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O'Malley: White Marsh GM Plant 'Evidence' of Recovery

Federal, state and county officials toured the General Motors Baltimore Operations complex on Wednesday.

Government officials toured the complex Wednesday morning to showcase the company's planned expansion and use of new technology.

Gov. Martin O'Malley said the plant, located along Philadelphia Road in White Marsh, represents a resurgence in American manufacturing.

"It's irrefutable evidence and it's a story that everybody gets and everybody understands," O'Malley told Patch. "The American auto industry, including GM, were in the tank a few years ago. Together as a country, we've been able to turn that around. Now GM is No. 1."

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis also participated in the tour, as well as Maryland Secretary of Labor Alexander Sanchez, Baltimore County Executive , County Councilwoman and GM plant manager William Tiger.

O'Malley said the corporation's turnaround would not have been possible without funding from state and federal government.

"None of this would have happened of we had let GM go bankrupt," he said.

The facility's total project investment is about $244 million. GM is investing about $129 million. Federal goverment is investing $105 million and county and state government are contributing more than $10 million, according to company and government news releases.

Christian S. Johansson, secretary of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, said investments in manufacturing deliver a larger payoff to the local economy.

"Not all industries are created equal," Johansson said. "The impact is much more than the people who are working here. People needed to supply these parts. If you have a law firm that's great—you have high paying jobs, but you don't get the ripple effect in terms of what needs to be supplied to them in order to function."

The plant currently employs 220 people, with about 200 more jobs expected to be added with the addition of an , scheduled to open in 2013, the company announced last year.

The plant currently generates an estimated $18 million in wages, $3.7 million in payroll taxes and $520,000 in property taxes annually, according to a company document.

"We're happy with a facility like this. Even though it isn't a huge employer, it has the potential to become an even larger employer and manufacturer ... it looks promising," Kamenetz told Patch.

John Peasland, a Perry Hall resident who works as a facility manager, said the plant has a positive local impact.

"A lot of us live right around here and we're putting money back into the economy," Peasland said. "One of our projects just came back from Mexico, so we're definitely bringing jobs back."

Do you think the government's investment into GM is worth the expected returns? Tell us why or why not in the comments.

amdactivist February 17, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I care about people paul and our country..I act on it.. .. YOu cater to its demise.
Honeygo Hal February 17, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Nice building they got going up next to the Allison plant, doncha think? Just a short walk to 5 Guys for lunch...
Neal Baker February 17, 2012 at 04:22 PM
So GM makes record profits and are giving profit sharing to employees. What does the tax payer get?
Neal Baker February 17, 2012 at 04:23 PM
It would take too much effort to get the stench off you. Best stay downwind of those two.
Neil B February 17, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I am not sure what the employees got? I just read they froze their wages and cut their pension of all the non union workers. This is only a payoff to the unions. GM still has 8.1 billion in unfunded pension payouts. This whole thing stinks. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500395_162-57378543/gm-plans-to-freeze-salaried-workers-pensions/

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