HAMTRAMCK (WWJ) – General Motors is adding two shifts and about 2,500 hourly and salaried jobs at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to build the new Chevy Malibu mid-size sedan and the next-generation Impala large sedan alongside the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera electric cars.

GM on Wednesday announced the additional shifts and a $69 million investment in tooling and equipment to support the next-generation Impala. In April 2010, GM announced a $121 million investment to support Malibu production.

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“Filling this plant with new work is very satisfying because GM is dedicated to helping rebuild this city,” GM North America President Mark Reuss said. “We are confident in the flexibility of the plant, the excellence of our workers and the great cars assembled here.”

The announcement is part of GM’s plan announced May 10 to create or retain about 4,000 jobs and invest $2 billion in 17 manufacturing facilities in eight states. Announcements positively impacting employment in Bowling Green, Ky., home of the Chevrolet Corvette; and powertrain plants in Toledo, Ohio, as well as Flint and Bay City, were made recently.

These moves are on top of 9,000 jobs saved or added and $3.4 billion invested in U.S. operations since mid-2009.

The work will be phased in at the only assembly plant that GM still operates in the city of Detroit.

“We’re a Detroit company,” said Reuss.  “We’re going to look to Detroit first to fill this capacity with some of the most desirable highest technology jobs in the area too rebuild the Detroit area and Southeast Michigan.”

Reuss made the announcement at a Wednesday morning ceremony at the plant, which had been making the Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS and Chevy Volt on one shift.

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They made their last DTS on Tuesday, and will soon phase out the Lucerne.

The plant will increase production of the Volt this summer, adding one new shift this year, as they prepare to build an all new Chevy Malibu next year.  The third shift will come in about a year, as they get ready for an all new version of the Chevy Impala big car, likely to launch in 2013.

“For the first time in several years, the UAW and GM are adding membership instead of losing it,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton.

GM has about 1300 workers still on layoff.  They will be brought back first, before new workers are hired at a lower, entry level wage.

“Any time we can bring in new jobs to help the economy, I’m thrilled,” said GM worker Brenda Raye.

Her co-worker, Charles Lowe, said this isn’t just good for the plant.  It’s good for the community.

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“You get some of the people back to work, and you have a reverse domino effect to build things back up again,” Lowe said.