I don’t like to run a press release, but I admit that this one is chock full of good quotes. Today, Governor Strickland joined Senator Sherrod Brown, Congressman Tim Ryan and Lt. Governor Lee Fisher in welcoming the roll out of the Chevy Cruze at GM’s Lordstown Plant. Strickland points out that if the Republicans running this election had their way, these manufacturing jobs wouldn’t exist:
“You know the critics out there, they’re always quick with a complaint and firm in their conclusions,” Strickland said. "Frankly, they’ve long since written off manufacturing in Ohio. They say it has no future here. They’ve written off General Motors, they’ve written off this Valley, they’ve written off this plant, and they’ve written off the hardworking men and women of Ohio. But to every naysayer out there planning to meekly surrender our future, let me say this: Look at this car made in Ohio by Ohioans. When I look at new products like the Chevy Cruze, built by the skilled workers of our state, I know Ohio is just getting started.”
“I learned a long time ago that you can never count out the Mahoning Valley. Because the only thing stronger than Valley steel are Valley people,” Strickland added. "Every recession hits this Valley hard. But with every hit, the Valley rises again. And now thousands of Ohioans will rise each day to make great new cars in this plant.”
In February, Strickland and GM announced the creation of 1,200 new jobs to support production of the Cruze. Production of the Cruze began at the Lordstown Complex when autoworkers returned for the traditional July 4 shutdown. The Lordstown Complex employs 4,500 people and has produced more than 14 million vehicles since 1966, making it one of the most productive automotive facilities in the world.
Production of the Chevrolet Cruze also benefits facilities across Ohio. The engine blocks are made in Defiance; dozens of components for the Cruze are stamped in Parma; transmissions are produced in Toledo; and numerous other suppliers in the Valley and across the state contribute parts to the Cruze.
“The auto industry has had some tough times in recent years, but today’s launch is a testament to the staying power of the American-made automobile. Cars like GM’s Chevy Cruze represent the future of the auto industry: safe, affordable, and fuel-efficient cars built right here in the United States,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. “This launch is a landmark moment for the state of Ohio, and a turning point for our country’s manufacturing sector as a whole. Manufacturing helped build this country’s middle class, and its importance to our economy will only grow as our nation demands cleaner and more energy-efficient American-made products like the Cruze.”
“Lordstown begins a new chapter today with the Cruze–the very first of a new family of Chevrolet cars designed to offer outstanding gas mileage, quality, and safety,” Lt. Governor Lee Fisher said. “ I’m extremely proud to stand with the working men and women of this plant who have dedicated themselves to making an unparalleled car that will help drive growth in Ohio’s automobile industry for decades to come.”
“Looking back a decade ago – or even just last year – it was difficult to imagine this moment. But many of us in this community believed it was possible, and today’s celebration highlights the vision and hard work of people at every level of business and government. It is a compelling story of cooperation from the President to the Governor to all of those on the shop floor,” said U.S. Congressman Ryan. “It’s one thing to build a company the size of GM – it’s quite another thing to reinvent that same company. I am proud of the work that has been done here at Lordstown—the cooperation between labor and management, the commitment General Motors has made to the Valley and all of the people who have made difficult – and sometimes unpopular – decisions that were necessary to get us to today. That’s the kind of leadership that has brought us so many of these kinds of celebrations in the last few months.”
The Cruze is already Chevrolet’s top-selling car worldwide this year, with more than 165,000 sold, and second only to the Silverado full-size pickup for all Chevrolet vehicles – even before sales begin this month in the United States.
I’d like to hear Rob Portman, John Kasich, or the Republicans running for Congress tell the people of Ohio that we shouldn’t have saved these jobs in Ohio. That our nation cannot afford to save Ohio auto manufacturing jobs. That, if we had just not required less paperwork or less taxes GM would have been just, fine, just fine.
Where’s Tom Ganley on this? Rob Portman? John Kasich? They weren’t in Lordstown today applauding the success of Ohio manufacturing. Why is that?