GM set to announce $1 billion expansion at Arlington plant

Hundreds of jobs are coming to Arlington as General Motors expands its SUV assembly plant.

GM is expected to announce the specific details on Tuesday.

FOX 4 spoke to the company on Monday and it would not talk specifics, but reports say a $1 billion expansion will add more than 1 million square feet to the factory, increasing production of the Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade.

GM already employs about 3,800 hourly workers in Arlington and is expected to add hundreds of jobs.     

Demand for the big trucks and SUVs produced at the Arlington plant has skyrocketed up 50 percent over the first quarter of last year.

Johnny Pruitt, the President of the United Auto Worker Local 276, says GM has asked and the union agreed to adjustments in overtime scheduling.

"They had been doing a few Saturdays...rolling Saturdays as I like to refer to them as, but now they’re wanting to step that up and work every Saturday,” said Pruitt.

The union has also agreed to the hiring of flex employees; part timers who will get first crack at fulltime jobs.

“But they're hiring 64 per week right now to assist in all the overtime,” said Pruitt.

Marrisa Reyes is a third generation GM employee who took a three-year transfer to a Kansas City plant when demand for big vehicles plummeted in 2007.

The feast that followed the famine in Arlington she says has been great, but, "A lot of us are tired,” she said. “A lot of us are happy to see these flex people come in to help with vacations. It’s been really great.”

UTA economist Bill Crowder says the $30 million tax break Arlington gave GM is looking like a great investment and a long-term one.

“Six hundred full-time jobs, so right there, that's easily going to cover the tax abatement,” said Crowder. “We sort of call this a multiplier spillover effect, right? Where the jobs that are created there and those people spend that money in the local community, which generates more jobs and is sort of a ripple effect as it works its way through the entire economy."