AKRON, Ohio (AP) _ Local union leaders are working with Akron and surrounding Summit County to persuade Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to build its new $500 million plant in northeast Ohio and bring potentially hundreds more jobs to the area where the company was founded.
After Goodyear announced plans in May for a state-of-the-art factory to make about 6 million tires annually, Akron’s mayor sent a letter to Goodyear’s CEO, the city council passed a resolution on the issue, and the local union made no secret of its willingness to do what it can to make the facility a reality in the Akron area.
“We’ve let Goodyear know that pretty much anything it would take to land that facility here, we’re willing to make happen,” Jack Hefner, president of United Steelworkers Local 2, told the Akron Beacon Journal . “To do nothing, you get nothing. If they don’t build it here, it certainly won’t be from a lack of trying.”
That’s the approach they took several years ago in persuading Goodyear to keep its headquarters in Akron, the newspaper said.
Goodyear has said it would consider sites in both North and South America for what will be its first new plant in the Americas since 1990. It likely won’t discuss the locations under consideration until a choice is announced early next year, company spokesman Keith Price said.
“We haven’t ruled any place out,” he said. “And that includes Akron.”
Local officials are awaiting more details from Goodyear about what it needs for the facility. Incentives that could be offered might include state tax credits, job-training grants from Summit County and land from the city, said Adele Roth, Akron’s deputy planning director.
“If we had to buy property, it would be worth it,” Council President Garry Moneypenny said.