Chicago — Auto supplier Flex-N-Gate Corp. is making another big expansion, this time on Chicago's South Side, and it's bringing nearly 300 manufacturing jobs.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced May 11 that Urbana, Ill.-based Flex-N-Gate will lease a 288,000-square-foot warehouse near Ford Motor Co.'s huge Chicago Assembly Plant.
Production is expected to begin in early 2019, although neither the company nor local officials have given any details on what will be made at the site.
Flex-N-Gate has both plastics and metal parts operations, molding plastic bumper fascia, lighting and exterior trim parts as well as body structures made from metal.
The company pledged to hire at least 286 full-time employees over the next three years and invest at least $30 million into the facility in lease and machinery over the next 10 years as part of a tax credit and abatement program, Emanuel's office said in a news release.
“The U.S. automotive industry is strong, and that's also true here in my beloved state of Illinois,” said Flex-N-Gate CEO Shahid Khan, a billionaire University of Illinois grad who reportedly was personally wooed by the mayor. “Today's announcement is proof that when everyone determines to work together, we can create great things.”
The Chicago announcement comes just weeks after a groundbreaking event for a $95 million Flex-N-Gate auto supply plant in Detroit.