Official seeking Rolls-Royce for Salem
SALEM — City councilman and mayoral candidate Clyde Brown has asked Gov. Ted Strickland to consider putting a Rolls-Royce plant in Salem.
Brown said today he would be happy enough to see the facility in northern Columbiana County. The city’s industrial park is full.
The councilman said if the plant came to Salem, “I don’t know where we would put it.”
Details on the proposed plant are sketchy.
The Associated Press said a company spokeswoman had confirmed that eight states, including Ohio, are being considered. The others are Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
The engine maker works with civil and military aviators and power plants. According to its Web site, it has annual sales of $3.9 billion, some 5,700 U.S. and 1,600 Canadian employees, facilities at 64 locations in 26 states and eight Canadian sites in six provinces, and annually spends almost $1 billion on U.S. suppliers that generates roughly 11,000 additional U.S. jobs.
Strickland, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and other Ohio economic development officials traveled to Virginia earlier this month for talks with Rolls-Royce officials.
Strickland’s spokesperson, Keith Dailey, said he could not provide any information about the meeting or the company’s plans.
Rolls-Royce officials required state officials sign a confidentiality agreement not to divulge the company’s plans, which is common in these situations, Dailey said.
The company was taking information on what each state has to offer the company.
Brown said he found out about the proposed project from the Internet.
Brown based his letter on Salem’s location. Salem is close to a large part of the country’s population, and offers shipping by water, rail, and highway.
The city also has an experienced work force and is close to colleges, he said.
The city has lost several plants in recent years and its officials will be working with the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce to reverse the trend.
“We just can’t wait for things to happen. We have to go after every possibility,” Brown said.