August 24, 2016
Maquila de Juarez, an association of 315 Maquiladora manufacturing plants in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico provided a celebration and salute to the workers of Juarez today. One of the key speaker was Manuel Ochoa, Vice-President of Business Development for the Tecma Group of Companies.
Following is the speech that Manuel delivered at this major event in Juarez:
I appreciate the invitation to participate in this very significant event. I’m honored to be part of the campaign “Juarez Maquila: Work with Heart,” a project in which the Juarez Maquiladora Association has aimed to recognize workers in Maquiladoras. At the same time to create a space that allows us to reflect on the opportunities that Maquiladora companies provide employees and the impact on their families and our community.
As is well known in recent decades, citizens of Ciudad Juarez, their political and social leaders, have succeeded in transforming what was presented as a great challenge into an opportunity to promote the development of the border region.
To illustrate this let me mention some facts:
Today, the United States remains the largest economy in the world and I believe it is fair to recognize the contribution and importance of the Maquiladora Export Manufacturing Industry and in particular, our local Maquiladora industry here in Juarez.
The automotive sector where vehicles are manufactured in the United States ($16 billion annually) that utilizes more than 40% of components imported from Mexico has accounted for 70% of total growth in Mexico over the past 10 years and has made a great impact on our city, generating about 100,000 jobs.
If we consider the value of exports of manufacturing in Juarez, this generates more than $126,000 dollars in exports annually per employee. The value added by the Maquila sector in the Juarez means we have an economic impact of over US$14 million annually.
The competitive advantages are well known to us. Our geographical location, proximity to consumer markets in the United States, industrial infrastructure, support services for industry, and of course. our competitive operating costs, just to mention a few.
In this context, it is important to note that thanks to the economic and social transformation that encourages maquiladoras, Ciudad Juarez has become a land of opportunity for thousands of people in the cities of Juarez, Chihuahua, and throughout Mexico and even, for many of our neighbors in the United States.
Since the entry into NAFTA, the exchange in international trade between Mexico and the US has grown more than 6 times and is now reaching more than $500 billion dollars annually. The commercial dynamics and economy between Mexico and the US have generated production networks and efficiencies. Infrastructure development programs on both sides of the border have strengthened trade.
We have certainly succeeded in some of our goals. Today, Ciudad Juárez accounts for more than 70% of the Maquila industry throughout the state of Chihuahua and represents more than 60% of employment and economic participation of the city.
Great opportunities can be envisioned on the horizon as we take into account trends in the industry. 70% of this growth is a result of expansions of companies already established in the city.
Currently, the second priority of these companies already established in Mexico is to develop their supply chains. We benefit from great potential to diversify markets and attract providers seeking to establish operations in Mexico.
The challenge becomes a serious opportunity when we answer this question: “How to make job opportunities that are the best option for our young men and women”?
55% of our population is of working age (this represents approximately 950,000 people).
Definitely in companies that seek the best of the best, we are aware that we must provide the education and training of our workforce in order to develop competitive skills that lead to increases in productivity and wages.
Indeed, Cd. Juarez is a success story despite having suffered the ravages of the “Perfect Storm” in which the last global economic crisis and the most terrible wave of violence in living memory came together during the years of 2008-2011 during which we lost more than 82,000 sources of employment in our industry.
Today, we have not only recovered but have been strengthened in our conviction, reinvigorated, and determined to search for a better life.
Currently there are over 40 industrial parks as well as more than 300 Maquiladoras. For this reason, Ciudad Juarez has placed first in generating employment positions in the country.
In the last 6 years, Cd. Juarez has experienced its greatest growth, which has allowed us to generate steady job opportunities for more than 35,000 employees. (We have generated more jobs in Juarez than have been created in the states of Michigan and Illinois together).
Our economic dynamics have allowed our employees and partners to stand out for their level of expertise. This is a source of satisfaction for our institutions of higher education that prepare every year hundreds of technicians and professionals.
Ciudad Juarez has become a competitive place to do business and is conducive to industrial development. Today, more than 75 companies listed on the Fortune 500 list have operations in our city.
We must recognize that over the decades; Ciudad Juarez managed to position itself as a leading international manufacturing center.
Of course, our international leadership in the Maquiladora industry could not be possible without each and every one of the young people working in our companies. Without the tenacity and the heart of all those men and women, fathers and mothers who perform important tasks none of this would be possible.
Through the combined efforts of both companies and the hard working people of Juarez, we can say that families that strive can realize their dreams.
The Maquiladora Association is today much more than a group of companies; we are, with our operators and partners, a family that focuses on the well-being of our workers.
Our companies share the vision of providing optimal working conditions for our workers in three fundamental aspects such as pay fair wages and benefits; unrestricted compliance with both federal and state laws and ensure job security of our employees.
I would like to end my presentation by encouraging young people and the thousands of women and men looking for a place made professionally to come to the doors of our businesses. There, we have a place for each and every one of you.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Maquiladoras of Ciudad Juarez are working with heart. So I invite everyone here and to extend it to all in Juarez, to join this great campaign to recognize the engine and heart of our business and the reason for our success: our employees.
We know we are all exposed to different circumstances in life, when one of our workers face a challenge or difficulty; our companies jointly show the willingness to work with them to overcome the obstacles that may arise.
Your social and economic security is here in the present and in the future. Forward!