Valley’s two state senators visiting Workhorse today to discuss GM Lordstown complex

Staff report


State Sens. Sean J. O’Brien and Michael Rulli will travel today to the headquarters of Workhorse Group Inc. to discuss with company leaders their potential interest in purchasing the idled General Motors plant in Lordstown.

“Sen. Rulli and I look forward to sitting down once again with leaders at Workhorse to discuss the possibility of them purchasing and bringing the production of new electric vehicles to the GM Lordstown plant in my district,” said O’Brien of Bazetta, D-32nd. “Our last meeting [in May] was very productive, and we hope to continue making progress on that front, with an eye toward bringing jobs back to our corner of the state.”

A manufacturer of all-electric utility trucks, Workhorse and an affiliated entity have expressed interest in purchasing the Lordstown plant. Details haven’t been revealed about the new company Workhorse has created or its plans for the GM facility.

Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday in Lancaster, Ohio, that Workhorse “just this week secured the financing to move forward to keep jobs in that community [Lordstown], and we’re going to continue to look for ways to support that.”

But local officials working to find a company for the GM complex said they don’t know what Pence is talking about regarding Workhorse.

“Sen. O’Brien and I are determined to put this situation to bed and breathe new life into the Lordstown plant,” said Rulli of Salem, R-3rd. “Working with Workhorse and all interested parties to bring a new product to this plant would go far toward revitalizing the Valley.”

While at Workhorse’s headquarters in Cincinnati, O’Brien and Rulli will also go on a full tour of the company’s facility there.

A Workhorse spokesman has not returned calls seeking comment on the company or Pence’s statement.

GM ended production of the Chevrolet Cruze at its 53-year-old Lordstown plant in March, eliminating the last 1,600 jobs left at the facility that employed about 4,500 in 2017.

Meanwhile, state Reps. Gil Blair of Mineral Ridge, D-63rd, and Michael O’Brien of Warren, D-64th, renewed their request Thursday to meet with representatives of the Trump administration. It was the same day the president had campaign rally in Cincinnati.

The representatives from Trumbull County have been requesting a meeting since June to discuss the idled General Motors Lordstown facility.

The two said Pence’s comments about Workhorse funding were “misstatements,” and it highlights the need for communication between the White House and local leaders.