Oaxaca's new sock factory. Oaxaca's new sock factory.

Hoping to stem emigration, Oaxaca launches sock factory

It is expected to create some 300 direct and 600 indirect jobs

The Oaxaca government is betting that socks will be the solution to emigration from a municipality in the state’s Mixteca region.

On Thursday Governor Alejandro Murat officially opened a garment factory in Jaltepec where workers will primarily focus on manufacturing socks.

The primary aim of the government’s 10-million-peso (US $530,000) investment in the factory, an existing facility that has been fitted out with new machinery, is to provide jobs to local residents and thus deter emigration to other parts of the country and the United States. It is expected to create some 300 direct and 600 indirect jobs.

Murat acknowledged that when he visited Jaltepec three years ago, residents complained to him about the lack of job opportunities due to the closure of the town’s factory, its main source of employment. With few other options available to them, many residents chose to leave Jaltepec to try their luck elsewhere, primarily central Mexico and the United States.

In that context, the governor made refitting the factory and establishing it as a social enterprise, managed by the community, a commitment that he took to the 2016 state election.

“A lot of families wanted to improve their own incomes, and the best way to empower a family, a person and a municipality is by creating sources of employment,” Murat said.

He urged residents to manage the factory well to ensure that it fulfills its potential, suggesting that profits should be reinvested to expand the plant, create more jobs, widen distribution and generate more sales.

“For that, we’re going to help you,” the governor said.

For his part, state Economy Minister Juan Pablo Guzmán Cobián said that annual sales of about 1 million pesos (US $53,000) are already forecast because the factory’s products will be sold in large chain stores such as Walmart.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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