“Youth Symphony Orchestra Is Part Of MFI's Community Outreach In Ciudad Juarez”
The El Paso, United States-Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, metropolitan area has more than 2.7 million people so contributing to the area’s quality of life is a gargantuan task.
Luckily, Cecilia Ochoa-Levine is dedicated to the metropolitan area.
Cecilia Levine was the president of MFI International Mfg., LLC from 1990 until earlier this year and is still an MFI's co-owner and board member. MFI’s headquarters are in El Paso and the company has been manufacturing products for American companies in numerous industries at its Ciudad Juarez manufacturing plants since 1982. During her time at MFI, Levine has become so dedicated to El Paso (population 672,538) and Ciudad Juarez (estimated population 1.5 million) that she founded the US+Mexico+Canada Strategic Alliance, which is dedicated to contributing to community projects in cities throughout the three nations.
“MFI employees not only work in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, but they also live here,” explained Cecilia Levine. “Helping the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez metropolitan area improves their quality of life and is the right thing for a corporate citizen of the community to do. The alliance is a win-win effort for companies and communities.”
One of the centerpieces of the nonprofit alliance’s effort to improve the community is the Esperanza Azteca (Aztec Hope) Juarez Youth Symphony Orchestra. Founded in 2010, the orchestra today consists of about 200 (8- to 19-year-old) children who rehearse almost every afternoon at space it rents at a Juarez Mexico institution called" The Instituto Vision Mexico school" and occasionally perform in public. The alliance plans on constructing a building that will give the children a permanent place to practice.
The orchestra, which includes a chorus, has made the children more confident about themselves and their future, the El Paso Times reported.
"Music is now my passion," Esteban Ruiseco, a 17-year-old clarinet player, told the newspaper, which also reported that the discipline that has made Esteban and his orchestra teammates better musicians has also made them better students.
The orchestra has brought joy to the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez metropolitan area by performing a numerous public concerts. Its latest performance was on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Abraham Chavez Theater in El Paso. The concert’s theme was Music Across Borders because the children played American and Mexican music, opening with The Star Spangled Banner. About 170 f the children performed. Lance Levine, who is MFI’s CEO and founder, took photos of the concert.
“The children’s skill was amazing,” said Cecilia Levine, who is also a director of the US+Mexico+Canada Strategic Alliance. “They were extremely poised and appeared to enjoy entertaining the audience. The crowd was very appreciative of their talent and energy.”
The youth orchestra isn’t the only Ciudad Juarez community project that MFI’s nonprofit arm is involved in via the international strategic alliance.
This past May, MFI helped commemorate a historic event in Ciudad Juarez -- the unveiling of a 200-foot-high sculpture entitled “La Equis” or “The X” that could distinguish Ciudad Juarez the same way that the Gateway Arch distinguishes St. Louis and could boost the city’s economy via increased tourism. The Red X includes an observatory that allows visitors to view Ciudad Juarez and El Paso and is in the middle of a promenade that can accommodate as many as 75,000 people and includes an outdoor theater.
MFI funded the performances at the dedication, including musical performances by the Juarez Youth Symphony Orchestra and the El Paso Symphony.
The company is also involved in Ciudad Juarez’s effort to build a community center that is called “The Point” or “El Punto” in Spanish. It has pledged “significant funds” to manage this project, which is expected to be completed in 2016. The community center will include a music academy, an educational center, a chapel for religious services, an immigration facility to help travelers, and an outdoor auditorium for cultural activities. It’s also expected to be a tourist attraction because of its architecture.
“MFI and the Strategic Alliance combined have demonstrated a remarkable foresight by embracing this project,“ said Cecilia Levine. “It clearly shows our commitment to social responsibility in general and community involvement projects in particular.”
MFI to Exhibit its Contract Assembly Capabilities at the Specialty Fabrics Trade Show
El Paso, Texas – September 6, 2013 -- MFI International will exhibit its contract assembly capabilities at the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Expo 2013 from Oct. 23-25. In the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.
