General Motors (NYSE: GM) is planning to add or preserve about 4,200 jobs in eight states (including 2,000 in the Detroit area alone), according to a report in the Detroit Free Press newspaper.

Reportedly, the company’s chief executive officer, Dan Akerson, will speak at a GM transmission plant in Toledo, Ohio to discuss more than $2-billion in investment upgrades at seventeen plants.

The new hires will include hundreds of white-collar workers.

The Free Press said that that the Toledo facility will add between 250 and 400 jobs.

According to the company’s contract with the United Auto Workers union, new hires will earn $14 an hour; about half of what first-tier line workers receive.

In Detroit, the Free Press said, GM plans to add a large number (perhaps as much as 2000) of the new jobs at its Chevrolet Volt factory, which makes the Volt extended-range electric car. Reportedly, the decision to accelerate hiring at this plant was promoted by gasoline price reaching $4 per gallon.

Akerson said GM will build more than 25,000 Volts this year, sharply higher than the original 10,000 target.

GM also plans to expand hiring at the Warren Tech Center in Warren, Mich., as well as powertrain units in Spring Hill, Tenn., and Tonawanda, N.Y.

According to reports, new jobs at GM first are offered to laid-off workers (which presently total some 2000).

The hiring may start a reversal of a decade-long process of pruning off jobs. Over the past decade, GM;’s global workforce has plunged from 600,000 to 200,000. The company, which has emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 has posted five consecutive quarters of quarterly net income.