- Schneider Electric opened its latest electrical equipment plant in El Paso, Texas, last week.
- The factory will produce low voltage and medium voltage electrical products for use in distributing electricity from the utility grid to industrial, commercial and residential settings.
- The plant spans 160,000 square feet and will employ approximately 400 workers by the end of the year, part of Schneider's $300 million investment in U.S. manufacturing underway since 2020.
The energy equipment manufacturer chose El Paso, where it already operates three other plants, given the city's location as a logistics hub near Schneider's suppliers, according to a company spokesperson. In addition, El Paso offers a deep talent pool for the company.
"We have been part of the El Paso community since 2001 and the workforce in the Borderplex region was core to our decision to choose El Paso for this facility," the spokesperson said in an email. "Not only does El Paso have the skilled and talented workforce we need to build the specialized products we’ll be manufacturing here, but also universities with an emphasis in engineering are in the area."
The France-based company has a massive global presence, with sites in 106 countries.
In the U.S, Schneider operates 20 manufacturing plants, and the new factory marks its largest site in the country. Since 2020, it's also invested in upgrading equipment and operations at manufacturing facilities in Lexington, Kentucky; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Mechanicsburg and Middletown, Pennsylvania.
El Paso has been working in recent years to grow its advanced manufacturing sector for projects like Schneider's. The city is home to part of the Borderplex region, consisting of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, El Paso, Texas; and Las Cruces, New Mexico. In 2021 it ranked fifth in North America for manufacturing hubs with the highest employment with 319,628 workers, according to El Paso officials.
Manufacturing also brought in the second-highest gross regional product value in the city last year at $2.92 billion, behind only government services.
Building on this momentum, last year a coalition led by the University of Texas at El Paso won $40 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge.
The award was used to create an Advanced Manufacturing District business park in the area, as well as establish the Aerospace and Defense Innovation Network for Manufacturers to support small and medium-sized manufacturers and advanced manufacturing startups in west Texas.