Good news for the General Motors Powertrain Plant in the Town of Tonawanda Thursday as the company announced a new line of engines to be manufactured next year. YNN's Meg Rossman has more on the company's EcoTec engines and what it mean for local jobs.
TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. — "The unveiling was in Detroit and a big part of that unveiling was three new engines," Tonawanda GM Powertrain Manager Steve Finch said.
All of which will be built right here in Western New York.
"We're the first plant to come up and start building the engines,” Finch explained. “So, all of the productions processes and everything will be proven out here."
Those would GM's state-of-the-art trio of EcoTec3 engines for the 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, designed for greater power and fuel efficiency.
"Maybe this is a good chance to show that the country is moving in the right direction and people are buying American again," Tonawanda Town Supervisor Anthony Caruana said.
Thursday's announcement on the engine line means new faces for the plant that currently employs around 1,200.
Finch said some work on the EcoTec engines has already started at the plant, but expects to start manufacturing them in larger numbers come the first quarter, that will require three shifts and bring the total number of those employed here to 1,700.
"We actually had to expand the parking lot,” Finch laughed. "This plant will actually be running around the clock and for a good portion of next year maybe even six to seven days a week."
For Tonawanda Town Supervisor Anthony Caruana, it’s reminiscent of the plant's heyday, when more than 10,000 walked through its doors.
"With the economy the way it is, to know they're going to be hiring another 500 people, is fantastic for the local economy, Western New York and putting us back on the map again with General Motors," he said.
Of those 500 jobs, 300 will come from plants in Lockport and Rochester before the company opens the rest up to new hires. Finch expects to have all positions in place by April.