March 22, 2016 - 8:00 AM EDT
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Blue Bird Increasing Production Capacity; Adding Second Shift & New Employees in 2016

Recently Added Second Shift Increases Production Capacity to Meet Customer Demand

Blue Bird Corporation (“Blue Bird”) (Nasdaq:BLBD), the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, is adding 200 more employees for a new second shift in its body-assembly plant.

“Bus delivery for school start is a priority for our customers,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation, noting that Blue Bird has increased production in its Fort Valley plant by more than 50 percent over recent years to meet customer demand. “Adding a second shift will enable us to build more buses in the spring and summer seasons, ensuring our buses are delivered in time for the new school year and helping us continue to grow our market share.”

Each new Blue Bird employee will receive training through Quick Start, Georgia’s workforce development program. The Quick Start training for Blue Bird employees initially includes 40 hours of manufacturing skills with an additional 40 hours of welding, fabrication, and process software applications training. Leadership development, lean manufacturing, quality and safety training is provided in addition to technical job skills for the second shift employees.

“For more than 15 years, Quick Start has been a proud partner with Blue Bird providing customized training wherever and whenever it was needed,” said Jackie Rohosky, head of Quick Start and Assistant Commissioner for TCSG’s Economic Development Programs. “Along with Central Georgia Technical College, our commitment to supporting Blue Bird continues today with customized training in computer software, advanced welding, and much more. The company’s success is Georgia’s success, and that will always remain our focus.”

“Our training program prepares each employee before he or she steps into the plant,” said John McKowen, vice president of manufacturing for Blue Bird Corporation. “This is a great program for us and we really appreciate the support that the state of Georgia has provided to Blue Bird as we hire new employees at a fast pace.”

In 2015, Blue Bird built almost 10,400 buses in its one million square-foot facility and expects to build between 10,800 and 11,000 buses this year. The increase in both production and employment will benefit the Fort Valley area and contribute to the overall economic growth in middle Georgia.

About Blue Bird Corporation

Blue Bird is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and aftermarket parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio.

TSN Communications
Melanie Pikosky, 312-217-6355
[email protected]

Source: Business Wire (March 22, 2016 - 8:00 AM EDT)

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