Flex-N-Gate plans to hire 650 with proposed Detroit facility

- A new manufacturing facility is coming to Detroit and leaders say it will bring hundreds of jobs to the city.

Mayor Mike Duggan unveiled the new proposal to use the vacant lot at the I94 Industrial park and bring jobs to the city through an Illinois-based company. Duggan's proposal will go to the city council this summer or fall but he's confident it will pass.

The company, Flex-N-Gate, is a major auto supplier and is looking to open a facility in the next few years. Shahid Khan owns the company - as well as the NFls Jacksonville Jaguars - and says it makes good business sense to open up shop in the D.

"We've got plants all over the world, I think 11 in Michigan, but I think this is a site, it's good business, but we can also serve a social purpose. Coming here and creating good middle class jobs," Khan said.

The project would revitalize 30 acres of land that's not being used and proved roughly 650 jobs when production starts. Even more important to Duggan is that they're hiring Detroiters and keeping them employed.

"They have plants in Royal Oak and Sterling Heights. They're talking about hiring Detroiters, and even before this plan is open, putting them in the other locations, putting them to work, getting them trained. Because you don't just flip the switch one day and have 400 people who know how to assemble a single bumper," the Mayor said.

That's what people like Walter Brown want - is to keep people employed in Detroit. He used to work in the area and remembers what it used to be.

"This used to be a striving area far as industrial," Brown said. "My thing is keep the people you say is going to be on the job, keep them there to where they have no excuse they cannot work there."

Abraham shaw says he would have preferred the city sought public input residents in the area regarding noise and traffic in the beginning before moving forward, that will now be done over the next six weeks. However, he's happy to hear about more jobs, and the positive impact it could have.

"Jobs in the city is a good thing, maybe it can stop some of these kids, pick up a pen and get to work," Shaw said.

The mayor says once the city gets final approval, that will be the time for residents start inquiring about the opportunities.

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