Other voices: Corvette plant gears up

For several years, the General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant has experienced some tough times, and has laid off employees in large part due to the sluggish economy. There was even some speculation the plant could be closed, but a breath of fresh air arrived last week with the announcement that General Motors will invest more than $130 million and hire 250 employees at the local plant to produce the next generation of the Chevrolet Corvette.

GM North America President Mark Reuss brought the welcome news to plant employees and reassured the world that the Bowling Green plant is open for business and will be the assembly site where the next edition of the Corvette, the C7, will be built. It will hit dealer showrooms in mid-2013. Adding 250 jobs at the plant is wonderful news for our community. A Cabinet for Economic Development study shows the number of direct, indirect and induced jobs that will result from GM's existing and new employment is nearly 1,950.

These jobs will provide an annual $222 million boost to Kentucky's gross domestic product. Local businesses will no doubt benefit from this expanded operation. It could give a boost to a sluggish real estate market as well. Losing the GM plant would have been a huge blow to this community. Maintaining a good relationship with the company over the years and providing $7.5 million in tax incentives were especially helpful in keeping the plant open.

We, as a community, are fortunate to have GM here. Not only does the plant provide jobs and help our local economy, the employees at the plant are very active in the community.