Flex-N-Gate Group (“FNG”), owned by American entrepreneur, Shahid Khan, constructed a new 494,000 sq. ft. advanced manufacturing facility in Detroit, Michigan (the “Project”).
FNG is a global automotive component manufacturer that supplies original equipment vehicle manufacturers with critical systems, assemblies and components, including complex structural metal stampings, mechanical assemblies, advanced vehicle lighting systems and painted exterior and interior injection molded parts. The Project is the largest auto supplier investment in the City in more than two decades and will initially provide world-class quality, time-sensitive components to Ford Motor Company. The Project’s operations will include stamping, welding, injection molding and assembly. Training will encompass advanced manufacturing skills that include robotics, lift truck operation, tool and die, equipment repair, quality control, statistical process control, and various manufacturing safety certifications.
The Project has been developed in close coordination with the State of Michigan and City of Detroit to further Detroit’s goals of returning quality employment opportunities to Detroit, turning a once-neglected urban area into a vital manufacturing hub. The City has offered two financial incentives to support the development and operations of the Project. FNG worked with the City and Ford to locate the Project in the I-94 Development District, one of the most distressed neighborhoods with one of the highest unemployment rates. With an unemployment rate of over 32.9% or 4.16x the national average, the Project will create 480 FTEs upon start of production with up to 800 total FTEs created at production capacity and 259 new construction jobs. 88% of new jobs are anticipated to be filled by low-income persons or residents of the surrounding low-income communities. Unskilled workers will participate in a Production Worker Training program provided by a local non-profit Focus: HOPE. Training will include literacy screening and remedial training, financial literacy, conflict resolution training, FNG customized simulation training for work instruction and quality control.
Without the New Markets Tax Credit equity, 800 high-quality, permanent jobs would not have been brought to one of the most highly distressed communities within a city that has been in persistent economic decline and lost over 60% of its population since 1950. The Project’s jobs will include extensive training, health and retirement benefits, fresh/healthy choice meal subsidies, transportation subsidies and potential childcare subsidies. This transformative investment in the City of Detroit by an automotive company would not be possible without the use of NMTC financing.
Wells Fargo Bank acquired the New Markets Tax Credits.