Preparing the Workface for Industry MomentumThu, 09/01/2016 - 21:51
Q: Which new projects have contributed most significantly to the growth of Marabis’ Industrial Parks?
A: Castro del Rio Industrial Park in Guanajuato has been operating for nine years but our greatest growth has been in the last three years after Honda and Mazda established their operations in the state of Guanajuato. These OEMs laid the groundwork for their suppliers and other investors have followed suit. We expect the same to happen after Toyota’s announcement. The government has estimated that approximately 200 new projects are still pending. Of the 76 Japanese companies already legally registered in Guanajuato, 37 are located in Marabis’ parks. German investments are also increasing in response to Audi and BMW’s new projects in Mexico. Some companies have decided to set up shop in the city of Leon because of the direct access to San Luis Potosi state, where BMW will be located. Many consider Castro del Rio’s location to be privileged given its proximity to Daimler, Nissan and the newest Japanese OEMs. However, Marabis Abasolo Industrial Park’s location neighboring the industrial corridor on Highway 45 is attractive to avoid excessive commutes for employees.
The results of INEGI regarding gender equality in areas of severe migration shows that the women-to-men ratio has changed from 56:44 to 60:40, as men migrate to find work. Silao, Guanajuato for example, has seen considerable industrial growth, but 80 percent of workers including professionals and blue-collar workers, commute daily from the city of Irapuato. Fortunately, our Abasolo project is expected to prevent the migration of almost 400 people in its initial stages. The government of Guanajuato can see the need to begin preparing the local workforce for the job opportunities created by new companies.
Q: What are Marabis Abasolo and Marabis Comonfort parks’ competitive advantages in terms of development and companies attracted?
A: Marabis Comonfort is in the final stages of planning and design. The basic skeleton is already in place and additional properties are being acquired to ensure future growth. In Abasolo, 65 percent capacity was met during
the initial development period for its first stage and now that the established companies started operations we have reached 80 percent of the park’s total capacity. Furthermore, many logistics companies are arriving in the area and outsourcing warehouse space that can be dedicated purely to manufacturing. By early 2016, we expect five companies to be up and running at the Abasolo Park.
The natural gas infrastructure has to improve in several regions but the latest Energy Reform has created a highly bureaucratic system that requires constant attention from the government. Companies will continue to invest but the truth is that few industrial parks have sufficient infrastructure to support that growth, which is where Grupo Marabis can help. The number of companies in the region, its logistics infrastructure and its geographical convenience make Guanajuato state a strong contender for new companies.
Q: How successful has the National College of Technical Vocational Education (CONALEP) been in developing human capital with targeted education in Castro del Rio?
A: CONALEP has been incredibly successful and we are thrilled with its progress. The institution's alumni is 60 percent female. Companies can employ students as apprentices for several months, hiring them after acquiring enough experience in their field. Most students graduate into secure jobs in technical careers and in general the courses have been so successful that several graduates have been inspired to continue with their engineering degrees. Consequently, employers are collaborating not only with CONALEP but also with the Superior Technical College of Irapuato, the Polytechnic in Silao, the University of Guanajuato and ITESM. Students are being offered the opportunity to travel to places such as Japan, Romania, China and Germany to learn and share their experience with their counterparts in those countries. The German dual education system was the key to CONALEP’s triumph in Irapuato and now other Abasolo technical schools are interested in replicating this system in their community.