Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione said he only had three words to describe how excited he was about the groundbreaking ceremony of General Motor’s Wentzville assembly plant expansion:
“Jobs, jobs, jobs,” Guccione said.
The 500,000 square-foot annex to the Wentzville plant was inaugurated last Tuesday morning at a ceremony in the future site of the new facility, which will house GM’s new production line of a redesigned Colorado pickup truck as well as add a second shift of workers to produce GM’s Chevrolet Express and the GMC Savana vans.
Gov. Jay Nixon, who attended the ceremony, said the expansion will create 1,660 new manufacturing jobs.
“It is absolutely no accident that the rebirth of the American auto-industry is occurring right here,” Nixon said. “For generations, Missouri workers have kept America moving forward, and today Missouri’s autoworkers are once again leading the way for our state, for our country and for the world. This is Missouri’s moment.”
Gov. Nixon was accompanied by several lawmakers, including Mayor Guccione and St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, as well as by members of the United Auto Workers union, and Wentzville plant manager John Dansby.
Nixon took the opportunity to boast about his job-creation record.
“In my first full day as governor I promised that we would built automobiles of the future, right here in Missouri,” Nixon said. “On that day, on my first official act as governor, I signed the first executive order establishing the Missouri Automotives Jobs taskforce.”
United Auto Workers Assistant Region 5 Director Gary Jones evoked the election season politics, asking those in the audience to re-elect both President Barack Obama and Gov. Nixon in this year’s election.
“This (plant expansion) would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the courage and leadership President Obama showed during the dark days of General Motors,” Jones said. “He took an unpopular stance and stuck with us and we should stick with him in November and get him re-elected. We must also not forget the great leadership, from the best governor of America, that Governor Jay Nixon provided.”
St. Charles County Executive Ehlmann, a Republican, said both Democrat and Republican Missouri lawmakers deserved credit in passing legislation for the auto industry.
“Gary, I would like you to consider supporting all of them in sending them back to Jefferson City,” Ehlmann said.
Politics aside, Wentzville Mayor Guccione said it was a great time to be the Mayor of the city of Wentzville.
“Five years ago we didn’t know where this was going to end up,” Guccione said. “But we are here today because of all your efforts, everybody’s, state and local government...GM is committed to Wentzville and Wentzville is committed to GM.”