CLAYCOMO, Mo. -- Ford Motor Company announced Thursday that it's adding 1,200 new jobs to it's Kansas City assembly plant.
The new positions are part of a second shift to build the all-new Transit commercial van at the plant.
Ford showed off it's new stamping operation for the van, which is part of the more than $1-billion investment the company made in the Kansas City area. Ford says it has created more than 14,000 new hourly jobs nationwide since 2011, with the Kansas City plant getting about 4,000 of those positions.
The transit van has seen three consecutive months of sales growth, and a second shift is gong to help Ford meeting the surging demand among customers.
"Once we add the people by the end of this year and add that second shift and capacity the Kansas City assembly plant will have most manufactuing capacity under one roof out of any plant in the Ford system worldwide," said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Americas.
By the end of the year, Ford expects to have more than 6,000 hourly workers on the payroll at the plant, with two shifts making the Transit and three crews assembling the popular F-150 pick-ups.
Ford invested $1.1-billion in this operation three years ago, and that investment also will allow workers to build the all-new aluminum F-150 pick-up beginning next year.
Gov. Jay Nixon praised the competitiveness of Missouri workers, saying they deserve credit for continuing to make advanced products that the world wants.
"There was this sense in America that things were going to be made somewhere else," Nixon said. "That we were seeing jobs slip off south of the border, shipped to Asia shipped to Europe. People in this room, people in this state said not on our watch. We stood up and said we are ready to compete with anybody."
More than 1,000 Transits have already been sold, with the first big fleet order going to Charter Communications.