YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – When General Motors stopped production, thousands of people in the Valley lost their jobs. Now, Lordstown Motors Corp. is hitting the ground running, trying to get production going in GM’s old plant.
Some of those people could find work again.
Close to 500 people packed Stambaugh Auditorium on Wednesday morning to hear from Lordstown Motors.
“I want pieces of the best GM had to offer. I want the best of what the local talent, of what the local companies have to offer,” one of the speakers said.
The company is hosting two events to share its plan for the old GM facility and how local and regional contractors could help.
“We’re really excited that it’s generated that much interest, and we know too that they’re bringing new technologies to the Valley that haven’t been here before. So we would expect to see other companies and other contractors coming into our market as well to support them,” said Lauren Johnson, Regional Chamber member.
The new electric pickup manufacturer plans to start production later this year. They’ve already hired department heads and are in the process of hiring managers.
In the next few months, they’ll start to bring in team members.
“We look to have more like a family atmosphere with our partners, that’s why we’re not referring to them as vendors or contractors. Just want to help grow this Valley and hope that it brings excitement back,” said Johnathan Ritter, of Lordstown Motors.
Wednesday’s event focused on the retooling side.
The company is looking for partners to fill roles such as painting, electric, gas and just general labor.
“I think in the long run we can probably be a great community fit for them and grow Lordstown back up to a big business, hopefully,” a local contractor said.
The company expects to end up with over 2,000 contractors, and they tend to use as many local ones as possible.
“We know that the recovery is about more than that facility, right? It’s all of the suppliers and the service providers who have been part of the GM supply chain for years. We’re gonna have a bigger recovery in a sense, today, moving forward,” Johnson said.
The second event will take place next Tuesday at Stambaugh and will focus on production and automotive work.
From there, contractors and businesses will put in their bids to do the work for Lordstown.