Presses arrive for GM’s new stamping plant in Arlington

Posted Monday, Aug. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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General Motors’ new $200 million stamping plant, being built at its Arlington factory, moved another step down the assembly line Friday with the final delivery of more massive presses.

Employees whose jobs depend on the equipment cheered and waved Texas flags when 19-axle haulers rolled up to the plant site at 2525 E. Abram St., said GM spokeswoman Donna McLallen. Deliveries of heavy equipment for the facility started March 1.

Work on the stamping plant, which will employ 180, started more than a year ago. It’s expected to be completed later this year in time to start producing sheet metal components for the next generation of full-size GM sport utility vehicles, to be built next door.

GM is spending $531 million on the Arlington assembly plant, a figure that includes an expanded body shop. That work, along with the addition of a third shift, has boosted the facility’s employment by more than 1,500, to 4,200 workers.

Colleyville ballet

Katie Puder, 29, founding artistic director of Colleyville-based Avant Chamber Ballet, has succeeded where so many before her have failed.

She has kept her fledgling company alive in a dicey economy for a year and a half, helped by three Kickstarter.com crowdsourcing campaigns and support from loyal fans.

The ballet company’s next big performance with live music accompaniment will be Oct. 12 at the Eisemann Center’s Bank of America Theater in Richardson, competing with country singer Clint Black at the big hall next door.

Avant has doubled its dancers to as many as 18. And it had a fairly ample turnout the last time it performed at the Eisemann.

TheaterJones.com has raved: “Ms. Puder, a former dancer with [defunct] Metropolitan Classical Ballet and clearly a disciple of [its co-artistic director Paul] Mejia, just as Mejia was a disciple of Balanchine, certainly has the gift of neo-classic clarity and restraint, of brisk footwork and musical acumen.”

On the company’s wish list is a $30,000 collapsible “touring” dance floor made by Fort Worth-based L’AIR International on North Main Street. That would enable Avant to dance at Southlake’s Apex Arts League stage and elsewhere, Puder said.

To acquire the portable flooring, she plans to approach foundations supportive of the arts and possibly kick the tires again at Kickstarter.

Health research

Ever wonder about the research projects underway by the Texas Medical Research Collaborative?

A free update on six projects receiving grants from TxMRC will be held from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Texas Health Resources offices, 612 E. Lamar Blvd. in Arlington.

To register, go to www.texasmrc.org/event/txmrc-research-project-showcase.

TxMRC is a research partnership among universities, healthcare providers and corporations in support of healthcare. It provides annual grants intended to jump-start research that can solve real-world medical problems, and develop new technologies. Since its founding in 2009, it has distributed more than $2 million in grants.

During the event next month, TxMRC research grant recipients from 2012 will present updates on their work. Featured projects include a brain-imaging system for bedside monitoring, sleep monitoring, devices to improve hearing and prevent falls, and a computerized system for fetal blood transfusion.

TxMRC partners are the University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Health Resources, University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and Texas Instruments.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 sabaker@star-telegram.com Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 jfuquay@star-telegram.com Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718 barry@star-telegram.com

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