600 Toledoans back to work at Powertrain Plant

Toledo's GM Powertrain Plant is full speed ahead.

We've brought over 600 people back to work and we've still got some more to do, said Joe Choate, Toledo TMs Powertrain Plant Manager.

But last year at this time the future wasn't nearly this bright.

After GM declared bankruptcy, the Toledo facility that employed over 1,600 people at the time, was reduced to less than 50 employees.

The plant totally was shut down, all we did was maintain a skeleton crew here in order to preserve the facility as we went through a very rough time last summer, said Choate.

600 of those laid off in 2009 came from the United Auto Workers Union, Local 14, but today Union President Ray Wood is pleased to announce that by next month all of his members will have their jobs back building GM's two new transmissions, a six speed rear wheel drive and a six speed front wheel drive.

They're ecstatic to be back, I've even had people with tears in their eyes and rightfully so because there was so much uncertainty and there was so much concern and now they see the light that we told them was at the end of the tunnel has manifested itself, said Wood.

Both the plant manager and the union president say the increase in transmission orders and the growth in jobs speaks well of the current state of the economy.

We should be able to continue to grow here versus having to see another contraction, said Choate.

That is if the economy continues to improve and even though today, 600 UAW members are happy to have their jobs back, it's the fear of the unknown that will keep them and Wood, cautiously optimistic.

Reality, there's always going to be some caution because we can't control the future.