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Ford Plans $1.3 Billion Investment, 2,000 New Jobs at Louisville Plant

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Ford has two major union facilities in Louisville.

This story has been updated.

The Ford Motor Company will invest $1.3 billion in the Kentucky Truck Plant to support production of its new F-Series Super Duty Truck, creating 2,000 new jobs, it plans to announce later this morning.

The automaker will hold a press conference in Louisville to announce the major expansion. Company executives will be joined by Gov. Steve Beshear, city officials and United Auto Workers union leaders for the 10:30 a.m. announcement at the truck plant on Chamberlain Lane.

Ford officials said the expansion would include an all-new body shop, facility upgrades and retooling to build the new truck.

The investment will support production of the new F-Series Super Duty Truck. The expansion will also create 2,000 new jobs.

Ford employs roughly 9,400 hourly workers between the truck plant and the Louisville Assembly Plant, which manufactures the Ford Escape.

Members of the UAW nationwide voted earlier this month to ratify a new four-year contract with Ford that included a pledge from the Detroit automaker to invest $9 billion in its U.S. facilities.

Ford's union workers in Louisville voted down the contract, with some telling reporters the deal's terms for legacy employees were unacceptable, and that Ford had yet to make workers whole after concessions driven by the recession.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said the commitment for this investment was actually part of the previous national agreement in 2011. He credited city and state leaders with creating an environment for growth, especially during the recession, when the company was deciding which plants to close.

This was one of the last major economic development announcements by  Beshear, who leaves office next week. Beshear joked that he might pick up an application.

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Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.