General Motors will hire approximately 400 workers to staff a second shift at its Wentzville assembly center. In addition, GM is considering expanding the plant by 500,000 square feet, which could bring the total number of new jobs at the plant to 1,850.
A GM spokesman confirmed the automaker would add a second shift in the plant, at 1500 E. Route A. Most of the 400 workers would be returning laid-off GM employees, he said, adding that second shift should be fully up to speed in the first quarter of 2012, he said.
Most of the workers would come from other parts of the country, a UAW official said. In 2009, the plant eliminated its second shift and laid off 1,200 workers. According to the UAW spokesman, the second shift is needed at Wentzville because the plant’s production of full-size vans has grown to the point where demand exceeds the volume that can be produced on one shift.
GM’s national agreement with the union includes plans to hire 1,850 new employees and add 500,000 square feet to the Wentzville plant, tooling it up for a new product line by 2014.
Wentzville Mayor Paul Lambi told Suburban Journals he called GM officials in Detroit Friday morning and was told there still was no official decision on the plant expansion. Lambi said the Wentzville plant was just one site among many in GM’s $2.1 billion plan to add 6,500 jobs in seven states.
“They are not going to make an announcement until everything is wrapped up in one nice, big package in all seven states,” Lambi said. “We are very confident it is going to happen, but it is not official until we hear from GM.”