Today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited Aztec Manufacturing Corporation, a Romulus, Mich., auto supply manufacturer that intends to purchase new equipment as a result of loan funds guaranteed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The Deputy Secretary was in Michigan to highlight the Obama Administration’s job creation efforts in the state and throughout the country. While here, she also spoke about the President’s goal to improve school meals and about USDA’s ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative, which helps rural areas create jobs by encouraging business development involving the transport, marketing and sale of foods near where they are grown.
Accompanied by USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner, it was an excellent opportunity to see how USDA is helping a non-traditional partner that is vital to improving the economy.
Aztec received a $3.9 million loan guarantee from USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry Loan Program. The company produces a variety of auto parts for Ford Motor Co. and other clients, including portions of the Mustang brake assembly and Ford truck suspensions.
Deputy Secretary Merrigan met with Frank Lopez, Aztec’s chairman, and his son, Greg Lopez the company’s president and CEO. Greg gave a brief tour of the shop floor, showcasing some of the advanced production equipment that allows his company to create precision-machined parts.
Many parts suppliers like Aztec have been hard-hit by the auto industry’s troubles and the USDA Rural Development guaranteed loan will be put to good use. Aztec employs 48 full-time workers who earn good wages and thanks to Rural Development Lopez will be able to retool his machinery for new contracts.
Aztec Manufacturing President and CEO Greg Lopez (right) shows some of the precision-cut auto parts made by his company to Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.
Aztec Manufacturing President and CEO Greg Lopez (right) speaks with Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and
USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner.