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Ford reveals 'major economic announcement' with Northeast Ohio to make all-new electric vehicle in $1.5 billion investment

Ford says this plan will also result in 1,800 union jobs at the plant in Northeast Ohio.

SHEFFIELD, Ohio — Ford has revealed plans of a "major economic announcement" to add more than 6,200 new U.S. manufacturing jobs in the Midwest with $3.7 billion in investments at facilities in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri.

Here’s what Ford says their plan means for Ohio: $1.5 billion investment and 1,800 union jobs at Ohio Assembly Plant to assemble an all-new EV commercial vehicle starting mid-decade, along with an additional 90 jobs and $100 million investment between Lima Engine and Sharonville Transmission plants.

Construction at Ford's assembly plant in Lorain County is expected to begin later this year. The vehicle production itself is still years away. The Ohio Assembly Plant sits in three different cities: Avon Lake, Sheffield, and Sheffield Lake.

The Ohio Assembly Plant produces E-Series vans, medium duty trucks and Super Duty chassis cabs for Ford. The plant currently employs approximately 1,740 employees, so Thursday's announcement means the amount of workers there will double.

According to a release from the city of Avon Lake, Ford has not yet announced how much of the building expansion will be in each city. Yet, Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka believes there is reason to celebrate regardless.

“This is wonderful news for the city of Avon Lake and all of Lorain County. 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,” said Zilka in a statement. “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 team effort with so many benefitting. The plant is scheduled to begin putting out a product sometime in the middle of this decade.”

Ford wouldn't give details of the commercial EV to be built at the Ohio Assembly Plant by mid-decade. The factory has been on the edge of closure for much of its life but has managed to survive.

Ford executives joined Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to discuss these plans during a 10:30 a.m. press conference at the Sheffield assembly plant on Abbe Road North. You can watch the full press conference in the player below:

“The ingenuity and talent of Ohio’s automotive workforce is second to none, and Ford’s investment in Avon Lake will play an essential role in growing the EV space,” Gov. DeWine said in a statement. “Ford has been a partner in Ohio for generations, and its confidence in the Ford Ohio Assembly Plant operations secures EV operations in Lorain County that will be critical for decades to come.”

Several members of Congress from Ohio also expressed excitement over the Ford announcement. 

“Just as it always has, the future of American automotive excellence will be built in Ohio by Ohio’s workers,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-09). “Bringing nearly 2,000 union jobs, Ford’s investment represents an exciting step forward for the hardworking Middle Class families of our region. As the industry evolves with new electric vehicle technology, we must be ready to evolve with it. I will continue fighting for the workforce development and training programs that are necessary for workers to be ready for these in-demand, good-paying jobs.”

“A dozen years ago, plenty of politicians wrote off the American auto industry. We have proved them wrong every day since, and today Ohio represents the future of the global auto industry. Ford’s decision to produce its next generation of commercial electric vehicles in Ohio and bring more jobs to Lorain County is a testament to the strength of our state’s manufacturing sector and the talent of Ohio’s workers,” added Sen. Sherrod Brown. “This investment will boost our state’s economy by adding 1,800 union jobs to northeast Ohio, proving that you should always bet on the American worker and the quality of our products.”

Here are the impacts expected in Michigan and Missouri…

  • Michigan: $2 billion investment and 3,200 union jobs including the creation of nearly 2,000 jobs throughout three assembly plants in Michigan to increase production of the all-new F-150 Lightning electric truck to 150,000 per year at Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, produce an all-new Ranger pickup at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne and an all-new Mustang coupe at Flat Rock Assembly Plant. The investment also includes $35 million to build an all-new Ford Customer Service Division packaging facility in Monroe that will create more than 600 union jobs, with operations expected to begin in 2024 to help accelerate parts shipments for Ford customers.
  • Missouri: $95 million investment and 1,100 union jobs for a third shift at Kansas City Assembly Plant to increase production of the Transit, America’s best-selling commercial van, and the all-new E-Transit electric van.

Ohio is offering about $200 million in incentives to Ford, while Michigan is contributing about $150 million. Although there will be a small capital investment in Missouri, there are no incentives for this project.

“These actions – which come more than a year ahead of 2023 contract negotiations – are part of the company’s Ford+ growth strategy and include plans for an all-new global Mustang coupe and Ranger pickup for North America, as well as an all-new electric commercial vehicle for Ford Pro customers,” the company said in a press release.

The company also said their overall plan is also expected to result in the creation of an estimated 74,000 additional indirect non-Ford jobs nationally.

“Ford plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years to continuously improve the workplace experience for manufacturing employees,” the company continued. “As a result of discussions with the UAW, Ford is taking steps to identify and address the top wants and needs of employees. Potential enhancements include better access to healthy food, new EV chargers in plant parking lots, better lighting in parking lots and more. While improvements will differ by plant, this is the first phase of workplace changes, with more to come.”

Ford added that they also plan to convert nearly 3,000 temporary UAW-Ford workers to permanent full-time status while providing all hourly employees healthcare benefits on the first day of employment.

“The UAW and Ford broke with convention by not waiting until formal UAW contract negotiations to announce new vehicles, plant investments and workplace improvements to continue scaling operations to deliver on customer demand,” the company said. “The current UAW contract expires in 2023.

Earlier this year, Gov. DeWine also revealed an unrelated $20 billion plan involving Intel in central Ohio as the future home for what is being called the company's "most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the world."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated story on Jan. 21, 2022.

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