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Global auto supplier completes Liberty facility expansion, unveils new Innovation & Training Center

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LMV Automotive Systems new facility to supply parts to auto manufacturers with an employment level of 340

Liberty, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon speaks during an event on Monday, September 15, 2015, celebrating the completion of LMV Automotive Systems $90 million manufacturing facility and the opening of the new Innovation and Training Center in Liberty, Missouri.

Liberty, MO – Further solidifying Missouri’s position as a leader in automotive manufacturing, Gov. Jay Nixon today joined local officials and company leaders of LMV Automotive Systems, an auto parts manufacturer, to celebrate the completion of its new $90 million manufacturing facility and cut the ribbon on its new Innovation and Training Center in Liberty. The new center, located in the company’s recently completed 469,600-sq. ft. facility, is expected to train hundreds of employees in its first year in skilled trades and world-class manufacturing best practices.

“Companies like LMV understand that in a fiercely competitive worldwide economy, highly-skilled workers are vital to their success,” Gov. Nixon said. “That’s why it’s great to see this company team up with our education and workforce partners to develop a pipeline of skilled workers who will help drive this company’s success for many years to come. Once again, our efforts to revitalize Missouri’s auto industry continue to pay dividends here in Liberty and across the state.”

The state-of-the-art training center occupies approximately 2,500 square feet of space in the company’s new Liberty facility, which has doubled in size since last year. The center includes all of the assembly technologies currently in use at LMV, such as robotic spot and MIG welding, and will be used to develop the weld technicians, tooling technicians and maintenance personnel required for LMV’s operations. In addition to offering hands-on experience, the center features classroom and innovation areas where employees can learn the principles and practices of lean manufacturing.

“We are proud to have built a strong partnership with the state of Missouri and the local community to create opportunities for our employees and continue to build the automotive market in Kansas City,” saidAndy Hrasky, General Manager, LMV Automotive Systems. “Our world-class manufacturing facility, now with its own world-class training center, gives us a competitive advantage and a solid position from which to grow with our customers.”

The training center will also be a focal point in LMV’s new partnership with Northland CAPS, an organization that provides high school students with opportunities to gain exposure and skills related to high-demand/high-skill professions such as engineering, computer software development and advanced manufacturing.

LMV Automotive is a division of Cosma International, an operating unit of Magna International, the world’s second-largest automotive supplier. LMV is one of many automotive suppliers that have located or expanded in Missouri since Gov. Nixon led the passage of the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act in 2010. LMV Automotive Systems now employs approximately 340 people at its Liberty facility where it manufactures welded body assemblies for automakers. In 2012, the company broke ground on a $42 million 213,000-sq. ft. facility to produce parts for the all-new Transit van, assembled at Ford’s Kansas City plant. After securing a contract with another major auto manufacturer in 2014, LMV embarked on a $48.7 million addition to its new facility, adding another 256,600 square feet.

Gov. Nixon has made strengthening Missouri’s once-struggling auto sector a top priority, and his efforts have resulted in more than $2 billion in investments by automotive manufacturers and suppliers. In Claycomo, Ford has announced the creation of thousands of new jobs as part of a $1.1 billion investment in its Kansas City Assembly Plant, which now produces more vehicles than any other Ford plant in the world. In addition, since 2011, GM has announced the creation and retention of more than 1,700 jobs and capital investment of $513 million at its assembly plant in Wentzville.

Missouri has also seen strong growth among automotive suppliers with several companies announcing expansion plans over the past year including Faurecia, Leggett & Platt, Universal Components, and U.S. Farathane. According to the Center of Automotive Research, Missouri has the 7th most automotive establishments in the nations and has continually been a top state for vehicle production.

To assist LMV Automotive Systems with its expansion, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria. The state partnered with a number of organizations to help facilitate this expansion as well as provide ongoing support to the company, including the Missouri Partnership, the Kansas City Area Development Council, the City of Liberty, Northland CAPS, Metropolitan Community College, and KC SmartPort.