Multinational manufacturer Flex Ltd. anticipates creating an additional 6,000 jobs over the next two years at its new footwear factory in Zapopan, Jalisco, where it will make high-tech sports shoes for Nike.
The new manufacturing plant, located about 20 kilometers northwest of downtown Guadalajara, will initially employ 5,000 workers but by the end of 2019 that number is expected to grow to 11,000.
The 57,000-square-meter factory — which boasts its own cogeneration energy plant — and the joint manufacturing project with Nike required an investment of around 2 billion pesos (US $107.2 million).
At the official opening Tuesday, Jalisco Governor Aristóteles Sandoval said that his government also played a part in attracting the United States-based company to build its new factory in the state.
“We are working together to reduce problems, create the conditions for [and] drive [economic growth] through incentives,” he said.
“Flex has . . . committed to create jobs as long as the government offers support and incentives; together we are achieving that. Five thousand jobs [initially], but what follows and what is most important is that we’re heading towards 11,000 jobs,” he added.
Sandoval is also confident that future cutting-edge technologies will be developed and made in Jalisco, given Flex’s expertise in the field.
The mayor of Zapopan also recognized the contribution that the company is making to the local economy.
“I want to recognize the effort that Flex makes, because in addition . . . a large part of these sneakers that we are seeing today are designed here in Zapopan by local designers [and] local creators who add value to the products,” Pablo Lemus said.
Flex isn’t just about shoes but about “how we can improve our lives,” he added.
The company employs a total of 44,000 people in Mexico, making up 22% of its global workforce. It first started operations in Jalisco 21 years ago and has grown to become one of the state’s largest private employers.
Flex’s president for global operations stressed how important its activities in Mexico were for the company, adding that he had taken a personal interest in the growth that has been achieved in Jalisco.
“Over the years I have witnessed how Flex has become the biggest employer on this side of Jalisco and how we transformed this small operation into a place where people grow and prosper with a clear focus on doing the right thing by the environment and the community,” François Barbier said.