Jabil to create excellence center for 3D printing in ABQ

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Mayor Tim Keller and Albuquerque Economic Development Inc. announced Thursday Jabil Inc., a manufacturing solutions provider, has selected Albuquerque to create a center of excellence for 3D printing. Pictured from left to right are: Jabil CEO and VP Steve Borges, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, center foreground, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller,,background, and John Silva, General Manager of the Albuquerque Facility.
Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal

A manufacturing company that specializes in 3-D printing is planning to invest more than $40 million in its southeast Albuquerque facility, creating 120 new jobs in the process.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller were on hand to celebrate Jabil — a manufacturing solutions provider that designs products for a variety of industries, including healthcare — designating its Albuquerque facility as a “center of excellence” for 3-D printing.

The designation means that the manufacturer will add around $42 million in new equipment at the facility, while bringing on 120 new employees in the next half-decade, according to Steve Borges, healthcare CEO and executive vice president of Jabil.

“For me, it’s not just about the next two years, three years, five years,” Borges said during the news conference. “It’s really putting a foundational footprint here in Albuquerque for the future to take advantage of that growth.”

Jabil, which operates around 100 facilities in 29 countries, is relatively new to Albuquerque. Jim Chynoweth, board chair for Albuquerque Economic Development, said the company inked a management partnership with Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Cos. to take over management of 14 medical sites across the country. Albuquerque’s facility, located at 3801 University Boulevard SE, was included in the deal. Today, Jabil employs around 360 full-time workers in the city, according to AED.

Chynoweth said Albuquerque was competing with a facility in Monument, Colo., north of Colorado Springs, for the investment. Lujan Grisham added that John Silva, a native New Mexican and the general manager of the Albuquerque facility, pushed hard to have the company invest in the Albuquerque facility.

“You look at our site, and the transformation we’ve had over the year, the people make this site what it is,” Silva said after the conference.

Borges said the company plans to add for a variety of new positions, ranging from engineers to technicians to line supervisors. The investment will also help the company expand its metal 3-D printing capabilities at its healthcare facility in Albuquerque.

“Everything they do touches the lives of patients somewhere around the world,” Borges said.

Lujan Grisham said the state will provide $750,000 in funding through the state’s Local Economic Development Act, and Keller added that the city of Albuquerque will contribute an additional $250,000 in local LEDA funding.

“We really try to make that return on investment calculation work, and this is a tremendous example for our city,” Keller said.

Lujan Grisham noted that the new jobs will be in the intelligent manufacturing sector, which the state has identified as one of nine key industries to target to grow its economy.

“When we’re announcing hundreds of jobs, that’s not just a celebration, that’s an indication that we’re doing it right,” she said.

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