LMV Automotive Systems, an auto parts manufacturer, completed its new $90 million manufacturing facility and Innovation and Training Center in Liberty, Missouri. 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.
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,” said Andy 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 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.
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.
“Companies like LMV understand that in a fiercely competitive worldwide economy, highly-skilled workers are vital to their success,” Governor Jay 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.”