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New Jobs At Ford Also Mean Expansion For Small Auto Parts Suppliers

Elle Moxley

Following the announcement of 900 new jobs at Ford's Claycomo plant, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says there's strong potential for continued growth in the state's auto manufacturing sector.

"I think the best way to continue to move forward in this market is to continue after-market for the vans and the pick-up trucks that turn them into ambulances and things of that nature, as well as getting on as the place in the middle of the country that can support factories all throughout the Midwest," says Nixon.

Nixon made the Ford announcement at Excelsior Springs manufacturing company Magna Seating. When the governor visited the plant in 2012, the plant was close to shutting down.

"He talked to us about what did we need and what we were looking for," says John Tarpley, Magna Seating's general manager. "Honestly, we needed a customer."

Now the plant is working at full production, making seats for the Ford Transit line.

Nixon says in addition to Ford and General Motors, more than 60 auto parts manufacturers have expanded in the state since the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act passed in 2010. 

"We need to think about ourselves as a Midwest hub, not just the Kansas City region," Nixon says.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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