The FINANCIAL — General Motors will invest $245 million and add 300 new jobs at its Orion Assembly plant to support launching an all-new vehicle program unlike any in the plant’s 32-year history.
“Orion Assembly is a breeding ground for manufacturing innovation,” said Cathy Clegg, GM North America vice president of Manufacturing and Labor Relations. “It serves as a model for how to engage the entire workforce at all levels to achieve success. The plant is up to the challenge of building this brand-new product, something it’s never seen before.”
Investment in Orion totals $962 million since the UAW and GM worked together to reopen the previously idled plant in 2010, according to GM.
This latest investment comes just seven months after the announcement of a $160-million investment to launch Chevrolet’s game-changing Bolt EV, which is expected to achieve more than 200 miles of range on a single electric charge.
“Orion is an example of what we can achieve when we work together,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who leads the union’s GM Department. “Only through innovative problem solving were we going to see this plant succeed, and this new investment is proof of that. UAW-GM continue to show the world that when you involve both workers and management in the process, workers win, management wins and our communities win.”
Orion has a unique culture that encourages employees to offer solutions to problems that positively impact the business. For example, a team of hourly, salaried and skilled trades’ workers from the paint shop recently developed a process monitoring tool for robotic paint applicators that alerts operators to potential failures before they happen. The innovative approach to preventive maintenance is now being applied to other GM manufacturing sites and will help avoid millions in cost annually.
Today’s announcement is a part of the $5.4 billion GM has announced it will invest in U.S. manufacturing over the next three years. Approximately $3.1 billion of the $5.4 billion has been identified, leaving $2.3 billion to be announced by year end.
Since June 2009, GM has announced U.S. facility investment of approximately $17.8 billion. About $12.4 billion of that has come since the 2011 UAW-GM National Agreement. In total, these investments have created 6,250 new jobs and secured the positions of approximately 20,700 others.