On Monday, a company called Flex-N-Gate Corp broke ground on a new manufacturing facility in Detroit worth upwards of $95 million; a facility which could help put nearly 700 people to work by the middle of next year.
Flex-N-Gate owner Shahid Khan is a Pakistani immigrant who made the Forbes list of the 100 wealthiest Americans. He joined Councilman Scott Benson and mayor Mike Duggan for the ceremony, located in the industrial park just to the northeast of the I-94/I-75 interchange. At the ceremony, Duggan comments, “This is the kind of development that we’ve been working for. It’s the kind of development Detroit has not been able to compete for in recent years, but we’re starting to compete and win right now.”
Khan also took the opportunity to speak about his desire to build Detroit, adding, “we’re here because Detroit is synonymous with U.S. manufacturing … and the American dream is synonymous with Detroit.”
Duggan adds, “This new facility is an example of how Detroit has become much more attractive to large manufacturers like Flex-N-Gate.” He goes on to say, “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.”
The team now expects that the facility could open within the year, supplying parts to Ford Motor Company. As such, Flex-N-Gate says it is also still looking to hire at least 51 percent of its construction workers from the hometown city of Detroit and to award at least 30 percent of its construction contracts to companies based in Detroit.
For example, they will enlist Detroit-based Tooles Contracting Group to perform most of the civil work before construction begins.
Khan also attests, “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. 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.
On Monday, Ford also commented, of course, that they are in full support of this project.