Missouri Department of Labor has provided closed captioning transcripts of our videos for your needs.
Missouri Auto Suppliers: Keeping Jobs in the Heartland
>>AMY SUSAN: With the recent major announcements made by two auto companies, GM and Ford, we visit with one of the many companies that plays a huge role in the auto industry. I’m joined here with Mike Puckett, Plant Manager, for Lear Corporation here in Wentzville. They produce and supply car seats for the GM plant here in town. Now, Mike, I once heard that the auto industry impacts all but maybe two counties throughout the state. Can you explain what that means?
>>MIKE PUCKETT: It means that the suppliers that are out in the rest of the state are manufacturing other parts, you know, brakes, foam, metal components, so it cascades outside of just Wentzville and the Kansas City area.
>>SUSAN: What do you all make here at Lear Corporation?
>>PUCKETT: We produce the seats for the GM van, the Express and the Savannah for Wentzville assembly.
>>SUSAN: So do you manufacture all the parts that are needed to produce the car seats?
>>PUCKETT: No, they come from our supply base. We do the final assembly here, so most of the parts come in from sub-suppliers and then we assemble them and ship them over.
>>SUSAN: Where do you get those supplies from?
>>PUCKETT: All over the place, but we’ve got to decent sized suppliers that we receive from. Just, for example, we get our foam and some metal structures from the local area.
>>SUSAN: How many cars do you produce seats for say in a day or in a year?
>>PUCKETT: In a day we produce about close to 900 front seats and about 250 rear seats. And in over a year’s time that equates to around 250,000 seats coming out of our doors every year.
>>SUSAN: When you heard the news that GM was losing a shift in 2009, what type of consequences did that have on your business?
>>PUCKETT: Obviously, we basically mirror them. We’re a just in time supplier, so we end up having to lay off an entire shift of production workers and then cut our salaried staff by--roughly about half.
>>SUSAN: What really solidified the news for you all that things were going to get better here in Wentzville?
>>PUCKETT: Really, the official announcement. That’s when it all came to reality that it was going to happen.
>>SUSAN: What did these recent auto announcements mean for suppliers such as your company?
>>PUCKETT: It obviously means a lot, cause the volume goes up. The addition of the second shift here is going to increase our workforce, increase the number of seats that we produce in a given day or month, and then the truck, I believe, will bring other suppliers into the local economy. They’re going to be hiring people, so -
>>SUSAN: All good news.
>>PUCKETT: It’s a good thing, yeah.
>>SUSAN: Tell us why it’s so important for Missouri to keep the auto industry thriving.
>>PUCKETT: Well, we’ve got a good supply of skilled workers in the area. Obviously, if we keep the jobs here and employ them, they’ll have the resources to go out and buy GM vans or other American vehicles and keep the money in the local area.
>>SUSAN: Well, thank you, Mike, for joining us today and thank you for giving us insight from a supplier’s point of view. I appreciate it.
>>PUCKETT: Okay, thank you.
>>SUSAN: And if you all have any questions, comments or concerns, you can visit Labor.Mo.gov. Click on News and Notices and then click on Labor Talk Podcast.