Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) announced the addition of a second shift and plans to ramp up production at its Portland Truck Manufacturing Plant in Portland OR, creating approximately 350 new jobs at the facility by the end of 2012.

The additional workers represent a nearly 50% increase in personnel at the plant and will include approximately 330 shop employees, and an additional 20 engineering and support positions to facilitate increased production.

The Swan Island facility exclusively produces heavy-duty Western Star brand Class 8 trucks for use in mining, logging, oilfield, and construction, as well as on-highway trucks and other specialized vehicles, representing about 2% of North American truck sales this year. DTNA’s Western Star launched its newest vehicle, the 4700, earlier in 2011.

The increase in production capacity and hiring comes in response to a strong and steady rise in Western Star orders throughout 2011 and company expectations for continued growth in 2012. Western Star trucks are sold internationally with key sales in the United States, Canada, Australia, South America, South Africa, and Indonesia. The Portland plant currently employs about 700 shop employees and 50 engineers, managers, and support staff.

The current hiring activity is the first time since 2006 that DTNA has had open-market hiring for shop positions at this plant. Hiring of new employees will begin in November, and the new production shift is slated to be at full capacity by February 2012. A second wave of hiring is planned for next summer to support the projected increase in demand.

DTNA is now accepting online applications for the machinist, material handler, and maintenance positions at the Portland plant. In addition, more than 150 positions in the fields of mechanical, electrical, electronic, and manufacturing engineering are open at DTNA in Portland and other company locations. Interested applicants for plant and engineering positions are asked to apply at www.dtna.jobs.