MFI has been manufacturing sewn good products for American companies in Mexico, U.S. and China for more than 30 years. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss how their supply chain can benefit from MFI’s turnkey manufacturing solution in the sewn goods category.
Historically, MFI’s clients in the North American region have been able to reduce their supply chain costs, while improving time-to market through nearshore Mexico benefits associated with easy access to a cost competitive supplier.
Companies that utilize MFI's contract manufacturing services receive high-quality services and lower their production costs on labor-intensive operations. "Our clients typically experience cost savings equivalent to $1 million per year per every 50 employees when they move their operation from the U.S. to Mexico," said Fatih Akben, MFI's Director of New Business Development.
MFI’s services for the textile industry include:
* Sewing and Assembly
* Inspection and Cutting
* Embroidery and Quilting
* Engineering and Sourcing
* Packaging and Fulfillment
* Shipping and Distribution
IFAI Expo 2013 exhibit will be on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 23-24, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday, Oct. 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MFI will be located at booth No. 5431.
El Paso, TX, August 19, 2013-- MFI International has announced the promotion of Lawrence Wollschlager to the post of President and Chief Operating Officer of the company effective August 2nd, 2013.
Mr. Wollschlager has held previous positions and responsibilities within the company, including engineering, quality assurance, manufacturing, global sourcing, supply chain management, business development, sales & marketing, and most recently as the Chief Operating Officer.
Lance Levine, CEO of MFI International, said: “Lawrence has the leadership skills, drive and business knowledge to help lead MFI to the next level.”
Cecilia Levine, the previous President of MFI, will continue her role with MFI as Director and member of the Board, as well as leading MFI’s corporate social responsibilities within the U.S. and Mexican communities.
About MFI International
MFI International is a leading provider of cost efficient and flexible manufacturing services within the U.S. and Mexico border region for over 30 years. With a truly bi-cultural management staff that has extensive experience in doing business in a wide variety of manufacturing sectors, MFI offers complete package solutions through its two divisions, contract manufacturing and shelter services. MFI’s specialties include automotive, consumer products, electronics, bedding and furniture, medical, military, pet products, specialty apparel and seating. For more information, please visit www.mfiintl.com
The number of companies that will utilize Mexico's high-quality, low-cost manufacturing services in the next few years is expected to increase substantially, according to a study.
Mexico's increasing competitiveness is expected to be a boon to those companies, including American companies that design the original product and their contract manufacturers – the companies that manufacture the American companies’ products in Mexico.
Contract manufacturers like MFI International are expanding their production facilities because so many American companies are taking advantage of Mexico’s superior manufacturing services. MFI currently manufactures consumer products, electronics, furniture, mattress soft goods (mattress covers), medical devices, and equipment for the military and first responders, pet products, specialty apparel and specialty seating. Its new clients will allow it to manufacture casket products for the U.S. market at its plant in Mexico.
"Our clients typically experience cost savings equivalent to $1 million per year per every 50 employees when they move their operation from the U.S. to Mexico," said Fatih Akben, MFI's Director of New Business Development.
The study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) projects that “global companies are expected to continue moving production to Mexico” because its average manufacturing costs are declining in comparison to other nations. In 2000, Mexican labor costs were 58 percent higher than China’s labor costs, but they are projected to be 19 percent lower by 2015. Overall manufacturing costs in Mexico in 2015 are projected to be 6 percent lower in Mexico than in China and 20 to 30 percent lower in Mexico than Belgium, Germany, Italy and Japan.
The lower manufacturing costs – and lower energy costs – “are expected to propel Mexican manufacturing exports” by $20 billion to $60 billion annually within five years, according to BCG’s June 28 press release. American companies that hire contract manufacturers like MFI to manufacture many of their products’ components in Mexico are expected to benefit tremendously from this export boom, MFI can help companies bring their products to market expeditiously and inexpensively thanks to Mexico's high-quality labor force and the manufacturing plant's proximity to the U.S.
