Back to China with International Reinforcements

By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
By: Rachel Yonkunas Email

With only two days to prepare, Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz is on his way back to Beijing. He will continue his quest for local jobs, and is already having success.

Nanjing Zijin-lead Electronics Co., Ltd. is opening a 3D printer shop in Dothan. It will employ at least 50 people.

“They're going to do sales, service, and assembling of the 3D printers, but it's the new technology, and who knows where it will go,” said Mayor Schmitz.

It might go pretty far. Wall Street is already trading shares in the 3D world, and President Barack Obama spotlighted this new technology at his State of the Union Address in February, proclaiming: “New workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.”

Dothan will be the hub for the company's sought-after machines.

“The headquarters will be in Dothan for the whole United States. They will ship the parts over here, and assemble the machines in Dothan,” confirmed Mayor Schmitz.

Mayor Schmitz will meet with more Chinese companies next week, but this time, he will have a companion proficient in international trade. Former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez is joining him.

“He's been to Dothan. He understands who we are and what we're trying to do. He's agreed to help me talk with the manufacturing companies and try to convince them to come to our community,” said Mayor Schmitz.

Mayor Schmitz is taking a regional approach so the entire Wiregrass will benefit. During his trip, he'll speak at the China Chamber of Commerce's Annual Conference.

Hiring for the 3D printing company will begin in early March.

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