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The Legacy GM Created in Janesville Lives On

Tiffany Scuglik

One hundred years ago, the first GM tractor rolled off the assembly line in the Janesville plant. Over time, production at the factory changed with the times from Chevrolets to 105mm artillery shells during World War II. By 1972, business was booming, and the GM plant reached its employment peak with 7,100 employed. GM wasn’t only dependent on the town of Janesville, but the town of Janesville was highly impacted by the jobs that GM created for the community. Furthermore, not only has GM had an impact on its community, but it’s been a huge part of our history here at JP Cullen.

The Legacy Center

With a history this rich and memories that will last a lifetime, there had to be a way to pay tribute to the factory that changed the lives of the people of Janesville. Blackhawk Credit Union had an answer, the Legacy Center. The Legacy Center is going to house memorabilia, spark conversations, and most importantly continue the history that GM created in the town of Janesville.

Our current president, Ron Becher, spent 19 years working at GM and has brought his experience and expertise to JP Cullen. In turn, he’s been with JP Cullen for 19 years and working with GM will always be a part of who is.


Ron presented at the new Legacy Center’s groundbreaking sharing, “For me, I have been involved with this legacy ever since I arrived in Janesville in 1983. I have been connected to both GM and JP Cullen and now Blackhawk Community Credit Union. It’s amazing how connected things are. JP Cullen has been a part of Janesville since 1892 and has been involved with this building since it was the First National Bank and the former GM plant from their beginnings”.

Ron went on to share: “Now JP Cullen has the privilege to work with Blackhawk Community Credit Union as their contractor to revitalize this historic building back to its glory days when it was first built in 1912. I know this is called the GM Legacy Center, but I’m sure there are many at JP Cullen that will consider it part of JP Cullen’s Legacy. Yes, there will be lots of artifacts, but I say the best thing that comes from the Legacy Center will be the memories it will stir in the people that visit the center.”

The groundbreaking took place on September 21st in Janesville. With a completion date in the spring of 2021, guests will be able to see the story of General Motors come to life.

JP Cullen’s History with General Motors

Looking for more information on our involvement with GM? Click here to learn more.

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May 28, 2024