“Mexico is in a strong position to be a significant winner from shifts in the global economy,” BCG senior partner Harold L. Sirkin said. “That is good news not only for Mexico, which relies on exports for around one-third of its GDP. It’s also good for America, since products made in Mexico contain four times as many U.S.-made parts, on average, as those made in China.”
Mexico also has more free-trade agreements than any other nation -- 44. That reduces companies' tariffs.
"MFI International Blends Social Responsibility and Best Practices to support a new community project in Juarez Mexico"
In its continuing efforts to combine good business practices with the need for social responsibility, MFI International is proud to announce its support for a new community center to be located in Ciudad Juarez known as The Point or "El Punto" in Spanish.
The goal is to promote the values and education of the Juarez Mexico community, and thus to facilitate, the international trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada by improving the quality of Mexican citizens. MFI, through its non-profit entity, the U.S. – Mexico - Canada Strategic Alliance, has committed significant funds over 4 years to the project which will be built on land valued at $30 million donated by the city of Juarez.
Cecilia Levine, founder and President of the U.S.–Mexico-Canada Strategic Alliance, noted that, “MFI and the Strategic Alliance combined have demonstrated a remarkable foresight by embracing this project. It clearly shows our commitment to social responsibility in general and community involvement projects in particular.”
The Location - Juarez Mexico
The Point or “El Punto” in Spanish is not just a simple urban revitalization project. Instead it aims to capture, through its free-flowing architecture, the spirit of the city and reflect the ideas and dreams of its inhabitants. It will be situated along the U.S.and Mexico border, and will serve as an icon of cross border cooperation.
As the mayor of Ciudad Juarez, Hector Murguia Lardizabal, commented, “The continued business growth of Ciudad Juarez lends more confidence to the international investment community and "El Punto" is a significant manifestation of that confidence.”
He continued, “While this is an ostensibly social project, it will also provide socio-economic development of the Juarez – El Paso border. It is a win-win combination for both businesses and the bi-national community.”
The Project - El Punto
The project is a more than just a meeting place for the community, according to a recent article in the architectural portal Arquine. El Punto will also feature a chapel and dedicated spaces for projects in education, music and personal growth. The structure itself will be designed by the world renowned Swiss architectural firm, Herzog & de Meuron . In particular, the building will include the following:
A unique and eye-catching architecture designed to draw tourists as well as local residents.
A community center designed to promote cultural and economic development in the city.
A chapel to meet the religious needs of the spiritual community.
Social services intended to elevate the standard of living and quality of life for all residents
A music academy to encourage participation by music lovers of all ages in local as well as the Classical tradition.
An educational center for fostering respect of the community.
An immigration facility to educate, counsel and aid those traveling to and from Mexico.
An outdoor auditorium for cultural and educational activities.
The project kicked off its planning stage in late 2012 and the entire project is expected to be completed in 2016. Herzog & de Meuron are hard at work finishing the plans and drawings. Mrs. Levine summed up the sentiment nicely when she said, “The business world and the community do not have to be at odds. El Punto sends a powerful signal that both can work together to better meet the needs of each.”
(Site visit in Juarez Mexico: Herzog & de Meuron and MFI International, source:http://www.arquine.com)
About MFI International
For over 30 years, MFI International has developed itself into a leading provider of cost-efficient and flexible manufacturing services in the Juarez, Mexico region. With a truly bi-cultural management staff that has extensive experience in both US and Mexican operations in a wide variety of manufacturing sectors, MFI offers complete package solutions through its two divisions, contract assembly and shelter manufacturing support ("shelter services"), across a wide variety of industries including the Medical, Casket, Consumer Electronics, and Home Furnishing and Automotive industries. For more information, please visit www.mfiintl.com.
In another gesture of friendship, cooperation and corporate responsibility, MFI International has helped commemorate the dedication of a towering steel sculpture in the city of Juarez Mexico. The monument entitled, “La Equis” or “The X” was officially unveiled at the “XFest: From Juárez to the World" last May 25th. In addition to the actual inauguration, the event was marked with performances by local musical artists as well as the renowned Juarez Symphony Orchestra who were sponsored in whole by MFI International’s corporate responsibility arm; The U.S. Mexico- Canada Strategic Alliance group.
La Equis was designed by the world renowned Mexican sculptor, Sebastian, known for his large-scale metal and concrete installations. Many, including La Equis, are known as “gate” sculptures as they are intended to welcome visitors to their host city. His work is proudly exhibited around the world in cities as diverse as Dublin, Bern, Osaka and New York.
The X in Juarez - La Equis de Juarez
The sculpture itself rises almost 200 feet in the air and cuts a distinctive “X-like” figure. It is situated in the middle of an esplanade in Ciudad Juarez that is designed to hold up to 75,000 people. There is also a viewing level where the two arms of the statue meet where visitors can view either downtown El Paso or Ciudad Juarez.
When asked about the statue’s meaning, Sebastian explained, “The X is a symbol full of meanings, a mark to welcome people (to Mexico) and to demonstrate the ancestral Mexican culture." He then added that the X was also a reference to the city of Juárez's namesake, Mexican President Benito Juárez, who changed the spelling of the country's name in the 1800s, from Méjico to Mexico.
The inaugural event was held on 5/25/13 at the "Plaza de la Mexicanidad" as part of the "XFest: From Juárez to the World" celebration. Festivities included performances by the Juarez Symphony Orchestra (also known as Esperanza Azteca- Orquesta Sinfonica ), the El Paso Symphony under the direction of leading Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra.
Both of these musical performances were coordinated and funded by MFI's U.S. Mexico-Canada Strategic Alliance as part of their ongoing efforts to support local community events and improve the quality of life for the residents of both El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.
MFI was proud to sponsor the inclusion of the El Paso Symphony and the Juarez Symphony Orchestra in the event but MFI’s participation was more than just financial as its CEO, Lance R. Levine, personally attended and captured many of the moments for posterity. Please visit this link here to see more of the images captured at the event.
“From El Paso to the World”, Export Initiative Attractive to Manufacturers
El Paso, TX, May 30, 2013--MFI International Manufacturing is, once again, proud to reiterate its strong commitment to the City of El Paso and the economic initiatives fostered by its Free Trade Zone (FTZ Num. 68) through the participation of MFI’s President Cecilia Levine, as a guest speaker at the FTZ Export Forum 2013.
This year’s forum entitled “From EL Paso to the World” will take place on May 31, 2013 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the Butterfield Trail Golf Club at 1858 Cottonwoods, El Paso, TX 79925.
About El Paso’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ No. 68)
The FTZ No. 68 constitutes an integral part of the City’s regional and international investment strategy providing a superior business platform for domestic and international trade activities in the region. The zone consists of 5 regional sites totaling almost 3,500 acres set throughout the city and within the greater El Paso County area.
In general, global manufacturers are eager to take advantage of a Foreign Trade Zones for a variety of reasons. In particular, they are usually located in a secure area in or near a port of entry to the U.S. but legally outside the jurisdiction of U.S. Customs. Then, most typically, foreign and domestic goods for import into the U.S. are taken there for storage, manipulation, manufacturing, and/or distribution without the need for formal customs entry or payment of customs duties or excise taxes.
A wide range of industries in the El Paso and Juarez trade area take advantage of the benefits of FTZs including many OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), contract manufacturing companies, and maquiladoras in Mexico operating in different fields such as: aerospace, industrial textiles, automotive, consumer electronics, food, green technology, medical supplies and equipment, metals and minerals, petroleum, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Not only are fines and seizures reduced, other benefits include deferred duties on waste, elimination and reduction (Inverted Tariff Relief), reduced bond and brokerage costs, and the elimination of drawbacks.
