on the project include Dixon Masonry, Christman Construction, Spalding, Midwest Steel and Walsh Construction.
Residents interested in learning more about jobs at Flex-N-Gate Detroit can visit http://flex-n-gate.com/Detroit/. Those interested in learning more about additional training and job opportunities can visit DetroitatWork.com.