by: Courtesy of DTNA Daimler Trucks North America plans to add 350 new jobs early next year to increase production of heavy-duty trucks like this one at its Portland plant.

Daimler Trucks North America said Thursday that it was adding a second shift to its Portland truck manufacturing plant, creating about 350 new jobs by the end of next year.

The Swan Island facility produces heavy-duty Western Star brand Class 8 trucks for use in mining, logging, oil field and construction. The additional workers represent a nearly 50 percent increase in personnel at the plant and will include about 330 shop employees and an additional 20 engineering and support positions.

The company also plans to add about 100 positions in its main office.

'We are delighted to be able to make this announcement today here in Portland and proud of the achievements of our Western Star work force,' said Martin Daum, president and chief executive officer of Daimler Trucks North America, which has its U.S. headquarters in Portland.

Mayor Sam Adams said the plant expansion was 'very exciting news' for the city.

Gov. John Kitzhaber praised Daimler's plan. 'It is encouraging to see this development in our manufacturing sector, which is so important to Oregon's economy,' he said.

The increase in production capacity and hiring comes in response to a strong and steady rise in Western Star orders throughout 2011. The company expects to continue growing in 2012.

The Portland plant employs about 700 shop people and 50 engineers, managers and support staff. Hiring for the new positions begins in November, with the new production shift expected to be at full capacity by February 2012.

A second wave of hiring is planned next summer.

The company will accept online applications at its website,, for the machinist, material handler and maintenance positions at the Portland plant beginning Friday, Oct. 21. In addition, more than 150 mechanical, electrical, electronic and manufacturing engineering positions are open at the Portland plant and other company locations.

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