As of last week, over 417 people had been transferred from General Motors Lordstown to other plants.
–132 went to Spring Hill, Tennessee, near Nashville
–94 went to Flint, Michigan
–76 went to Toledo, Ohio
–52 went to Fort Wayne, Indiana
–31 went to Wentzville, Missouri, near St. Louis
–18 went to Bedford, Indiana
–14 went to Tonawanda, New York, near Buffalo
Three people who made the move talked about the pressure to make a quick decision, the anxiety of the move and missing their families.
Dan Aurilio now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“I don’t have much to do. My family’s in Ohio until June,” he said.
Husband and wife Mark and Brandi Rogers now live 40 minutes away from the GM plant near Spring Hill, Tennessee.
“In November, after they made the announcement, we were like, ‘OK, it’s time to go,'” Brandi said.
Mark and Brandi were high school sweethearts at Lordstown High School. They also own a house in Austintown, so they’re currently making two mortgage payments.
On Dec. 21, 25 days after the announcement Lordstown was closing, they both received letters about transferring. In 30 days they were packed and gone, now making GMC Acadias in Spring Hill.
“There was a possibility she could have ended up in Arlington and I could have wound up in Flint. That doesn’t make for a good marriage. We were calling it forced and divorced,” Mark said.
“It was hard to get used to. I’d never been here before I moved here,” Aurilio said.
On the same day the Rogers couple started in Spring Hill, Aurilio started making Chevrolet Silverados and Sierra pickups in Fort Wayne.
“Everybody’s been real nice. Everybody seems to be from somewhere else at this plant, they seem to have a lot of transfers. The guy next to me is from Defiance, a few temps, I mean just people from all over,” Aurilio said.
Aurilio works six days a week. When he gets off work Saturday afternoon, he drives four hours home to Howland to visit his wife and 5-year-old son. He spends the night and returns Sunday evening. His plan is to buy a house in Fort Wayne and move his family there after school lets out.
“I have my good and bad days. I had a few weeks of anxiety, tears, and then when you see stuff in the news about maybe something might come you wonder if maybe you made the right choice. Who knows what the right decision is, GM’s not going to tell you,” Aurilio said.
Aurilio, Mark and Brandi signed three-year deals, so they can’t leave until then.
Except for missing home, they all say they like where their new locations are.
“The Nashville area is very nice. It’s really up and coming. A lot of things to do, so that’s really nice also,” Brandi said.
“Everywhere you look there’s construction, they’re building, there’s constantly something going up,” Mark said.
“No good pizza places here, I got to tell you that. That’s the terrible thing. Got to come home for that I guess,” Aurilio said.
“We’ve only been here seven weeks and it was kind of a whirlwind. We had four weeks just to do everything and move down here, so we haven’t been home yet, but definitely planning on going there,” Brandi said.
“Yeah, I’m doing ok, under the circumstances, yeah,” Aurilio said.
Mark and Brandi say the Spring Hill plant is so big and so spread out that even though they work the same shift, they have to drive separately.
Aurilio is living with someone else from the Lordstown plant. They rented an apartment about 10 minutes away from the Fort Wayne plant.
Both plants are working three shifts, six and sometimes seven days a week. They say there are always requests for overtime.