PARMA, Ohio — On Thursday, General Motors announced the company would pour more than $46 million worth of upgrades into its Parma facility, which produces sheet metal stampings and assemblies for several GM products.
The upgrades would specifically focus on the plant's press and metal assembly area, as well as aluminum operations.
"The update to the aluminum system is huge because it allows us flexibility at the site to run aluminum and separate between steel and aluminum," GM plant director Kareem Maine said.
The plant currently employs about 1,000 workers and processes more than 800 tons of steel per day, with the ability to produce up to 100 million parts a year, according to the company.
“It’s huge,” UAW Local 1005 Chairman Michael Patterson said. “Management can see we’re the place they need to put new work and new investment and that’s what we’re here for. It’s job security and it’s a good future.”
“Parma is a proud GM town,” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “For the city, we only purchase GM products, vehicles and trucks.”
As the mayor points out, GM remains the largest employer for the city.
“Makes me as a mayor sleep easier at night knowing the lights will stay on at night, things are humming over there and we’re grateful for that,” he added.
This isn’t GM’s only recent investment into the plant; about $6.6 million was invested in 2020 to support truck production.
All of this comes as General Motors revs up for the future, announcing last month it plans to be ready as the world switches to battery-powered vehicles.
The company previously said it hopes to have more than half of its factories in the U.S. and China able to make electric vehicles by the next decade.
As the company looks to the future, it’s also important to note its past in Ohio.
The facility first opened in 1948 and it spans 2.3 million square feet.
Back in 1995, General Motors was the state’s number one employer.
By 2019, it had fallen to 72nd and the latest Ohio Major Employers report shows the company employs about 4,150 people in Ohio.
That means the Parma facility currently houses one out of every four General Motors employees in Ohio.
Company officials told News 5 the installation of the upgrades would begin immediately and should wrap up by spring of 2024.