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More than 150 jobs at former Gateway facility in La Vergne on wrong end of Juarez outsourcing contract

MPC Corp., the computer maker that last year bought Gateway Inc.'s professional business segment, will shutter its La Vergne assembly plant by the end of this year, shedding about 150 positions.

Idaho-based MPC this week signed an outsourcing agreement with a unit of global player Flextronics, which will migrate the work now being done here to Juarez, Mexico. As part of the deal, Flextronics will buy MPC's local inventories and pay $1 million for the plant's equipment.

MPC, which lost $11.5 million on $365 million in revenue last year, makes desktop and laptop computers as well as servers and storage devices. It leases its 94, 000-square-foot Nashville facility on Heil Quaker Boulevard on a month-to-month basis. (The same complex also houses the local operations of Taiwan's Quanta Computer Corp.) In all, the company (Ticker: MPZ) employs about 1, 200 people, almost half of them at its headquarters and main plant in Nampa, Idaho.

Company officials could not be reached for further comment on the local closure, which comes just weeks after MPC shifted the manufacturing of laptops from a facility in China here. That transition was badly hurt by administrative and logistical problems so severe that they at times completely stopped local production in its tracks. (For details, click here and search for "pronounced effect.")

Gateway two years ago snagged more than $440, 000 in state and Metro incentives to locate its plant in La Vergne. At the time, projections called for 300 people to be employed at the plant.

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