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Ford expansion boosts local economy

Ford Motor Company’s June 2 announcement that it is investing $1.5 billion in Lorain County at Ohio’s Avon Lake Assembly Plant to assemble an all-new commercial electric vehicle is one some of the best economic news this region has had in recent memory.

Not only has Ford pledged to stay in this part of northeast Ohio, but the automaker will create 1,800 new, well-paying jobs with health care benefits and a better quality of life.

And the expanded plant will continue to produce Ford’s E-Series minivans, medium-duty trucks and Super Duty Chassis Cabs.

Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and JobsOhio joined Ford officials and local elected officials to announce the groundbreaking news that the Ohio Assembly Plant will assemble commercial electric vehicles.

DeWine also mentioned that the ingenuity and talent of Ohio’s automotive workforce is second to none, and Ford’s investment in the Ohio Assembly Plant will play a vital role in growing electric vehicle space.

Ford has been an Ohio partner for generations, and its confidence in the Ohio Assembly Plant operations ensures electric vehicle manufacturing in Lorain County will be essential for decades to come.

Ford also announced the creation of 90 additional jobs and a $100 million investment between its Lima Engine and Sharonville Transmission plants, which will boost those regions.

But, construction at the Ohio assembly plant is expected to begin later this year with assembly on the commercial electric vehicle beginning mid-decade.

What is impressive about this announcement is that Ford, the DeWine-Husted administration, the Ohio Department of Development, the cities of Avon Lake and Sheffield Lake, the Village of Sheffield, Lorain County , local and state officials and the Ohio Congressional delegation all worked with JobsOhio to bring the project to the Ohio assembly plant.

JobsOhio, the state’s private nonprofit economic development corporation, has focused on supporting the automotive supply chain as original equipment manufacturers have focused on production of electric vehicles.

And JP Nauseef, President and CEO of JobsOhio, acknowledged that the Ohio Assembly Plant represents Ohio’s automotive heritage and world-class workforce, and also shared the commitment with Ford to advance innovation as it transitions into the electric vehicle space for future production.

As manufacturing continues to evolve in Lorain County, Nauseef said JobsOhio and its partners are committed to protecting and growing Ohio’s automotive industry by positioning the state as a global vehicle leader. electrical.

Parts of the factory are located in Avon Lake, Sheffield Village and Sheffield Lake, and of course the leaders of these municipalities are delighted.

Lorain County Commissioner Matt Lundy, who is chairman of the board, recalled Ford kept telling him to be patient when he asked when the promised future expansion would take place.

For Lundy, it was worth the wait.

Sheffield Village Mayor John D. Hunter admitted that when he received a call from Ford and the UAW regarding future plans for the Ohio assembly plant, he was extremely excited and delighted.

A few years ago, Hunter predicted that Ford and the UAW would reach an agreement to build the electric vehicles at the Ohio assembly plant.

And now Hunter, and probably thousands of others, have renewed their faith in Ford and the UAW, and with good reason.

Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka called the announcement a big day for Lorain County.

And for Zilka, Ford’s announcement finally puts an end to rumors over the years that the company was leaving the area.

Zilka also credited all of the entities working together to keep Ford here, including the automaker itself, city mayors, UAW and JobsOhio.

Ted Esborn, economic development manager for Avon Lake, said focusing on tax revenue misses the much bigger picture and any investment bodes well for a plant’s future, but that this investment is special.

Pat Hastings, Director of Services for the City of Sheffield Lake, echoed the region’s mayors during Ford’s announcement, adding that it is very exciting for economic growth and stability in Lorain County, and he highlighted the partnerships that made this possible.

State Senator Nathan Manning called Ford’s investment a testament to the world-class workforce in Lorain County and northeast Ohio, and one he’s proud to have supported megaproject legislation that will help Ohio win life-changing investments like this.

It’s an understatement that northeast Ohio is thrilled that Ford has chosen this region to help manufacture this commercial electric vehicle.

But the continuation of the region’s vast heritage of automotive innovation also played a role.