Brown Applauds Creation of Auto Council; Praises New Funds to Retool Ohio Auto Plants

Ford’s Cleveland Engine Plant, Lima Engine Plant, and Sharonville Transmission Plant Will Receive Funds from Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program to Retool for Clean Energy Manufacturing

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded the creation of the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers today and praised the release of $8 billion in conditional loan commitments from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program.

Ford plants in Ohio, including the Cleveland Engine Plant, the Lima Engine Plant, and the Sharonville Transmission Plant, will receive a share of $5.9 billion in loans provided to Ford to retool auto factories for clean energy vehicle manufacturing.

“These loans will help Ohio automakers produce the fuel-efficient cars people want to drive,” Brown said. “They will ensure that Ohio workers manufacture the cars of the 21st century.”

Last week, Brown introduced The Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act of 2009. The bill would establish a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to assist auto supplier and other small and medium-sized firms in retooling, expanding or establishing domestic clean energy manufacturing operations. The IMPACT Act would also modernize the MEP, the federal-state partnership that provides support to small and mid-sized manufacturers. More information on Brown’s IMPACT Act can be found here.

Brown also applauded a new Executive Order signed today by President Obama creating the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers.

“This is exactly the type of coordinated response our auto communities and workers need,” Brown said today of the council. “A major plant closing is an economic disaster and the federal government needs to treat it with the same level of response we give to natural disasters.”

Earlier this year, Brown introduced legislation that would accelerate federal assistance to communities facing sudden and severe job loss and economic distress. Brown’s bill would create a “rapid response” program to coordinate federal assistance in economic and workforce development initiatives through partnerships among the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, Agriculture, and Small Business Administration.

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