Chrysler's C.E.O. joins his employees on Belvidere's shop floor with a major announcement.
Thousand of new positions will be added in the coming months.
The Belvidere plant will add a third shift by the summer to support production of the new Dodge Dart model.
The company just finished investing seven hundred million dollars into the plant.
Constructing a brand new body shop.
And the C.E.O. says Belvidere's workers earned it.
"Belvidere continues to shine among the top performers."
With those words, Chrysler's C.E.O. congratulated his employees for their hard work. And officially announced a secret that had been leaked last week.
"We're going to be adding more than 18-hundred jobs by the summer to support the new production of the Dart and the third crew providing a more secure production for the plant."
Assembly of the new Dart has begun as workers train each other on the new model. The 18-hundred new jobs will rely on sales of the Dart. But Governor Pat Quinn says he has faith in the plant's workers.
"The people who work here in one of the very best active plants in all of the world know how to get the job done."
Belvidere's jobs announcement comes on the heels of another sign of Chrysler's turnaround. Just yesterday the company announced it earned an annual profit for the first time since 1997. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says part of that success lies with the Government's bail out of Chrysler.
"There were politicians in major political parties saying let 'em go, that's what Capitalism is all about, President Obama said no."
He says the result of that decision benefits northern Illinois.
"We've been hit hard with high unemployment, and people will be glad to know good jobs are coming."
And both Quinn and Marchinnoe say the future is bright for Chrysler.
"It is important that we build these sorts of vehicles in our country, that we are fuel efficient, we're safety conscious, we understand that manufacturing is a a large part of our American economy."
"We're here to celebrate the start of a new chapter in the plant's history."