ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - The driving forces behind the newest facility at the GM-Arlington plant are ready for work. The plant's "stamping facility" celebrated its grand opening Monday morning. The 300,000 square foot addition to the GM assembly plant in Arlington is not just a boost to the economy, but a sense of pride for autoworkers.
General Motors already has 4,000 employees at the location, assembling Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburbans, GMC Yukons, and Cadillac Escalades. Workers will use machines to stamp out things like metal doors and hoods, taking only about 45 seconds for a sheet of metal to go through the machine and take shape.
The company has invested $200 million in the plant expansion, which includes three stamping presses that will be able to punch out parts for 1200 vehicles each day.
The new facility has also added 200 jobs at the GM plant, with seven to ten people assigned to work each of the three large "stamping" machines and several more working in other groups all around the facility.
As one of the workers, Ruth Rubio, explains, they don't specialize in just one task.
We have what is called a rotation process so we go through extensive training. Months and months on each part of what is stamping - the press, the crane, fork trucks, shipping and receiving - just numerous things," said Rubio.
"It signifies jobs in America. They could have placed this plant anywhere in the world, and they chose Arlington," said UWA worker Vanine Singleton.
Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck says securing the GM stamping plant was an effort that began two years ago. The plant is already the city's third largest employer behind UT Arlington and Arlington ISD.
"Every time they want to add something or expand, we will do it. During the [economic] crunch a few years back, they had the option of closing this plant and relocating it. [GM] chose to keep it here. This investment is further proof they're not leaving," said Mayor Cluck.
The first press is already online, and producing doors for the SUVs.
Production will ramp up in the coming months. The second press will be online in November, and the third and final press, will be running by January, company officials said.
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