BROOK PARK, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined workers and Ford Motor Company leaders today at the Cleveland Engine Plant #1 in Brook Park to highlight new funds recently announced through the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program. Cleveland Engine Plant #1 is one of three Ohio plants receiving a share of the $5.9 billion in federal loans awarded to Ford to help retool factories so they can produce advanced energy vehicles.
“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. I applaud Ford Motor Company for utilizing Ohio’s manufacturing base to build the next generation of advanced energy vehicles. Ohio can become the Silicon Valley of clean energy manufacturing.”
On June 23, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $8 billion in conditional loan commitments from the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program. Commonly referred to as “Section 136” funding, the funds derive their name from the section of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The program provides bridge loans to companies making cars and components in the U.S. that increase fuel efficiency by at least 25 percent above 2005 levels.
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. The funds are expected to retain 35,000 Ford jobs across the country.
Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1, opened in 1951 and located in Brook Park, Ohio, employs 250 people. In May, Ford announced that it would invest $55 million for tooling and equipment needed to produce the EcoBoost engine. Cleveland’s plant is the first to produce this fuel-efficient engine, which is expected to provide 20 percent better fuel economy and 15 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions.
Brown is a leading proponent of assistance for the auto industry, auto parts suppliers, and small and mid-sized manufacturers. Along with Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH), Brown led the bipartisan fight to provide additional assistance to the auto industry last December. He is the author of the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act of 2009, legislation incorporated in the House-passed clean energy bill that would create a $30 billion revolving loan program to help auto suppliers and other small and mid-sized manufacturers retool for the clean energy industry. Brown’s bill would also expand the focus of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to include support for manufacturers transitioning to the clean energy economy.
“We can revive American manufacturing through investments in clean energy,” Brown said of the bill. “This bill will help our manufacturers retool, put our auto suppliers back to work, and rebuild Ohio’s middle class.”
More than 440,000 Ohio jobs directly or indirectly depend on the auto industry. Auto suppliers directly account for nearly 100,000 Ohio jobs. The domestic manufacturing industry helped build our nation’s middle class and accounts for $1.6 trillion – nearly 12 percent – of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It accounts for nearly three-fourths of the nation’s industrial research and development (R&D) – with four manufacturing industries alone (computers and electronics, chemicals, aerospace, and autos) accounting for 56 percent of private sector R&D. The industry also accounts for 35 percent of value added in world high technology product production.