The Export Forum 2013 - “From El Paso to the World”
The goal of this initiative announced through the Export Forum 2013 event, is to promote international trade activities in the El Paso and Juarez, Mexico manufacturing community. Here are some interesting trade facts from 2012:
· El Paso exports in 2012 reached $29 billion.
· The main contributors to foreign direct investment are countries like Mexico, Germany, Japan, Spain and China.
· In addition, the El Paso FTZ Num. 68 offered programs to companies in more than 40 countries.
Trading on these facts, if you’ll pardon the pun, the event will be an eye opener for the El Paso and Juarez business community. In addition to promoting the FTZ’s programs, a new trade mission coordinated with the U.S. Commercial Services will be introduced and key testimonials and seminars will be held featuring trade leaders from the local business community including MFI’s very own, Mrs. Cecilia Levine, President of MFI International Mfg.
Mrs. Levine will be speaking on, “Advantages of a Trade Mission.” Her hands-on experience in manufacturing, as well promoting U.S. exports as a former member of the President’s Export Council from 2003-2008, make her remarks of especial interest. To learn more about Mrs. Levine's background click here.
To learn more about El Paso's Foreign Trade Zone Num. 68, and it's initiatives visit: http://home.elpasotexas.gov/ftz/export-forum.php
To learn more on how MFI International MFG., can assist in your contract manufacturing strategy,contact us here.
Key Seminar for manufacturers evaluating manufacturing in Mexico, as their nearshore option.
El Paso, TX, May 2, 2013 -- MFI International is proud to announce that their CEO, Lance R. Levine, will be participating at a key industry event entitled Nearshoring Mexico 2013. The event takes place on June 11-12 in Dallas, Texas.
The event will bring together numerous companies across many industries that are looking to “Re-shore” or bring their production closer to the U.S. and consider Mexico as a low cost and viable venue, as well as “hands-on” manufacturers, supply chain partners, site selectors, transportation, logistics and shelter service providers involved in Mexico’s manufacturing industry.
In particular, Mr. Levine will be participating at a forum on June 12th, entitled “Security Best Practices,” with a special emphasis on:
With more than 40 years’ experience with manufacturing in Mexico, Mr. Levine brings a keen insight into the current situation. When asked about the upcoming forum, Mr Levine commented, “My main goal is to address current situations and best practices on security and crossborder manufacturing in today’s maquiladora’s environment.”
He continued, “Conferees already recognize the benefits of nearshoring. Everything from reduced costs, faster time-to-market, improved product quality and better overall control of the manufacturing process are there. Now, for the most forward looking companies, it’s not a matter of “if” but of”when. MFI wants to help make it as soon as possible.”
Nearshoring Mexico 2013 will be held at the Crowne Plaza Dallas Downtown on June 11th and 12th, 2103. It is the one must-attend event for any executive contemplating a decision to nearshore in Mexico. Mr. Levine and the other guest speakers will undoubtedly offer some keen observations on the benefits and the process.
For over 25 years, Infocast has produced the highest quality events, tailored to the needs of the industries they serve. The company intensively researches the marketplace, pulling from an extensive network of experts to give its clients the information and connections to succeed. http://www.infocastinc.com/
To learn more about Nearshoring Mexico (June 11-13 in Dallas), visit: www.infocastinc.com/nearshoring13">www.infocastinc.com/nearshoring13.
To learn more on how MFI International MFG., can assist in your nearshoring manufacturing to Mexico strategy,contact us here.
"MFI International manufacturing services, will support Sundance Enterprises Inc. rapid growth in the medical device industry."
EL PASO, TX, April 07, 2013 -- MFI International adds new production lines to support manufacturer based in White Plains, New York, Sundance Enterprises, Inc., a leader in the development, production, and marketing of unique patient positioning products, patient care surfaces, and related medical devices.
