By JOE MUELLER
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — Ford Motor Co. announced Thursday an investment of $3.7 billion in three Midwest manufacturing facilities, addition of 6,200 union jobs and the creation of 74,000 indirect jobs by the end of 2026.
The locations, amount dedicated to improvements, additional jobs and areas of investment are:
Michigan: A $2 billion investment, 3,200 union jobs and 2,000 additional jobs throughout three assembly plants with a focus on the new F-150 Lightning electric truck.
Ohio: A $1.5 billion investment and 1,800 union jobs to assemble a new electronic vehicle for commercial use starting mid-decade.
Missouri: A $95 million investment and 1,100 union jobs for a third shift to increase production of the Transit, a commercial van, and a new E-Transit electric van.
“Today’s announcement is great news for our state,” Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson said in a statement. “For more than 70 years, hardworking Missourians have assembled iconic Ford vehicles. Now, these 1,100 new hourly jobs at the Kansas City Assembly Plant will increase production of the Transit and E-Transit commercial vans, driving Missouri’s economy forward.”
The announcement comes a year ahead of contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers. The current contract expires in 2023.
“The steps we are taking are too important to delay,” Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford Blue, said to a gathering of Ford employees at the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake. “We decided, together with the UAW leadership, that we weren’t going to wait around. You don’t beat the competition by waiting around. You don’t serve your customers by waiting around. So we’re moving and we’re moving now.”
Ford also announced it would produce a new Ranger pickup at the Michigan plant in Wayne and a new Mustang at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
“We are thrilled that Ford is advancing its long legacy in Michigan by investing $2 billion to create 3,200 good-paying UAW jobs,” said Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a statement. “I am proud that we came together to deliver economic development legislation that has helped us land huge projects creating thousands of jobs.”
Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine told the Ford workers there would be a significant economic impact resulting from the company’s commitment.
“These jobs are a force multiplier all throughout the community and the state,” Gov. DeWine said. “One manufacturing job is a tremendous multiplier. … One thing I learned as governor as we ask companies to come to Ohio, and as we ask Ohio companies to expand, the controlling factor is the workers with skill sets who can do the job.”
Ford also announced an investment of $1 billion over the next five years to improve workplace experiences for manufacturing employees. Potential enhancements include better access to healthy food, better lighting in parking lots along with new electric vehicle chargers.
“The special news for Northeast Ohio is there will be 1,800 new jobs — good, solid-paying jobs with health care insurance, a higher quality of life and job security that comes from working for a great company like Ford,” Ohio Republican Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said at the Ford event.