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Lifestyle Footwear Plans $2.1 Million Expansion At Its Moca, Puerto Rico, Manufacturing Center

Lifestyle Footwear plans to invest $2.1 million to expand its operations center in Moca, Puerto Rico, creating of 182 jobs in the northwestern region of the island.

Lifestyle Footwear's operations in Puerto Rico started in 1988; they are largely dependent on the support they receive from the government of Puerto Rico to get contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense to manufacture military boots for soldiers, postal officers and homeland security personnel, according to the Islands Department of Economic Development and Commerce.

Lifestyle Footwear has increased its workforce from 168 to 350 employees, which represents a 108 percent increase due to the most recent contract with the U.S. Department of Defense and the support of PRIDCO though economic development incentives. The company also invested $2.1 million to purchase new equipment and make other improvements to their manufacturing processes in a building leased to Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company.

"Today, another company reminds us that we can achieve a prosperous country. This is a company that belongs to an industry that once some believed dead and that despite the difficulties, is demonstrating its ability to adjust to changes in order to take advantage of opportunities. This describes the apparel industry in Puerto Rico," said Gov. Alejandro García Padilla.

"Puerto Rico competes for manufacturing opportunities of uniforms, backpacks and shoes for the U.S army; contracts that federal law requires to be granted to companies operating in U.S. jurisdictions with American employees. Puerto Rico is in the ideal position to take advantage of these laws,” added Padilla.

Antonio L. Medina Comas, PRIDCO's executive director, said this project validates the results of the protection and expansion strategy that the Commonwealth has developed for the industrial segments. "These new jobs and investment are part of the 10,000 new jobs that were committed through PRIDCO's efforts since we came into office. Today we are satisfied as we see these people working and the jobs already created, driving growth into our economy.”

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