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Ford investing $150 million in Woodlawn plant, adding 350 jobs

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Six years ago, the Ford Stamping Plant in Hamburg almost closed. Thursday, Governor Cuomo and company and union officials were at the plant to say it will be expanding and adding workers.With millions coming from Albany, Ford will be investing $150 million for new production equipment, adding a third shift, and hiring 350 workers along with the current 625 hourly and salaried employees.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was in town to make the announcement. The renovation is being helped by state incentives totaling $7 million, including a $5 million New York Works fund capital grant that will be used to help Ford obtain machinery and equipment.

$2 million from the performance based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits is being provided by the state in exchange for Ford's investment and job creation commitments. Another $1 million from the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board will be used to help train 100 new employees.

Plant manager Dave Buzo says the state's participation will enable the company to remain competitive.

"It will improve our quality, it will improve our reliability, it will improve our up time, and it will allow us to compete with the best in the world," Buzo says.

Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The plant produces parts for some of the most popular cars Ford makes, including cars coming out of the assembly plant in nearby Oakville, Ontario like the F250 truck and the Edge car.

Ford's Director of Manufacturing for Stamping Operations Paul Kosaian praised the workforce of the Woodlawn plant.

"Thank you, team here in Buffalo. You have all made the plant a great example of what Ford really means," he told the workers

Ford says it is about three-quarters of the way toward its goal of adding 12,000 workers across the U.S.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.