FOR RELEASE: 2008-02-14

GM's Corvette Plant Manager Honored by the Engineering Deans of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Unique Award Created to Recognize Wilmer Cooksey's Longtime Dedication to African-American Education

DETROIT - The Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities will recognize GM Corvette plant manager Wilmer Cooksey with its Lifetime Service award for his longtime dedication to education for African Americans. The group will present the prestigious award to Cooksey, a former college professor, on Saturday, Feb. 16 during the Black Engineer of the Year Award program in Baltimore.

"Many people leave the workplace for academia, but Wil did the opposite: he brought his advanced academic knowledge to the shop floor," said Gary Cowger, GM group vice president of Global Manufacturing and Labor Relations, who will speak about Cooksey 's achievements during the award ceremony. "We are grateful for the leadership he has brought to GM manufacturing, and we're proud of his lifetime commitment to education."

The award was created especially for Cooksey, who was an assistant professor in industrial engineering at General Motors Institute in Flint, Mich. before taking his first job GM manufacturing job in 1976. Cooksey held leadership positions at GM plants in St. Louis, Atlanta and Fairfax, Kan. before being named plant manager of GM's only Chevy Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Ky. in 1993. Under Cooksey's direction, the Corvette and the plant have won numerous awards. Cooksey, who has called running the Corvette plant his "dream job," announced his retirement effective March 1.

Cooksey serves on the Tennessee State University Foundation Board of Trustees, the Western Kentucky University School of Business Advisory Board, the Western Kentucky University College of Education and Behavioral Science, Drug Abuse Resistance Education Advisory Council and the Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering (AMIE) Board of Directors.

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Cooksey earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Tennessee State University in 1965 and a master's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Toledo in 1972. He completed postgraduate work in mechanical engineering at Michigan State University.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at


Edd Snyder
GM Communications
Phone: 313-665-4266

Brenda Rios
GM Communications
Phone: (313) 655-3165