Toledo Assembly Complex tops 6,000 workers - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo Assembly Complex tops 6,000 workers

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Just five years after Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy more than 6,000 people work at the Toledo Assembly Complex. The vast majority of them work for Chrysler and the rest of them work for the suppliers inside the complex. Other suppliers in the region have also seen a big boost in employment thanks to the complex. In fact, it's nearly three times the amount of people who worked at the complex just five years ago. All those jobs obviously add up to a big payday for the local economy too.

Mobis is one of the suppliers inside the Toledo Assembly Complex. Workers there help build the iconic Jeep Wrangler. Jon Zapf is the Mobis North America Unit Chair for UAW Local 12, "The frame comes in one side and the wheels come in the other side and by the time we put it all together you have a rolling chassis with the engine, the axels and the drive train in it."

Zapf says right now more than 800 Wrangler chassis' roll off these lines every day, "We're running two ten hour shifts, six days a week and basically every other Sunday." And that means more jobs, "In the last few months we've added about 100 jobs. All because the Wrangler continues to sell so well? That and we're building more every day, so we need more people to get the production out."

The Toledo built Jeeps have also created more jobs at Johnson Controls in Northwood. Wayne Truitt is the Johnson Controls Northwood Chair for UAW Local 12, "When I started here in 2001 we had about 60 people. Now with the new second shift on the Cherokee lines we have over 540 people."

Workers build the instrument panels and seats for the Cherokees and the seats for the Wrangler, "Do you think there is a potential for more work at this plant? I do. The way sales are going with the Cherokee I think we could see them go to three shifts and that would give me some more people too. If this keeps up we'll run out of room . We have so much work, it's awesome!"

According to Bruce Baumhower,the head of  UAW Local 12, the Toledo Assembly Complex has an annual payroll of about $360 million. Which means millions for the city of Toledo's coffers. Zapf says most of the Mobis workers are from Northwest Ohio, "The majority of people who work here are from the toledo area. I went to Whitmer High School and The University of Toledo and now I get to build Wranglers. The vehicle has truly helped our community get back on track"

According to Baumhower there are about 6,200 people working at the Toledo Assembly Complex right now. He says about 3,900 jobs have been created at the plant since 2009 and just over 500 jobs have been created at outside suppliers like Johnson Controls. Which adds up to about 4,500 new UAW jobs tied to the plant since 2009.

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