Push Is On To Make Prize Employer Bigger And Better

By Jeff Neumeyer

December 17, 2010 Updated Dec 17, 2010 at 6:12 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Allen County is giving itself a fighting chance to secure a General Motors expansion.

There are no guarantees it will do the trick, but a tax abatement approved by Allen County Council on Thursday for a potential upgrade at the local GM truck plant is at least helping management and workers feel the love.

General Motors has an internal competition going on.

Upgrades are possible at several North American manufacturing operations.

Fort Wayne is being looked at for a $230-million improvement at its truck assembly operation.

A $4.2 million tax break will be given to GM, if Fort Wayne wins the expansion sweepstakes.

If nothing else, local plant management and union leaders appreciate what county council did to ensure taxes aren't a deal breaker.

Orval Plumlee/President, UAW Local 2209: " They have been very gracious to us and we hope to return their favor, and produce the best trucks in the world."

Jeff Sorensen/GM Personnel Director: " What we want to do here is continue to have the jobs we have and grow in the future, as we can. So, we want to have the table set for, here's a place where General Motors will put more investment, put more volume in the future."

In the tax abatement filing, it was stated that the project would, "Construct body shop addition necessary to support machinery, equipment and special tools to manufacture the next generation of full-size pickup trucks."

Fort Wayne is essentially in competition with another plant in Flint Michigan for the truck facility upgrade.

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