GM to add 300 new jobs at Grand Rapids area plant

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. will add about 300 new jobs and invest $119 million for producing future vehicle components at its components plant in Wyoming, near Grand Rapids.

The investment, announced Monday, is part of $5.4 billion GM said in late April it would spend in U.S. plants over three years. The automaker had said those investments would create 650 new jobs and this announcement represents nearly half of that target. GM has identified about $3 billion in facility investments.

GM said the investment in its Grand Rapids Operations would pay for tools and equipment at the plant, but the company did not disclose how soon the jobs would be added, or what vehicle programs the plant would support.

"This investment in the future recognizes the excellent workforce at Grand Rapids Operations" GM North America Manufacturing Manager Scott Whybrew said in a statement. "It also demonstrates GM's collaboration with our UAW partners to innovate and bring tangible benefits to our customers."

The plant, operated by the automaker's subsidiary GM Components Holdings LLC, has about 530 employees who work on three shifts to produce precision-machined automotive engine components. The components are used in Chevrolets, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs.

About 400 hourly workers are represented by UAW Local 167 and most earn entry-level wages.

"By working together, UAW members and GM are making a difference in communities across the United States," UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada said in a statement. "These investments represent the power of our partnership and collective bargaining to create jobs and improve competitiveness, quality and our manufacturing base in this country."

GM Components Holdings LLC was created in 2009 following GM's bankruptcy and includes four former Delphi Corp. component manufacturing plants — two in New York state; one in Kokomo, Indiana; and the Wyoming plant.

Last week GM said it would invest $175 million for 2016 Chevrolet Camaro production at its Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant, and bring back a second shift and 500 workers in the late summer.

Other investments announced include $1.2 billion at GM's Fort Wayne Assembly Plant to add about 1.5 million of square feet to aid light- and heavy-duty truck production; $439 million in investment at its Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky for a paint shop, $174 million at Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas, for new equipment and technology for the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu; $124 million at Pontiac Metal Center for a new press; $520 million at Lansing Delta Township Assembly for future vehicles; and $139.5 million for a new body shop and stamping plant improvements at Warren Pre-Production Operations.

mburden@detroitnews.com