Zollner Electronics Comes to Milpitas

A Germany-based company opening a manufacturing facility in Milpitas received a warm welcome from the fire chief on Saturday.

The CEO and representatives of the German-based company Zollner Electronics, are in town for a special occasion.

The electronics manufacturing services firm closed escrow on a 52,000 sq. ft. site on Tuesday for $5 million. Demolition inside of the building started on Wednesday.

But that's not all. CEO Johann Weber found he had something in common with Milpitas Fire Chief Brian Sturdivant. Weber is chief of his county's fire department just outside of Munich, Germany.

On Saturday, the two chiefs exchanged items, among them, pins, patches, a cord-edge braid for a hat. Sturdivant presented Weber with a gold badge, the one he wears as Milpitas Fire Chief.

The new tenants of 575 Cottonwood Drive expect to be up and running starting this November, and to began shipping in December. 

With its electronics manufacturing services (EMS), the company provides similar services to Flextronics. 

"We build other people's products for them," said Jeff Broadbent, in charge of business development at the Zollner Electronics Milpitas site.

According to a worldwide top 50 EMS contractors list, Flextronics is ranked number two and Zollner number 14.

Zollner has about 7,250 employees, according to their website. They have locations in Germany, China and in Sterling, Virginia. Milpitas will be their first west coast facility–and second location in the U.S.

About 50 jobs will initially come to the site, said Broadbent, and another 50 next year. The manufacturing jobs will require highly skilled labor, he said.

The company looked at 150 possible sites, said Broadbent, and narrowed it down to two in Milpitas and one in San Jose.

The building had been vacant for nearly a decade, said Diana Barnhart, economic development manager for the city of Milpitas.

"575 Cottonwood Drive is a huge statement in terms of business development for our city," she said. "It's terrific."


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