UAW, city of Burton 'really happy' for boost from GM facility

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BURTON (WJRT) (8/5/2019) - "I'm proud to say that this new plant is the single biggest investment in a GM aftersales supply chain in more than 40 years," GM's Global Vice President of Customer Care and Aftersales, Tim Turvey, announced Monday.

The new facility, located on Davison Road in Burton, includes 1.1 million square feet of floor space. That's about 20 football fields, triple the size of the facility it’s replacing.

"Think about it, in this area, more than 100 years of GM history have played out and we are not slowing down," Turvey added.

The new ACDelco and GM Genuine Parts Processing Center opened Monday. It's a $65-million investment in Burton.

"This facility combined two operations. So we had Davison Road down the street, we put that up back in 2008 that facility. And so, we also had an operation in Westchester, Ohio; and so we really needed to consolidate those to provide better efficiency and service to our customers," Turvey explained.

The workers also came from the two, for a total of 800 employees. They'll package 120 million parts per year for Buick, GMC, Chevy and Cadillac vehicles.

Turvey said customers will feel the impact when they need a quick repair due to a maintenance issue or car wreck.

"What this facility does is allows us to efficiently process parts coming in, give them out to the dealer to repair the vehicle as quickly as possible," he said.

"It's a great day!" UAW Local 651 Acting Chairman, Richard Heller said. "Starting back March 8, 2008, we only had 237 employees. Now we've got over 1100 employees, that speaks volumes right there - jobs, jobs, jobs!"

He added, the smiles on the UAW workers says its all.

"We really are happy about what's going on here," Heller said.

"I am just so excited, I can hardly stand still," Burton's Mayor, Paula Zelenko said, boasting the $65-million investment in her City.

GM said over the past decade, the automaker has invested $23 billion, $2.3 billion of that is in Genesee County.

"We had suffered such a long, down spin because of the housing crash and it took us by surprise," Zelenko explained. "We lost 40% of our revenues, we lost 30% of our employees; because, they either retired or moved on to other jobs."

So, the Mayor explained, the council and planning commission worked together to improve the City's infrastructure.

"Make us more attractive to attracting more businesses coming in, new business coming in, helping existing businesses to revamp and hopefully, attract some residential growth too," she said.

And, GM answered last year.

Zelenko expects the automaker's investment will continue to boost the economy for several years.

"They're going to find places to live here, places to shop here, you know, in our entire region," she said. "So, this isn't just a boom for City of Burton, this is Genesee County and this entire region, this really helps us all."

Also announced Monda, GM is providing seven $130,000 grants to nonprofit organizations in the County. They include: Boy Scouts Water & Woods Field Service Council, Communities First, Inc., Flint River Watershed Coalition, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, Kettering FIRST Robotics, Neighborhood Engagement Hub and STEMletics.

"Whenever we have groups like GM come out and they are able to stretch out a hand and say you're doing a good job, so we're here to support, we are very grateful for that," Promice Mosely with the Neighborhood Engagement Hub said.

"It really helps the leadership and the future of our community by investing in these programs and that's what we've done," Turvey added.

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