Since 1982, MFI operates "cut and sew" facilities in Mexico that serve a variety of industries. For the medical field, these facilities have produced and exported from clean room garments, emergency readiness products, wound care and are now adding positioning devices. MFI International is ISO 90001:2008 certified, C-TPAT certified and practices six sigma principles to ensure superior quality throughout the manufacturing process.
According to the company's C.E.O., William Purdy, "From the very beginning of our relationship MFI International's ability to provide both timely deliveries and consistently high quality product has enabled Sundance to grow without the worry of not being able to deliver to our customers. Extremely organized, very communicative and most of all a pleasure to work with, MFI is a key supplier to Sundance."
MFI's C.O.O., Lawrence Wollschlager adds, "Our goal in this venture with Sundance is to develop a long-term relationship by providing a full package solution that will comply with their highest quality standards, in a cost effective and timely manner. MFI has the experience, knowledge and mature infrastructure to produce their unique products, and quickly react upon a growing demand of their customer base."
About Sundance Enterprises Inc.
Based in White Plains, New York, Sundance Enterprises, Inc. is a leader in the development, manufacture, and marketing of unique patient positioning products, patient care surfaces, and related medical devices. Since its inception Sundance has followed the maxim that research, development and clinical collaboration is the foundation for improved patient care. From its original static air immersion pressure reduction systems, to the highest level of pressure relief and positioning systems, Sundance products continue to make a significant impact on the lives of patients and the ability of caregivers to more effectively and safely do their jobs. Its on-going focus on advanced innovative materials used for proper patient positioning is revolutionizing the clinical approach to wound prevention and patient therapy. For more information, please visit www.sundancesolutions.com
El Paso, Texas - March 29, 2013 – MFI International is participating at Interzum Trade Fair in Cologne Germany, from May 13th-16th, 2013. As an active member of the International Sleep Products Association, MFI will have its exhibit at ISPA’s Bedding Centre, which consists of a designated area dedicated for suppliers and manufacturers to the mattress and bedding industry.
Interzum is the world’s largest trade fair for suppliers to the home furniture industry. The show combines a series of programs and exhibit halls to highlight the newest products and vendors available to the industry. Housed in the Koelnmesse GmbH Exhibit Complex, the fair features nearly 1,300 exhibits from 63 countries.
MFI International’s goal is to promote its manufacturing services to mattress, bedding and interior home furnishings manufacturers. MFI’s team members will be available to discuss how these manufacturers may benefit from its turnkey services (full package contract manufacturing) and the type of products currently manufactured for the industry, e.g. mattress covers, toppers, pillows and bedding accessories.
MFI operates “cut and sew” facilities in Mexico that currently export zip-on mattress covers and top-of-bed accessories to the U.S. and Canada. Its clients are based in both North America and Europe and depend on MFI for the following reasons: • Product quality • Cost Reduction • Speed to market • Scalability and Flexibility.
MFI’s Chief Operating Officer, Lawrence Wollschlager adds, “Through our Mexico operations, we have access to an extensive network of FTA’s (free trade agreements), which covers a total of 43 nations, including a free trade agreement with the European Union and all North American countries (NAFTA). In short, we offer a unique opportunity for European mattress manufacturers looking to expand their brand to the Americas.”
Companies interested in learning more about the benefits of MFI’s manufacturing services, can visit: www.mfiintl.com, and stop by MFI’s booth at ISPA’s Bedding Centre, booth # F-069, hall 10.2 The booth will be located on the left hand side as you enter the exhibit Hall 10.2 towards the middle of the space.
About MFI International
MFI International has defined itself as a leading provider of cost efficient and flexible manufacturing services in the Juarez, Mexico region for over 30 years. With a truly bi-cultural management staff that has extensive experience in both US and Mexican operations in a wide variety of manufacturing sectors, MFI offers complete package solutions through its two divisions, contract assembly and manufacturing support services in Mexico within the Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Home Furnishing, Medical, Military, Made to Order, and Work Wear industries. www.mfiintl.com