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GM To Announce Investment In Bowling Green Plant

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 7:46am

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — GM North America President Mark Reuss is scheduled to make a visit Wednesday to the south-central Kentucky assembly plant where Corvettes are made, according to a statement from the company.

The statement says Reuss will be at the plant in Bowling Green at 10:15 a.m. It gives no further details.

Gov. Steve Beshear was expected to accompany Reuss at the plant.

The Daily News in Bowling Green reports GM is expected to announce a major investment in the plant.

Last month, the state approved $7.5 million in tax incentives for the company if it moves forward with a $131 million expansion at the plant. The expansion plans filed with state economic officials included brining another vehicle product to Bowling Green and new manufacturing equipment.

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development spokeswoman Mandy Lambert said at the time that the approval "outlines the state's support for the project, should it happen."

Local GM spokeswoman Andrea Hales had said the company also was looking at other sites for possible investment.

Last week, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes was among a group from Kentucky to visit GM headquarters in Detroit. He said he expects a formal announcement Wednesday and hopes to be there for it.

Others who met with GM officials last week include Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon, Beshear, Economic Development Commissioner Erik Dunnigan and Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Ron Bunch.

"We were warmly received," Buchanon said of the meeting. "We have been working with GM while they were considering all of their options."

Buchanon said he could not confirm what options were being considered.

Expansion of existing industry in Bowling Green has been a major focus of the local chamber of commerce. The county had an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent in March and new jobs would be welcome.

The GM assembly plant has been located in Bowling Green for about 30 years and employed more than 1,000 employees before a series of layoffs that began in 2008. The plant now employs about 500 workers.

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