100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I rise today to congratulate the Ford Motor Company on its 100th anniversary and its longstanding relationship with the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Ford has been an integral part of the Kentucky business community since 1913 when it began building Model T automobiles in a small shop on South Third Street in Louisville. From its modest beginnings in the Commonwealth, Ford rose to become a significant part of our economy. After opening additional plants in Louisville, Ford and its hard-working Kentucky employees produced more than 44,000 trucks for the U.S. Army during World War II.
Following the war, Ford continued to expand in Kentucky, initiating car production at the Louisville assembly plant on Fern Valley Road in 1955. In 1969, Ford built the Kentucky truck plant on Chamberlain Lane. The Kentucky truck plant would later utilize the world's most advanced computer-integrated system for manufacturing heavy truck frame rails. In September 2002, the Louisville assembly plant produced the five-millionth Ford Explorer.
Today, these two plants employ nearly 10,000 men and women in Kentucky who, in 2002, collectively earned more than $660 million. In 2002, the two Ford facilities paid nearly $50 million in State and local taxes. Ford and its Kentucky employees have made other important contributions to local community. Last year, they donated more than $2.5 million to various Louisville community organizations and participated in the Adopt A Child and Sharing the Blessing programs.
As Ford Motor Company approaches its 100th anniversary on June 16, 2003, I am proud to take this opportunity to congratulate the company and its employees for their dedication to excellence. We look forward to the planned expansion of the Kentucky truck plant in Louisville and many more years of commitment to the people and Commonwealth of Kentucky.