- Global auto supplier to be newest tenant at I-94 Industrial Park
- Flex-N-Gate committed to hiring Detroiters first
- Detroit-based, minority owned contractors to help build facility
Mayor Mike Duggan, Flex-N-Gate owner Shad Khan, along with state and local officials and community leaders today officially broke ground on the global auto supplier’s new $95 million manufacturing facility on the city’s east side. It will be the largest investment by an auto supplier in the City of Detroit in over 20 years. The 350,000 square foot facility, which is expected to open about a year from now, 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 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. Announced last year, the facility will supply parts to Ford Motor Company and will create at least 400 and up to 700 new jobs in Detroit over the next three years; at full capacity, up to 750 total jobs could be added.
Flex-N-Gate has committed to hiring 51% of its construction workforce from within the city of Detroit and awarding at least 30% of construction work to Detroit-based companies. Tooles Contracting Group, a Detroit-based and minority owned company, has been selected to perform the majority of civil work prior to construction of the new facility. Flex-N-Gate also has committed to develop a comprehensive hiring plan in conjunction with the City’s Human Rights Department and Detroit Employment Solutions, Corp., to help ensure permanent jobs for Detroiters. A general contractor to lead construction will be selected in the months ahead.
As the facility nears completion, Flex-N-Gate will hold job fairs where interested Detroiters can learn more about jobs being offered and apply. Residents interested in applying can learn more at www.Flex-N-Gate.com/detroit. Most of the hiring will take place in mid-2018 once the facility is complete.
“This new facility is an example of how Detroit has become much more attractive to large manufacturers like Flex-N-Gate,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Shad Khan has made a strong commitment to hiring Detroiters and use Detroit-based contractors and is committed to using this project and this new facility to provide employment opportunities to as many Detroiters as possible. They have been a great community partner.”
“I have always believed that the embodiment of the American Dream is in manufacturing, and nowhere is that dream becoming more real and attainable for workers and families today than in the U.S. auto industry,” Khan said. “Detroit is the birthplace of U.S. automakers, and today Detroit is experiencing a manufacturing rebirth not only throughout the region, but specifically within the city limits. Our new facility at the I-94 Industrial Park will enable Flex-N-Gate to serve our customers better than ever, but the headline for me is one word – jobs.”
“In fact, these are excellent jobs that will build promising careers, with a hiring emphasis on men and women who live in the City of Detroit. We’re also committed to making sure Detroit city-based and minority‑owned companies like Tooles Contracting Group are strongly represented during every phase of the build. Today’s groundbreaking is a day for celebration but the best days and years for Flex-N-Gate and the City of Detroit are still to come.”
To support the project, the Detroit City Council recently approved a $5.9M property tax abatement. In addition to the facility’s construction, Georgia Street, along the planned facility’s south side, will be resurfaced as part of a separate $2.6 million grant from the US Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration. The street improvements came out of the community engagement process for the project, where residents voiced concerns of bad roads from increased truck traffic. The Georgia Street improvements will fortify the streets for the new trucks.
This new multi-layered investment provides a major boost to the I-94 Industrial Park, and is the culmination of a collaborative effort among the city of Detroit, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which administers incentives and programs on behalf of the Michigan Strategic Fund. MEDC also serves as the state’s chief business attraction and marketing agency along with directing the Pure Michigan campaign.
From 2009 through the second quarter of 2015, automakers and auto suppliers have made $16 billion investments into Michigan, accounting for about 20 percent of auto-industry investment in North America. Since 2009 through the end of last year, 175,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in Michigan, according to the Center for Automotive Research.
“I’m proud of the jobs that will be created for District Three and Detroit residents,” said Councilmember Scott Benson. “And I’m so proud of the impact that residents in District Three have had on the development process.”