Shoe manufacturer Lifestyle Footwear in Moca has invested $2.1 million to improve its plant and will add 182 new jobs to its payroll after securing a new contract from the U.S. Department of Defense, company and government officials announced Tuesday.
Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla was on hand at the plant for the announcement, saying Lifestyle Footwear’s recent developments “remind us again that we can be more prosperous.”
“This is a company that is part of an industry that many have wanted to declare dead more than once and, despite the difficulties, is demonstrating its ability to adjust to changes and opportunities,” García-Padilla said. “That describes Puerto Rico’s textile industry.”
Lifestyle Footwear has been doing business on the island since 1988, but its operations are largely dependent on the support they receive from the government of Puerto Rico and its executives to reach agreements with the U.S. DOD to make shoes for soldiers, postal workers and the federal government’s security personnel.
The recent federal contract, coupled with support from the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company — which granted manufacturing incentives — the company will bump up its payroll from 168 to 350 people, or a 108 percent increase.
The company has invested $2.1 million to buy new machinery and perform other improvements in their manufacturing processes that take place in a Pridco building in Moca.