WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Reaction to the news that General Motors is in discussion to sell its shuttered Lordstown auto plant to a Cincinnati-based electric vehicle company was swift on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Representative Tim Ryan, whose congressional district includes Lordstown, had conversations with GM CEO Mary Barra as well as the CEO of Workhorse. He spoke with reporters via a conference call on Wednesday afternoon.
"It's bittersweet," Ryan answered when asked for his initial reaction to the potential sale of the plant. "Most of the workers there are going to have to find a job somewhere else. In the short term, it doesn't look like it's going to have any positive impact."
Ryan, who is one of many candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, did feel that the potential sale could bring benefits to the region down the road.
"The long term could be potentially positive. They're (Workhorse) saying that they'll start off with a few hundred jobs, which is good. It's not the 3,000 that were out there before, but it's a step in the right direction. It's in the electric vehicle market which has a lot of potential," he added.
GM confirmed the addition of 450 new manufacturing jobs at already-existing facilities in Parma, Toledo, and Moraine, along with 1,800 planned jobs in Michigan and Kentucky. However, Ryan still couldn't help but reflect on the damage done to his region.
"The past couple years have been painful and heartbreaking for our community. We’ve seen thousands of good-paying jobs lost as the third, second and eventually last shift at GM Lordstown disappeared."