The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, January 10, 2020

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

Ford to invest 1.45B in SE Michigan

DEARBORN - Ford Motor Co. announced Dec. 17 that it is investing $1.45 billion in two Southeast Michigan manufacturing facilities and adding 3,000 new jobs "to strengthen its leadership in trucks and SUVs and support the company’s expansion into electric and autonomous vehicles."

Ford said it is investing approximately $750 million and adding 2,700 new direct jobs at its manufacturing facility in Wayne during the next three years. Ford will install new equipment to support production of the all-new Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger as well as create a new modification center at the Wayne location.

At Ford’s Dearborn manufacturing site, Ford will add 300 jobs and invest about $700 million to support production of new electrified variants of its F-150 truck, producing both a F-150 hybrid and fully electric F-150. Ford will also create a new operation in Dearborn where battery cells will be assembled into a battery pack for the F-150 hybrid and all-electric F-150.

“At Ford, we are investing aggressively in building on our strengths today – including trucks and SUVs – while at the same time expanding our leadership into electric and autonomous vehicles,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president, Automotive. “As America’s No. 1 producer of automobiles, we are proud of our commitment to invest in manufacturing here in Michigan.”

In the 2019 UAW-Ford contract, Ford pledged to invest $6 billion in its U.S. factories, creating or retaining 8,500 jobs.

“This is great news for Michigan auto workers, their families, and our economy as a whole,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I’m glad Ford recognizes that Michigan is home to some of the most innovative, hardworking people in the world, and has opened up opportunities for 3,000 new good-paying jobs in our state. Today’s announcement proves that in Michigan, the state that put the world on wheels, we’re ready to build, test, and deploy the cars of the future. Let’s get to work.” 

Michigan on plus side of construction

Michigan was one of 38 states that added construction jobs between November 2018 and 2019, according to an analysis released Dec. 20 by the Associated General Contractors of America. 

Our state added 1,900 jobs in that time period, a 1.1 percent hike, ranking Michigan No. 35 in job gain percentage among the states.

“It is encouraging that so many contractors were able to add employees even with overall unemployment at a 50-year low and construction job openings at a record high,” said Ken Simonson, the AGC’s chief economist. “Our survey (see the article at right) found that contractors in all parts of the country remain optimistic about demand for projects.”

Michigan lost 800 construction jobs in November, but  overall our state added jobs over the second half of the year.

Meanwhile neighboring  Ohio has lost 3.5 percent of its construction workforce during those 12 months, near the bottom of the states.