GM was approved for a state tax credit in exchange for a commitment to retain 3,700 employees in Lordstown, the state said.
That didn’t happen. Instead, GM slated the plant for closure, affecting an estimated 4,000-plus jobs in and around the plant in total, beginning with 1,600 layoffs in March 2019.
“GM has been a major employer in the state of Ohio for decades, investing in both the economy and our workforce," Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement. “While the decision to close the Lordstown plant was terrible news for workers and their families in the Mahoning Valley, today’s announcement will bring relief as well as investment by GM who has committed to investing $12 million in the local community for workforce, education, and infrastructure needs.”
He added: "GM has also committed to returning $28 million to the state for the job creation and retention credits they were awarded. GM remains involved in auto production in Lordstown to produce batteries for electric vehicles which is also good news for the future of the automotive industry.”
“Today’s action protects taxpayer dollars, while also allowing for continued investment in the local community,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of development and chair of the Ohio Tax Credit Authority.
GM has other state incentives for its operations in Toledo and Defiance. The company is compliant with those agreements, the state said.
“Through these investments, GM continues to strengthen its significant manufacturing presence in Ohio,” Phil Kienle, GM vice president of North American manufacturing and labor relations, said in a statement, referring to the newly announced Ohio investments. “Our Toledo and Defiance teams continue to focus on building world-class products for our customers and these actions are an investment in their futures.”
GM co-owns with Isuzu the DMAX plant in Moraine, where about 800 workers continue to make the Duramax diesel truck engine.
In late 2008, GM closed its last significant standalone Dayton-area plant, the SUV assembly plant in Moraine, which once employed thousands of workers.