The Lordstown plant in Ohio is officially “unallocated,” to use General Motors language, and that has left hundreds of workers from the plant left with tough decisions to make.
Some made those choices earlier, however, and local ABC News affiliate ABC 13 reported Tuesday that dozens of former Lordstown employees have transferred to GM’s Toledo transmission plant. The plant builds 9- and 10-speed automatic transmissions. Workers like Joe Stanton said it was a tough decision to leave the Mahoning Valley, and he left a lot of family behind in the process. He explained that he was one of the luckier ones, however, since his children are grown. It made the decision to relocate to Toledo easier.
Others, he said, don’t have that fortune with young families that laid-off workers need to support and make decisions surrounding their future. For them, picking up and starting over is a much more difficult task.
Another former Lordstown worker, Dina Mays, said the decision was actually quite easy since most of her family lives in the Toledo area. However, she hasn’t sold her home near Lordstown and drives back every Friday night and leaves Sunday morning to make the trek across the state of Ohio. For Mays, the Toledo plant will hopefully allow her to ride out the rest of her working career as she heads into retirement. Many transferred employees are hopeful that the Toledo plant is part of GM’s long-term future.
The plant has received $1 billion in investment since 2011.
For those left in Lordstown, it’s a waiting game. GM has shown no signs it’s willing to place a new vehicle in the plant for production. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has said GM has something brewing behind the scenes, potentially the plant’s sale, but doesn’t know any other details. The state is ready to offer funding and assistance to keep the plant open in one way or another.