FLAT ROCK, MI – AutoAlliance International Inc., the Mazda Motor Corp.-Ford Motor Co. joint venture in Flat Rock, MI, plans to add 1,400 jobs needed to build the ’05 Ford Mustang, bringing rolls to 3,300.

Job One for the Mustang is slated for early September, after which Mustang production will exceed output of the Mazda6’s three variants, which is nearing 100,000 units on an annualized basis, says AAI President and CEO Phil Spender.

The 1,400 workers will be new to the Flat Rock plant but not to Ford. All new employees are being transferred from other Ford manufacturing facilities that recently either have downsized or closed their doors. Some 200 workers are moving to Michigan from Ford’s downsized St. Louis facility and shuttered Edison, NJ, and soon-to-close Lorain, OH, plants. Spender says the specific positions were determined based on seniority of the workers filling the slots.

Job training for these positions will come through the Bush Admin.’s High Growth Job Training Initiative, a multi-million-dollar initiative to fund training partnerships in sectors that qualify as growing industries.

U.S. Dept. of Labor Deputy Secretary Steven Law was on hand at a ceremony at the plant, at which he gave a $5 million grant to the Downriver Community Conference, a local organization that will train workers in high-technology manufacturing processes.

Employees will be trained in areas such as robot programming and data processing. Law says these specialized positions pay $65,000-$75,000 in annual wages.