New work comes to Johnson Controls - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

New work comes to Johnson Controls

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As we've been telling you for months, a new Toledo built Jeep means a second shift and more than 1,100 new jobs at the plant by next year, but it's also a big boost for a number of suppliers like Johnson Controls. The company's Northwood plant is in the middle of a massive expansion.

Eventually the new work at Jeep will create about 100 new jobs at the Johnson Controls plant in Northwood. Right now they are close to finishing the expansion that will almost double the size of the Wood County plant, and union leaders hope the good news doesn't end there.

Wayne Truitt is the UAW Local 12 Chair for the Johnson Controls Northwood plant. He spent 19 years working for Jeep and he's been at Johnson Controls for more than a decade. He says Johnson Controls started with about 60 workers in Northwood, but by next spring that number will top 350. So he can't help but smile when he talks about the expansion here, "A lot of people don't have jobs and so we realize just how blessed we are to be growing, it's awesome."

After getting the contract to build the dash panels and the seats for the new Toledo built Jeep SUV, Truitt says the plant will be hiring, "When Jeep starts its second shift in late spring or early summer we'll hire another 100 people."

The Northwood plant also builds seats for the Jeep Wrangler and those Johnson Controls workers are on the job right now, but because the Chrysler plant where they'll build the new SUV is being re-tooled, the Johnson Controls workers who made parts for that plant are laid off. Truitt says they should be back at work next Spring. In the meantime some will be called back in November to start building prototype parts for the new Jeep,"When they start sending us parts we'll start building a bunch of prototypes by hand. While we figure out the lines and get more people back in, we'll build them and test the prototypes."

The expansion at Johnson Controls also means jobs for construction workers. About 75 construction workers are on the job. They started the project in August and it should be finished in late November.

Truitt thinks there is more good news down the road related to the Jeep plant and UAW Local 12 President Bruce Baumhower agrees,"If Chrysler fully utilizes that plant on 3 shifts we could build about 400,000 cars a year at the two plants at the Toledo Assembly Complex. The opportunity for seats, dash panels, axles, batteries and all those other parts is right here in Northwest Ohio also."

Baumhower points out that a number of other suppliers are also expanding. For example the Johnson Controls battery plant on Eber Road underwent a 140 million dollar expansion and Toledo Molding and Die has announced new capital investment as well. Union leaders believe the good news at Jeep and the suppliers will keep on coming.

 

 

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