Gov. Steve Beshear joined Mayor Greg Fischer and Ford Motor President of the Americas Mark Fields in Louisville on Thursday. The politicians cheered the ratification of a new 4-year contract between Ford and the United Auto Workers union in front of around 20 local UAW members.
The contract invests $1.2 billion and adds 3,100 jobs to the Kentucky Truck Plant and Louisville Assembly Plant. Hiring for the second shift at the L.A.P. is already underway. Ford expects to have the process complete by next summer, said Fields, and Ford will give precedent for the jobs to previous local UAW members.
“Also the Folks that are currently working in Kansas City that produce the Escape, they have the opportunity per the UAW contract, to follow their product so to speak. I would say as we look at the third shift we’ll probably see for the most past a majority of those folks that will be hired will be new hires,” said Fields.
Hiring for the third shift will begin sometime next year, depending on market demand for the new Escape SUV, he said. Profits for the current Escape hit a record first half, he said.
Beshear said expanding production may help spawn additional investments.
“And I expect to see more evidence of that in the months and the years to come,” he said.
Ford officials did not say if spin-off investments were likely in Louisville or Kentucky. The company already purchases from more than 180 suppliers across this state, said officials.