In the Central Region, our industry partners have kept our members working and prospering during 2021. As of September 2021, we have increased our membership by 1.4%, bringing our total number of members to 1,515. Our work hours are up more than 166,000 compared to 2020. Arrears are down to 2.5%. We have signed five new contractors to our local collective bargaining agreements and entered five project labor agreements that have provided new working opportunities within the region.
In 2021 we have become new members of four associations that will broaden our opportunities to network with industry owners to introduce and promote SSMRC millwrights and partnering contractors.
Political committees are up and operational within the region. We have scheduled labor-management meetings and three contractor tours of our regional training centers. A new Nashville, Tennessee, training center is under construction, while the Moss Point, Mississippi, training center soon will be home to a new high-speed compressor that will help members enhance their skills.
Power-generation work has been good across the footprint, while General Motors in Springhill, Tennessee, has put more than 150 millwrights to work long term. Ford has announced plans to build a new truck assembly and battery plant in Stanton, Tennessee, that we feel confident will provide more work for our industry partners and offer a prime opportunity for growth within the region.