GM clearly talking to another company about Lordstown plant, governor tells Vindy


YOUNGSTOWN

Gov. Mike DeWine said he’s been given no indication from General Motors that the automaker plans to use the idled Lordstown plant, but “it’s pretty clear they’re having discussions” with a company or companies about taking over the facility.

“My focus is to do everything to get jobs back in that plant, understanding that our hands are really tied until there is some movement from General Motors,” he told The Vindicator editorial board Tuesday. “They still own the plant. If General Motors would tell us today X company is interested, here’s what they want to do, we can contact X company and start working with them on what we can put together” as far as an incentive package.

GM is not sharing that information with state officials, however, which makes it difficult to assist a company that may use the Lordstown facility, DeWine said.

But the governor added GM “might let us know in four to six weeks.”

“The plant will be maintained in a safe and secure status, and the property will continue to be owned by GM,” Cheryl McCarron, a GM spokeswoman, wrote in an email when asked to address DeWine’s comments. “Long-term disposition of the facility will be determined during the UAW/GM contract negotiations later this year.

“Other than that, we are not going to speculate,” she added.

DeWine was also asked about bipartisan efforts in the Ohio House to eliminate House Bill 70, also referred to as the Youngstown Plan, governing Youngstown schools.

DeWine said he is “very open” to a discussion on changing the law, but first wants a report from Paola DeMaria, the state superintendent of public instruction, to be released that provides recommendations.

Read more about his remarks to The Vindicator editorial board in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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