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Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman joined executives from General Motors this week to announce the company’s plans to expand its manufacturing operations in Bedford, IN, adding 58 new jobs for a total of 91 created and retained jobs by 2013.
The automaker plans to initially invest $49 million to establish a new line producing block and case castings for a new, eight-speed automatic transmission that will be built in Toledo, OH.
“GM’s commitment to Indiana remains strong. Its decision to expand and create new jobs in Bedford despite being an industry hard hit by a taxing national economy is good news,” said Skillman. “More and more companies are recognizing that Indiana is a great place to do business, and we’re glad that GM has selected Indiana for this expansion over other Midwestern states.”
Last year, the company revealed plans to invest $111 million in the installation of a semi-permanent model cylinder head casting line for small block engines and is in the process of fulfilling 245 jobs by 2013. The plant currently uses an aluminum die cast process to manufacture transmission casings and converter housings for the company’s fuel-efficient, six-speed transmissions.
“The all-new, eight-speed transmission will improve fuel economy in a number of future vehicles,” said Arvin Jones, GM manufacturing manager. “We truly appreciate the support we have received from the Bedford community over the years.”
In 2006 and 2007, the company invested $114 million in Bedford’s 915,000 square-foot space to produce transmission cases and converter housings for its fuel-efficient, six-speed transmission. GM’s Bedford facility, which currently employs more than 400 associates, opened in 1942 and is one of the company’s three Indiana locations: Bedford, Fort Wayne and Marion.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered General Motors, LLC up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The city of Bedford approved tax abatement for the new manufacturing equipment required to produce the block and case castings.
“The continued investment by General Motors in Bedford is proof of the strong work ethic of our local citizens and the commitment of local officials to support business retention and expansion efforts in our community,” said Mayor Shawna Girgis. “I believe that the jobs being retained and the 58 new jobs being created through this investment marks another economic victory for our community and is once again reason to celebrate.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Center for Automotive Research, the automotive industry directly employs more than 88,000 workers in Indiana.