AVON LAKE, Ohio – A better economic announcement couldn’t have dropped on Avon Lake than the one that dropped on June 2.
Ford announced in a news release a new investment, expansion and a new electric vehicle for the Ohio Assembly Plant that includes Avon Lake. The company has said they will invest $1.5 billion in the Ohio plant, add 1,800 new union jobs and produce an all-new “electric commercial vehicle” at the site.
But the overall plan is even bigger it was noted. It calls for a $3.7 billion investment in Ford facilities nationwide and 6,200 new union manufacturing jobs not only in Ohio but also in Michigan and Missouri.
Locally, the Ohio Assembly Plant sits on land that touches not only Avon Lake, but Sheffield Village and Sheffield Lake as well.
According to the news release the plant employs about 1,740 employees, “so Ford’s announced job creation will roughly double the number of employees at the plant. Ford has not announced yet how much of the building expansion will be in each city.”
Estimates of income tax and property tax revenue from the announcement have not been provided by Ford yet either. But Ted Esborn, Avon Lake’s Economic Development Director, said in the release, “Focusing on tax revenue misses the much larger picture. Today’s announcement is first and foremost about the future of the Ohio Assembly Plant. How many times in the last 40 years have Avon Lakers faced the threat of the plant’s closing?
“Any investment bodes well for the future of a plant, but this investment is special. Ford is giving the Ohio Assembly Plant the ability to produce electric vehicles, which are a huge part of the company’s plan for the future. That gives us reason to celebrate today the safeguarding of the plant into future decades. We will benefit from tax revenue, but that doesn’t come close to the benefit we will continue to receive from having the Ohio Assembly Plant in our community as a significant source of jobs and an excellent corporate citizen.”
“This is wonderful news for the city of Avon Lake and all of Lorain County,” said Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka. “We are all fortunate for this major commitment by Ford to stay in Northern Ohio and grateful they should be here for many years to come. We have worked closely with Ford Motor Company over the years and Jobs Ohio worked hard to make it a reality. The United Auto Workers have also played a major role in working with Ford to help make it all happen. It has been a team effort with so many benefitting.”
When Zilka was asked later for additional comment he said, “The administration of the City of Avon Lake is very pleased about the announcement by Ford to bring another product line to the Ohio Truck Plant. It was a complete surprise, and we were not informed of the details until the day of the announcement. The plant straddles the cities of Avon Lake, Sheffield Lake and Sheffield Village and it will be dedicated to an all-new commercial electric vehicle (EV).
“The number of jobs to be created is 1,800 and it has not yet been determined how many jobs will be assigned to each community. It appears that the largest part of the construction will be in Sheffield Village.
“We are pleased that Ford feels comfortable committing $1.5 billion in northern Lorain County as local, county and state government agencies have worked hard to make sure that Ford receives the support that it deserves.
“Another important player in the equation is the United Auto Workers team. They have been a steady partner as they have assured that a steady and skilled work force is capable of building a quality product upon which to build the future of auto/truck assembly in Northern Ohio.
“Lorain County and the State of Ohio have much to gain as the construction moves forward.”
Superintendent of Avon Lake Schools, Robert Scott, was also pleased with the announcement. He said, “The Avon Lake Ford Plant expansion/improvement announcement is exciting for our community. The long-term stability of the Ford plant is a welcome development for the city and the schools. There will be a lot of details to come out as Ford works toward ‘shovels in the ground’ before the end of 2022, but this is a positive development for everyone involved and the Avon Lake School District is looking forward to working with everyone involved.”
Zilka noted, “The plant is scheduled to begin putting out a product sometime in the middle of this decade.”