Community reacts to news of GM expansion - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Community reacts to news of GM expansion

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(12/16/13) - As you might imagine, news of a paint shop at Flint Assembly has a lot of people excited about the future.

Chelsea Khirfan has literally grown up at a second generation convenience store in Flint Township.

"I remember when I was younger and used to come in here, we were constantly busy. But within the last few years, you know, things have really slowed down," she said.

That traffic came from GM's Flint Assembly.

"GM is pretty much like the center, core of it. If it weren't for GM, we wouldn't do very well," she said.

That's why news of a huge expansion at the plant has her family remembering the good times.

"We get maybe five, 10 people and that's a rush. Where as years ago there was so many people in here that the store was packed, everybody was buying things," she said.

To build the paint shop next year, GM plans to hire 1,000 construction workers. Chelsea hopes they end up at the store.

"We kind of need something to help, you know, give the economy that boost," she said.

Khirfan's isn't the only nearby business that relies heavily on blue collar workers.

Jillian Parker says during breaks, those same guys place take-out orders and may even stop by for dinner at the Capitol Coney Island.

"We have a lot of GM guys that come in before first shift and drink coffee," said Jillian Parker, of Capitol Coney Island.

There are also plenty of retirees, like Gary Sullivan.

"I've seen the good times and now you see the bad. But I know some businesses now are opening up downtown, being somewhat successful. So that's a good start I think," he said.

Like Sullivan, Khirfan hopes the big investment is another turning point for a community that could use some good fortune.

"I would like to think so," she said. "I mean, time will definitely tell."

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