I am so happy that the City and County Councils heard from an expert in globalization. I am sure that they learned a lot from him. I thought that I could give them a small lesson too by providing excerpts from this interesting news story I found.
Automaker, UAW cooperate on teams
October 4, 2005
BY JOE GUY COLLIER FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
DUNDEE -- DaimlerChrysler AG officially opened a plant Monday that provides a much-needed boost for the state's manufacturing base and promises to reverse, at least in part, the loss of jobs to cheaper markets overseas.
The first of two plants in Dundee is to begin production of four-cylinder engines this month, providing 200 jobs so far and more than 500 when the second plant opens in a little more than a year.
The jobs are significant for a state that has lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs in the last five years.
The Dundee operation provides a highly skilled, highly paid workforce.
The wages for hourly employees range from about $800 to $1,200 a week, well above the state's average wage for all jobs. Those jobs require a two-year degree, trade certification or five years experience in advanced machining.
The Dundee operations also are good for UAW members, said UAW Vice President Nate Gooden.
Dundee is a UAW plant, but the union agreed to certain terms such as the single class of employee. Traditional plants have several classifications in which employees have more narrowly defined jobs.
"GEMA is just the beginning of what the UAW is going to do," Gooden said. "We have a footprint here and this footprint will be carried on."
The surrounding community is thankful the three companies and union were able to come to a meeting of the minds.
The talk of the town recently, though, is the new GEMA operation across the highway.
GEMA employees, wearing white-and-black uniforms that look a bit like bowling shirts, frequent nearby shops and eateries in downtown Dundee.
On a given day, these workers make up six to 12 people at Tiffany's Pizza, said James Atkinson, a manager of the Dundee pizza parlor.
"That could be a third of our lunch buffet some days, so it's a significant number for us," Atkinson said.
Century 21 Allstar Real Estate Team, which has offices in Dundee and Monroe, has seen the number of home shoppers jump about 20% in the last year, said Savina DeLuca, an Allstar broker.
Allstar also is getting daily calls for investors interested in commercial property, DeLuca said.
The engine operations are the key driver, she said.
It's not just bringing people to Dundee. It's bringing people who make a high enough wage to buy homes, DeLuca said.
"They're definitely looking to purchase in the area," she said. "We are very pleased with the way the market has turned out."