A picture of Representative John A. Yarmuth
John Y.
Democrat KY 3

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  • In Honor of the Centennial of Ford Motor Company Manufacturing in Louisville, Ky

    by Representative John A. Yarmuth

    Posted on 2013-02-15

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    YARMUTH of kentucky in the house of representatives Friday, February 15, 2013 Mr. YARMUTH. Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, the Ford Motor Company began assembling automobiles in a small facility at 931 South Third Street in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. There, 17 employees built as many as 12 Model Ts a day.



    A century later, Ford remains an integral part of the economic, social, and cultural heritage of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

    Between the recently retooled Louisville Assembly Plant and the Kentucky Truck Plant, Ford now employs more than 8,500 people in Louisville, where it continues to innovate and expand. On the road to that success, Ford and the River City have passed countless milestones together.

    It was generations ago in Louisville when Ford began using the new automotive integrated assembly line, changing the old manner of building one car at a time and beginning a new era of industrial progress and growth.

    It was in Louisville where one of the largest auto-worker union Locals in the nation, Local 862, was chartered on June 23, 1941, as the first United Auto Workers--Committee for Industrial Organization Local in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. To this day, Ford and UAW maintain a strong relationship that has been critical to its success.

    It was in Louisville where a revitalized Ford met the postwar economic boom with the debut and production of the 1949 Ford, the first vehicle integration of body and fenders, which would set the standard for auto design in the future.

    It was in Louisville where Ford built the South's biggest manufacturing facility under one roof, and then built a bigger one in 1955--the one-million-square-foot Assembly Plant at 2000 Fern Valley Road--and, again, in 1969, built the largest truck plant in the world, the Kentucky Truck Plant on Chamberlain Lane.

    And it was in Louisville where, facing a changing economy and an uncertain future for American manufacturing, I worked closely with Ford leadership and then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to secure federal investments that would enable Ford to retool the Louisville Assembly Plant, hire more than 3,000 new workers, and begin making the vehicles of the future.

    Today, the Louisville Assembly Plant is the largest Ford facility in North America, employing nearly 4,800 people who are producing a 2013 Escape every 44 seconds--faster and more efficiently than any other in Ford's history. The company supports tens of thousands of jobs throughout our region, helping strengthen Louisville families and our entire economic community. And in Louisville, we have shown the nation that the best days of American manufacturing haven't passed us by--they are signposts on the road ahead.

    Mr. Speaker, as Ford Motor Company moves into the next 100 years of manufacturing in Louisville, I am confident they will continue to build on their impressive legacy, sustain our highly skilled Ford-UAW Louisville workforce, and work with leaders throughout our community to continue building innovative, world-class, high-quality vehicles for generations to come.

    Congratulations to John Savona, Plant Manager of the Louisville Assembly Plant; Joe Bobnar, Plant Manager of the Kentucky Truck Plant; Steve Stone, Louisville Assembly Plant Building Chairman for the UAW- Local 862; Scott Eskridge, Kentucky Truck Plant Building Chairman for the UAW-Local 862; Todd Dunn, President of the UAW-Local 862; and to all the employees and retirees of Ford Motor Company on 100 years of success in Louisville.

    ____________________

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