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Company is hiring hundreds of American workers, building new facilities, and trying to improve efficiency

When you think General Motors Comp. (GM) you probably think of Detroit, Mich.  But the domestic automaker is also heavily invested in Texas, where it employes 4,500 people.  A two-shift plant in Arlington has 2,500 employees focused on building Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac SUVs.  GM Financial employs 1,800 at various locations across the state.  And there's two call centers with a couple hundred employees, as well.

I. GM Expands Texas Hiring

And GM isn't backing down from its friendship with the Lone Star State, whose former governor George W. Bush was the original architect, and to this day ardent defender of the bailout and structured bankruptcy that arguably saved the company from liquidation.

The company today announced plans to build a new IT center in Austin, Texas which will hire 500 professionals.  Among the positions GM is looking to fill are software developers, project managers, database experts, and business analysts.

The center will be located just miles from other industry giants, such as Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) largest U.S. call center and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KSC:005930) massive chip fab.

Arlington Plant
Among other locations, the new Austin data center will help serve GM's large
Arlington, Texas SUV plant. [Image Source: GM]

The IT center is part of GM's bid to centralize its formerly scattered IT efforts, which often operated pseudo-automously on a site-per-site basis pre-bankruptcy.  The IT consolidation should both drive cost savings, and -- according to GM -- "drive breakthrough ideas".  GM says the Austin center is the "first of several new IT Innovation Centers".

 GM Chief Information Officer Randy Mott cheered the move in a press release, remarking:

We want IT to keep up with the imagination of our GM business partners, and to do that, we plan to rebalance the employment model over the next three years so that the majority of our IT work is done by GM employees focused on extending new capabilities that further enable our business.

We anticipate hiring as many as 500 new GM employees in Austin.  We look to the Innovation Centers to design and deliver IT that drives down the cost of ongoing operations while continuously increasing the level and speed at which innovative products and services are available to GM customers.

The next generation of IT workers, the talented visionaries we want contributing at the Innovation Center, are being trained at top computer science schools in Texas and surrounding states.  The IT Innovation Centers are critical to our overall IT business strategy and transformation.

II. Bailout Benefits Finally Being Realized?

GM is also adding a third shift to its Arlington plant, which could raise wages for some and add at least a few hundred more well-paying skilled labor jobs, which come with health care benefits and a pension.  GM is also opening a $200M USD part stamping plant which will "create or retain approximately 180 jobs".

GM data center workers
GM IT workers (L-R) Dan Krzywosinski, Neal Bond and Michelle Lauka try to resolve a client issue at a data center in Warren, MI.  The workers will soon be getting new colleagues in Texas, courtesy of a GM IT hiring/improvement effort. [Image Source: GM]

The company has drawn a lot of fire over the last couple years over accepting government money and opting for structured bankruptcy/government takeover instead of a liquidation.  However, the hiring spree is a welcome trend amidst mass layoffs from the likes of Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM), Dell, Inc. (DELL), and Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) in the tech industry.

Of course, Ford Motor Comp. (F) is also in the relatively small minority of companies looking to expand its domestic manufacturing and professional workforce in the U.S., and it received a more limited amount of bailout funds (in the form of certain Recovery Act grants for advanced vehicle development).

Ultimately the U.S. government estimates its losses on the bailout of GM, Chrylser, Ford, and industry parts suppliers to be around $25.1B USD.  However, that figure does not account for preserved spending power and taxable GDP -- which will likely return billions to the government.  In the end it's clear that something was lost, but something was gained as well in the auto bailout.

Source: GM

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RE: Too early to know...
By Mathos on 9/8/2012 7:36:34 AM , Rating: 0
I always love the KILL THE UAW People... who have absolutely no clue the conditions these people have worked in, or had worked in in the past. Don't get me wrong, Unions need to adapt to the changing reality just as much as the rest of us need to though. Unfortunately like any other body of humans, the people that get elected to lead them become corrupted just like anyone else in a place of power.

Also, a correction on the UAW jobs. They no longer get a pension... new hires haven't in around 8 or so years, since they were pushed into switching to a tier system to preserve what people who'd already retired, or been with the company 20+ years already, had been left with. More or less, they're just waiting for the majority of the older pension holders to die off, since most of them are getting into their late 60's and 70's now, combined with years of hard labor and exposure to toxic chemicals. Well you get the picture. And before you jump on their medical benefits, going by what I see from my mothers retirement bcbs benefits, comparing them to my walmart bcbs benefits....I get better coverage then they do.

Now on to the other manufacturers filling the void. I don't think that was ever a question. But, due to GM and Chrysler have thousands of smaller manufacturers as parts suppliers it would cost more jobs than just what they had. Which, is what I don't think some people are grasping. And, Ford never actually took bailout money loans. They benefited from grants to release hybrids just like Toyota, Honda and Nissan have. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Hyundai generally don't have union workers, but that's due to the fact that their culture is one of respect their workers. BMW, VW, Audi, and Mercedes hire UAW or are unionized, because get this, Unions exist in the UK, Germany, and other parts of Europe too. The difference again, is they tend to treat their people well, so you rarely hear about pay, or benefits strikes from them here. It's an uniquely american trait that you see companies managed by americans, trying to grind their people to the bone, and work them into the ground, without being forced not to.

RE: Too early to know...
By tng on 9/8/2012 10:14:21 AM , Rating: 1
I always love the KILL THE UAW People...
I don't think that is what people wanted. It became obvious that the UAW had way to much say in how the company was being ran and had basically turned GM into a welfare state for it's members.

A bankruptcy would have allowed GM management to bring the company back to an acceptable stance with the UAW.

If GM disappeared completely, that would have left millions of vehicles out there that would need service and parts. I, for one, have no doubt that this would have spawned the opportunity for thousands of small businesses to fill the gap much more efficiently and would have arguably been better for the economy as well.

RE: Too early to know...
By TSS on 9/8/2012 5:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
Explain to me how a union is going to protect you from you employer when the union is the employer?

UAW does not equal Unions. Kill the UAW, not unions.

RE: Too early to know...
By Ringold on 9/9/2012 4:10:22 AM , Rating: 4
I'm not sure why everyone always assumes a GM bankruptcy would've meant destruction of GM as an entity with a stop on production, leading to dismemberment.

Airlines go through this all the time. They usually keep flying with zero disruption to service or clients, keep buying the goods and services that go in to its operation, even keep the ball rolling on future acquisition plans in terms of aircraft.

GM may well have gone in to bankruptcy protection and kept building, selling and servicing cars while its lawyers worked quickly in court to throw out specific contracts (like with the UAW and dealerships) that held it up, might've pre-negotiated the outlines of agreements with lenders, and emerged just like airlines do; leaner, meaner, and ready to continue the battle.

Only difference is the UAW would've lost out. Those that can't make the connection between a Democrat President and a "bail out" that eradicates secured bond-holders, shafts the companies suppliers workers, does as little as possible to help the company itself but gives a golden parachute and huge ownership stake to UAW is absolutely blind. It was a huge thank-you note from Obama to the UAW for decades of support for his party.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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