North Texas

A Year After Handing Out Pink Slips, Fort Worth Plant Now Hiring Hundreds

It's a kind of real-life version of "The Little Engine That Could" -- only this story is about a not so little company in North Texas that builds train engines.

But like the storybook hero, it took perseverance and some "engine-uity" on their part to overcome a major obstacle.

"The railroad industry is a very cyclical industry," said Michael Patton, General Manager for GE Manufacturing Solutions. "And we were in down cycle."

Since 2012, the GE Manufacturing Solutions plant, which is located just west of Texas Motor Speedway, has built new locomotives.

But in recent years, the orders for those new engines began to dwindle. And in February 2017, the company had to lay off 250 employees. 

Patton says it was a low point -- but determined not to let the slowdown completely derail them, the company got to work and started looking for new ways to get business back on track.

What they learned -- many of their customers had old locomotives that were sitting unused in rail yards. And they were willing to pay whoever could breathe new life into them.

"It was a very viable product," said Patton.

The plant began refurbishing old engines -- or "modifying" them as they call it. That work has picked up so much, the company is now looking to hire 250 new employees to keep up with the demand.

"It's very exciting," said Patton. "And the employees are very excited about it too - especially those that stuck with us through the downturn, just being able to see work coming back in."

The plant is currently hiring. To see what jobs are available and to apply, you can visit the GE Careers website.

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