General Motors bringing jobs, money to Marion - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

General Motors bringing jobs, money to Marion

Updated:
GM is investing $364 million in their Marion Metal Center. GM is investing $364 million in their Marion Metal Center.
Roughly 11,000 Indiana workers are employed in vehicle manufacturing today. Roughly 11,000 Indiana workers are employed in vehicle manufacturing today.

Chris Proffitt/Eyewitness News

Marion - Indiana's auto industry may come out of the recession stronger than ever as General Motors invests a lot of money in the state.

More work is coming to the GM plant in Marion, meaning more people are moving there to work. Three months out of bankruptcy, GM sent a major signal that the Marion Metal Center is part of the company's future.

"It's a good news story for the people that live and work in Marion," said plant manager Paul Buetow.

General Motors announced that it is investing $364 million in the plant expansion, which assembles sheet metal components for cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as future GM products down under development. Marion officials say that they began talks with the automaker about securing the future of the plant eight months ago, before GM's massive debt sent the company into bankruptcy.

"We were able to put together with them and folks in Detroit, [the U.S.] Treasury and all that to put this deal together. That helped save the plant," said Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold.

The Marion plant's survival is even more remarkable, considering how many factories GM has closed or will as part of its restructuring, including its metal stamping plant in Indianapolis. Roughly 11,000 Indiana workers are employed in vehicle manufacturing today, down 19% since 2007.

Marion will also pick up 230 UAW workers transferring from GM plants in Michigan and Ohio. Those workers made deep concessions to cut GM's costs and save jobs. The gain will make GM the city's biggest employer.

"These are good paying jobs and there's not many left out there, so we had to do what we had to do to protect them and keep them here in the U.S.," said Dave Walker, UAW Local 977 president.

With over $300 million in upgrades and expansions flowing into the 52-year-old, two million square foot plant, the Marion Metal Center's future is about as secure as it can be in in what has been a painful and tumultuous year for the American autoworker.

Powered by WorldNow