In spite of the losses experienced by the apparel industry, El Paso's manufacturing sector remains strong, employing 43,700 people and comprising just over 18 percent of the civilian work force. Companies that have expanded or relocated to the El Paso area include Acer Computer, Axxion (these two Taiwanese companies will be employing over 1,000 workers), Casa Rustica, Galaxco of Texas, Helen of Troy, Eureka and Hoover. Eureka and Hoover created over 612 new manufacturing jobs in 1997.

These expansions and relocations represent a capital investment in our community of over $140 million. It is interesting to note that El Paso's apparel industry is experiencing job losses. This past year the city lost approximately 1,500 jobs in the manufacturing sector; most of these losses have been in the apparel industry. As of November 1997 the City of El Paso had over 6,000 persons certified as NAFTA displaced and eligible for retraining programs. While these job losses are very unfortunate, the City's economy has managed to maintain a steady growth pattern, mainly through diversification of its manufacturing sector. Furthermore, El Paso is, and remains, predominant in plastic injection molding, automotive-wire harnesses, safety restraints, seat covers and copper production.