Motorola to Open Manufacturing Facility in Fort Worth

Cellphone pioneer Motorola is opening a Fort Worth manufacturing facility that will create 2,000 new jobs and produce the first smartphone ever assembled in the United States.

The 500,000-square-foot facility at Alliance Texas Business Park will assemble the company's new smartphone, the Moto X.

"It's a custom building, designed for building cellphones," said Mark Randall, Motorola senior vice president of supply chain and operations.

Cities across the country tried to land the deal, but the former Nokia facility right off Interstate 35 was Motorola's pick.

Randall isn't new to Fort Worth or the building at 5650 Alliance Gateway Freeway. In fact, he helped design it for Nokia in the 1990s. When he heard it was up for grabs, he knew it was the place.

"One, is the building. The second is the DNA of the people around here," he said. "DFW is a wireless area in terms of people having skills in the area. The other thing is, logistically, we're in a great position between DFW and Alliance Airport in the I-35 corridor. It's a perfect location for us."

The factory will be owned and run by Flextronics International Ltd., a Singapore-based contract electronics manufacturer that has had a long relationship with Motorola.

More than 200 people have already been hired and are working at the facility. Up to 2,000 jobs from line workers to engineers to supervisors will be filled by August.

The once-dominant cellphone maker hopes to make a comeback competing against the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, but it isn't show off its new technology just yet.

Motorola says the Moto X will know when it's in your pocket, when you want to take a picture or when you're driving 60 mph and adjust accordingly.

"It has a lot of really intelligent sensors in the device, so it senses all these things," Randall said. "This is a great opportunity to have product built in the U.S."

Motorola is owned by Google.

Positive Impact for Alliance Development

Motorola's new Flextronics plant is a sign that the Alliance Texas Development in far north Fort Worth remains vibrant and solid.

As the lunch time crowd enjoyed their meals at the Snooty Pig Cafe, owner Blake Bunn enjoyed the news of another new company moving into the area.

"Absolutely, we're real excited every time they get a new tenant out here," he said. "We're excited."

Despite American Airlines closing down its maintenance facility at Alliance Airport, business has been good at the nearby Snooty Pig and for the Alliance development.

"The last 18 months have been fairly strong," said Bill Burton, senior vice president of Hillwood Properties.

Burton said the development still has plenty of room to grow, as it is just 40 percent complete.

The Motorola deal, which came together in as little as 90 to 120 days, will be a significant addition, he said.

"To get a company of this quality doing the type of work -- exciting, new technology, forward work -- they're going to be doing is very exciting," Burton said.

Burton said the facility's 2,000 jobs are a part of the 3,500 added in the last six months or so in a variety of projects.

As important as American Airlines was, the loss of 1,200 workers didn't deliver that big of an economic hit because 33,000 people now work in the Alliance area, he said.

And the Motorola plant may lead to more growth and jobs, as suppliers and distributors for Flextronics could move closer to the new facility, Burton said.

Career fairs for Motorola's Moto X are being held at the Flextronics location at 5650 Alliance Parkway on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and at as other locations around the Metroplex. For more information, call 469-229-2730.

Click here to search and apply for positions with Flextronics.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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