The Kansas City region continues to see significant growth in the automotive sector, particularly with an uptick of automotive suppliers entering the market to service both the Ford and General Motors plants. With GM announcing a $245 million investment coming to the Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, and Ford's production of the F-150 and Transit Van, the region is seeing another wave of automotive supplier companies looking at the market.
Automotive News reported U.S. new-vehicle sales will stay above 17 million for a third straight year in 2017. The overall U.S. economy is expected to grow in 2017, with a projected 2.6 percent growth in gross domestic product and job growth of 150,000 to 180,000 a month.
The Center for Automotive Research reported that between June 2009 and August 2016, U.S. motor vehicle and parts employment has grown by more than 50 percent. As the auto industry prepares to launch record numbers of new and refreshed models over the next few years, the need for skilled trades workers will increase. A skilled workforce continues to be a critical factor in the industry.