Brown, Williams discuss aid for Ohio auto plants

The Youngstown Vindicator

YOUNGSTOWN

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown met with former Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams, the director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, to discuss what can be done in Ohio cities that lost vehicle plants in recent years.

“We talked about good news with General Motors in Lordstown, but there’s other issues that aren’t good,” Brown, a Democrat, told The Vindicator on Wednesday after the 30-minute private meeting in Williams’ Washington, D.C. office.

The GM complex in Lordstown has built the company’s Chevrolet Cruze since the car’s launch in September 2010, and added a third shift of workers that summer. Also, GM announced recently it will build the diesel Cruze in Lordstown.

But during the past few years, auto plants in Mansfield, Moraine and Twinsburg have closed, while others have cut employees.

“We discussed reindustrializing those areas” with closed plants, Brown said. “The closed facilities should be used for multiple purposes, and not just sold to the highest bidder for scrap. We’re working with the administration to bring more manufacturing into these facilities.”

Brown praised Williams for “thoroughly understand[ing] the challenges facing former automotive communities and their many workers.”

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Brown, Williams discuss aid for Ohio auto plants »