WOODLAWN, NY - Governor Cuomo made a second stop on his trip to the Western New York Thursday. The first stop was along the Waterfront to announce a deal that could bring more than 1,000 jobs to Buffalo.
The second stop was at the Ford Motor Plant, where Cuomo met with company officials to announce the creation of 350 new jobs there.
"That's a wonderful thing, it's good for the community, everybody in here is excited to have new people in the building," said Jeanette Jackson, a production employee at the plant.
The key ingredient to the jobs plan at the Buffalo Stamping Plant has to do with the United Auto Workers union coming together with Ford Motor Company to boost jobs.
And now, Ford plans to invest $150 million dollars in the plant.
"To help support the growing demand for our great products," said Paul Kosaian, the manufacturing director at the plant.
The facility makes hoods, fenders and other parts. There are 650 employees here now. Ford wants to add 350 new positions that start out paying $15 an hour and based on higher qualifications, could be as much as $19 an hour.
The company says hiring for these jobs is already underway.
"The state's assistance helped us build the business case to invest paved the way for our announcement today," added Kosaian.
To add the new jobs, the state chips in with $7 million.
Money that state officials say will come in the form of tax credits and company incentives.
"There's two things going on, Ford's going to get a tax credit and we're going to help them with infrastructure," said Assemblymember Sean Ryan, referring to infrastructure upgrades to build more storage facilities here.
To do all this hiring, the union has agreed to make some changes to their workforce.
Going forward, production employees will take on more responsibility of their work zones rather than having managers needed to approve everything they do on the job.
"In the past, we didn't have a whole lot of say we would have management pretty much tell us and now we're all teams and we all work together we all work as one," said Jackson.
Both Ford and the union say the workforce change hasn't been completed yet, but when it is, the plan will save time and money.
"This plant is going to be the first plant to be changed over to a 'team base structure,' where the hourly employees are going to manage their zones and their lines and they're going to take ownership of their areas," said Patrick Radtke, the president of the Local 897 UAW.