Shelbyville auto parts plant to add 150 jobs - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Shelbyville auto parts plant to add 150 jobs

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Dwayne Gilbert Dwayne Gilbert
Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY) Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY)
Libby Adams Libby Adams

By Katie Bauer - bio | email      

SHELBYVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Shelbyville auto parts factory is expanding and looking for new workers. It's a $12 million investment that will add 150 new jobs.

"It's a good day for us, it's been tough times to have to take the reductions we took, but the alternative may have been a lot worse," said Dwayne Gilbert, UAW 2383 President. 

That's because back in June 2009, Martinrea Heavy Stamping almost closed its doors. While an agreement was eventually met to keep the Shelbyville plant going, 250 people still lost their jobs.

"With the downturn of the economy and the auto industry and us being directly tied to the Ford Explorer vehicle and that vehicle going by the wayside, we are down now to a total of 257 people in the plant," said Gilbert.

It's something that became all too familiar across our region. Plants in Louisville, Elizabethtown, and Bardstown have all felt the effects.   

"The recent investment by Ford Motor Company coupled with Kentucky's proactive, positive business plan and highly capable and proactive work force is really what's pulled this expansion together," said Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

The auto supplier will now produce the parts for the next generation Ford Escape, which will be launched right down the road at the Louisville Assembly Plant.

"Hopefully this new wave of vehicles is going to be a good thing and I think the auto industry because of an almost total collapse changed their thinking about the vehicle that they need to be making," said Gilbert.

It's a new investment that the city of Shelbyville only sees as a positive one. "That's what we want are jobs created in Shelbyville, so our residents have a place they can work and make a living and stay right here," said Libby Adams, Executive Director of Shelbyville Industrial Development.

The company is hoping to start hiring new workers as early as the end of this year.

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