Today is a Louisville day for me; Georgetown can’t have all the fun, after all. Oh wait: They build Toyotas not named FR-S. Never mind.
Yesterday afternoon, my commonwealth’s governor Steve Beshear (D-KY) and Lieutenant Governor Jerry “Mayor For Life” Abramson (so nicknamed as he was my city’s mayor for three consecutive terms pre-merger of county and city governments, and two more terms as the first mayor of post-merger Louisville Metro) unveiled the reopened and revamped Ford Louisville Assembly Plant, the home of the Ford Focus-esque crossover known as the 2013 Escape.
Having recovered from the hail storm 3,500 Escapes could not… escape almost a month ago, the 99-year-old plant will utilize around 4,500 workers on three shifts while employing 20 miles of conveyors and 1,000 assembly machines. The plant’s newfound skills and flexibility will allow those workers to build six different types of vehicles at the same time, all thanks to a $600 million USD investment made by Ford in 2010 that also brought in 1,800 workers and a second shift that year; a new contract with the UAW in 2011 added 1,300 more bodies and a third shift. Ford also plans to invest $600 million to Louisville’s Kentucky Truck Plant, home to the F-Series Super Duty and 4,000 employees.
To quote Louisville’s own long-serving congressman, Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY), “I was proud to support federal investments that helped Ford retool the Louisville Assembly Plant, and I am thrilled to see the results today. In less than three years, we went from being behind the curve to beating the curve, and we’re using American labor and ingenuity to do it. The Louisville workforce, Ford and government partners have shown just how successful we can be, working together to build the vehicles of the future and the innovations that keep our city and our country on the leading edge of manufacturing.”