About five months after Gov. Mike Parson signed a massive workforce development bill into law, he joined General Motors (GM) officials to announce the company’s $1.5 billion investment into the Wentzville plant.
The plant, located just west of St. Louis, will receive $1 billion to upgrade its facilities. Specifically, the paint shop, body shop, and general assembly areas will receive upgrades and new machines, conveyors, controls, and tooling, GM said.
The plan also includes the retention of nearly 4,000 new jobs at the plant.
“Through this investment, General Motors is making a firm commitment to the State of Missouri, the city of Wentzville, and the GM Wentzville team,” GM President Mark Reuss said in a statement. “This is part of our comprehensive strategy to invest in growth areas and strengthen our U.S. manufacturing base.”
Parson said Friday’s announcement was “another great example of Missouri’s growing economy.”
“From day one, our administration has been focused on workforce development and infrastructure, and this project falls right in line with these priorities,” Parson said. “Partners from higher education, transportation, state, and local government, and our legislature all came together to help secure the future of this facility, and today that hard work paid off.”
More than 12,200 jobs are supported by the Wentzville plant, the Governor’s Office said, which includes nearly 4,500 United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2250 workers. It also accounts for more than $2 billion in GDP annually. It produces the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize trucks as well as the Chevy Express and GMC Savana full-size vans.
Specific information about the next generation of trucks was not revealed by GM immediately on Friday.
“Today’s announcement magnifies Missouri’s position as a hub for the automotive industry,” Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said Friday. “This shows that we have the workforce, infrastructure, and the economic development tools needed to secure major investment in Missouri.”
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry also applauded Parson “for his leadership in finalizing this investment.”
The workforce development package passed by the legislature in the spring — despite a filibuster mounted by a coalition of conservative senators — included the potential for $50 million in tax credits over 10 years for GM.
Social media reaction:
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) December 13, 2019
The automotive industry is a driving force for MO’s economy. I am grateful for @GeneralMotor’s decision to reinvest in our state as well as @GovParsonMO leadership & guidance, along with the MO legislature, in making this happen. #MissouriForward pic.twitter.com/MeBjQG4Ol4
— Mike Kehoe (@LtGovMikeKehoe) December 13, 2019
— John Wiemann (@JohnDWiemann) December 13, 2019
The @STLRegChamber was proud to be a part of @GM’s announcement this morning! @GM will invest $1.5 billion and retain nearly 4,000 jobs at its Wentzville facility. Hard work pays off! #MOLeg @DixonRob @GovParsonMO pic.twitter.com/AZK0byCDHg
— Adam Kazda (@Adam_Kazda) December 13, 2019
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.