AURORA, IL –– FlexXray today joined the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Invest Aurora and Aurora officials to cut the ribbon on the company’s new state-of-the-art food and product inspection facility, with plans to hire 150 workers from the community. FlexXray, a leading x-ray inspection and recovery service for the food industry, is expanding to serve the increased demand for its services and to meet the changing demands facing the US food supply chain due to COVID-19, while building on Aurora’s steady growth as a regional hub for manufacturing.
"Manufacturing has been a cornerstone of the Illinois economy for generations and I am pleased to announce this latest investment in our state by FlexXray to expand its leading food inspection business here in our thriving Aurora community," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Thanks to our talented residents, strong infrastructure, and culture of innovation and growth, companies like FlexXray continue to double down on Illinois with plans to create jobs and opportunities for our communities. My administration has prioritized continued investments in workforce training to prepare a pipeline of future talent that will allow Illinois companies to innovate and compete globally. We thank FlexXray for their confidence in Illinois and look forward to working with them to create hundreds of jobs and opportunities for Illinois residents."
Investments in a new 48,000 square foot, cutting-edge facility will support an array of customers served by the company, including food and beverage manufacturers, while maintaining COVID-19 safety protocols. The facility is optimized to provide the safest, fastest and most accurate inspection services to food manufacturers across North America, includes x-ray inspection, metal detection, shrink bundling and tap-tone operation lines. The USDA and FDA-registered inspection facility, located at 1998 Melissa Lane #140, began production in June 2020.
“Our investment in this new state-of-the-art facility significantly increases temperature-controlled inspection capacity, expands the number of opportunities we have for a skilled diverse workforce, protects current worker safety, and prepares FlexXray to continue meeting industry demands as market needs change during COVID-19 and beyond,” said Randy Jesberg, CEO of FlexXray. “Aurora is an ideal location for our new facility and we are delighted to be working closely with Kane County, the City of Aurora and the State of Illinois to hire and train employees for the many new jobs we have available here in the city.”
Since expanding to Illinois last year, FlexXray has remained dedicated to offering the best and fastest inspection services to their clients, providing opportunities to partners and employees, and creating jobs throughout the region. The expansion of the company at its newest facilities in Aurora will generate 100 new jobs initially, with a total of 150 added jobs planned for the years ahead. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois workNet center of DuPage County has begun assisting FlexXray in recruiting employees and designing on-the-job training programs.
“FlexXray’s new Aurora location is a welcome addition to our growing manufacturing industry and will support our goals of expanding access to high skilled jobs for more Illinoisans,” said Erin B. Guthrie, Director of DCEO. “Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, Illinois is working to prepare our residents for jobs of the future, and to give Illinois companies the confidence they need with investments in infrastructure, technology and talent. We welcome FlexXray to Aurora and look forward to partnering to ensure that residents can benefit from newly created jobs and economic opportunity here at their 21st century factory.”
At full capacity, FlexXray’s new facility will run 24 hours a day with three shifts and will inspect 10 or more truckloads of product each day. The facility’s expanded loading dock and warehouse storage space enables customers to quickly and easily deliver loads for future inspection and have drivers wait while inspection is conducted across multiple inspection lines in FlexXray’s temperature-controlled inspection area.
“We welcome FlexXray to the Aurora community,” said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “The company’s investment in the new facility speaks volumes about its commitment to excellence, and the company’s plan to hire more than 100 new employees speaks even louder about its dedication to the betterment of Aurora and our residents. I look forward to growing a relationship that will last for generations to come and impact our city in immeasurable ways. Welcome home, FlexXray.” FlexXray’s new food and product facility builds on economic advances being made by the City of Aurora to make it a regional manufacturing hub.
“With demand growing for FlexXray’s services, the company chose Aurora for their expanded operations in Illinois due to our strategic location in the Chicagoland area, and our highly educated and motivated workforce,” said Bryan Gay, president & CEO of Invest Aurora. “FlexXray’s selection of Aurora is further evidence that Aurora’s investment into our transportation infrastructure and our workforce partnerships is paying off.”
This ribbon cutting ceremony builds on a series of recent announcements by manufacturing companies that are making plans to invest in Illinois. In addition to the launch of the first fiber-optic microfactory by viaPhoton in July, Invest Aurora has helped welcomed recent relocations to Aurora by Amsino Inc., Savoye Engineering and Sonova EV over the last year Not only were the relocations of their distribution and manufacturing operations secured, all four businesses are relocating their US-based headquarters to Aurora, as well. Over the next 2-3 years, these companies will together be responsible for the creation of over 850 new jobs, retaining 450 jobs and over $62,000,000 of private investments in the City of Aurora.
Today’s announcement comes during October’s Manufacturing Month in Illinois, proclaimed by Governor JB Pritzker earlier this month to recognize the contributions of manufacturers during COVID-19 and beyond. More than 1,000 Illinois manufacturers and distributors have stepped up to scale or pivot their production to manufacture life-saving personal protective equipment (PPE) to assist in the statewide response to the pandemic. Manufacturing is already an essential industry for Illinois’ economy – with over 550,000 Illinoisans employed, and a collective $100 billion plus annual economic output – yet the industry is on track to grow considerably in the years ahead.
Over the next eight years, it’s estimated that 4.6 million new manufacturing jobs will need to be filled nationwide. Earlier this week, Governor Pritzker announced plans to form new Manufacturing Training Academies to prepare Illinois to seize these jobs and revitalize communities by developing a pipeline of skilled labor to meet future industry growth.