The good news keeps on coming from Associated Industries of Missouri Circle of Elite Organizations member Ford Motor Company. The automaker announcing Wednesday that it will hire an additional 900 workers at its assembly plant near Kansas City.
The workers are needed to keep up with the demand for the new F-150 pickup truck which is produced at the Claycomo plant. Ford says January was the strongest sales month for an F-series truck since January of 2004. Once the new workers come on in the first quarter of this year, Ford will employ 7,000 people at the Claycomo facility.
In addition, those working at the plant will receive a raise. About 300 to 500 union autoworkers system wide will see their salaries rise from $19.28 to $28.50 per hour, and many of those will be workers at Claycomo.
The salary increases and increased positions come with the realization that Missouri came within days of losing the Ford plant back during the summer of 2010. It was then that the state legislature took up and passed Associated Industries of Missouri’s Manufacturing Jobs Act. A series of incentives that encourage businesses to invest in new products and increased production lines of manufacturing, the Manufacturing Jobs Act has spurred an automotive industry renaissance in Missouri that has seen growth not only at Ford, but at the GM plant in Wentzville, and at small and mid size manufacturers throughout the state that provide parts to the automakers in Missouri and beyond.
Statistics published by the Missouri Economic Research Information Center show that manufacturers and suppliers in the automotive industry in Missouri have invested $1.29 billion in capital investments , added or retained 14,000 jobs and supported an additional 21,000 jobs since the Act was passed in 2010.
AIM believes those same kind of incentives can be spread throughout the manufacturing sector of the economy. State Senator Brian Munzlinger and State Representatives Nick King and Nate Walker have filed bills in the House and Senate to do just that. Senate Bill 284 and House bill 627 would allow manufacturers that make infrastructure investments to make new products or expand manufacturing of existing products to retain withholding taxes on jobs retained at their facilities. Suppliers to participating facilities would be able to retain withholding taxes on new jobs created at their facilities, with a lower job requirement than is required under other programs.
The benefits are exactly the same as those provided in the auto industry. And taxpayers are protected because the investment amounts are significant and there are no tax credits associated with the program.
AIM is proud to have authored this program and will work hard to pass it during the 2015 legislative session.