Gwen Marshall is a team leader at Magna Seating in Shepherdsville, KY. The plant opened in 2011 and will employ 450 people when at full capacity.

Magna expects to produce 320,000 seat sets annually for the Ford Escape, which is assembled in nearby Louisville. The creative process is a team effort: Ford focuses on the designs, while Magna produces the foam and assembles the seats.

"We work together with Ford during the prototype of the seat — hand-in-hand — to make sure the seat is safe and looks great in the vehicle," says Gwen.

The plant has led many suppliers to come to the area.

"There are many side companies that work with Ford to help produce this great car," says Gwen. "Without Ford allowing us to have this opportunity, we wouldn't have the jobs we have here today."

This new Shepherdsville plant represents a $20-million investment by Magna in Kentucky.

"With Magna coming here, the company was able to boost the economy and bring more jobs to the area," says Gwen. "It makes the people in the community feel like there is something to live for — to have a job and be a part of something."