Daimler to increase Western Star production in Portland

Daimler Trucks North America Oct. 20 announced the addition of a second shift and plans to ramp up production at its Western Star manufacturing plant in Portland, Ore., creating about 350 new jobs at the facility by the end of 2012.

Hiring of new employees will begin in November, and the new production shift is slated to be at full capacity by February 2012. A second wave of hiring is planned for next summer to support the projected increase in demand.

The additional workers represent a nearly 50 increase in personnel at the plant and will include about 330 shop employees and an additional 20 engineering and support positions to facilitate increased production. The Portland plant currently employs about 700 shop employees and 50 engineers, managers and support staff.

The Swan Island facility exclusively produces heavy-duty Western Star Class 8 trucks for use in mining, logging, oil field and construction, as well as on-highway trucks and other specialized vehicles. The planned hiring activity is the first time since 2006 that DTNA has had open-market hiring for shop positions at this plant.

DTNA says the increase in production capacity and hiring comes in response to strong Western Star orders throughout 2011 and company expectations for continued growth in 2012. Western Star trucks are sold internationally.