Manufacturing

Commentary: Valley Can Help Lead Next Generation of Auto Manufacturing

By Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Since the beginning of the American Industrial Revolution, Ohio has been recognized as the nation’s powerhouse of manufacturing. Manufacturing is in our DNA, and Ohioans have always manufactured the goods needed across the globe.

Today, the world is on the cusp of one of the biggest changes in automotive technology in more than a century – the electrification of cars and trucks. 

Ohio has deep experience in manufacturing gasoline and diesel drivetrains. It must now develop expertise in making electric vehicles.

Decisions are being made right now regarding where the factories of the future will be located. Fortunately, Ohio’s workforce has the opportunity to power the future of the next generation of advanced automotive manufacturing.

With its proposal of a battery cell factory, General Motors is offering Ohio – particularly the Mahoning Valley – the chance to be at the forefront of this revolution. 

This is a significant opportunity for Ohio and Ohioans. It represents a chance for our state to reinforce its position as a hub of advanced manufacturing technology, while attracting hundreds of direct jobs, as well as many more indirect jobs and construction jobs.

By making this a reality, Ohio can continue to enjoy the economic benefits that the auto industry has traditionally brought to our state.  

We cannot afford to miss such opportunities. As Ohioans, let’s turn our attention to becoming part of the future by embracing investments in new technology – and by landing the related jobs right here.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.