Lordstown’s Past and Future Attending State of the Union

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Individuals representing the former General Motors Lordstown Complex’s future and past will be in attendance when President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union Address Tuesday evening.

Steve Burns, CEO of Lordstown Motors Corp., which purchased the Lordstown complex last year, is attending the event as the guest of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio.

During an event Tuesday for potential suppliers at Stambaugh Auditorium, John LaFleur, chief operating officer for Lordstown Motors, announced Burns was in Washington to attend the speech. Ryan’s office confirmed that Burns would attend as the congressman’s guest.

“He wishes he could be here but he’s at the State of the Union as an invited guest,” LaFleur told the audience of some 400 potential suppliers. “Clearly we’re getting some attention from the nation and not just from the Mahoning Valley, or what we call Voltage Valley.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced Saturday he had invited Dave Green, former president of United Auto Workerd Local 1112, to attend the address. Green moved to Indiana after being forced to relocate following the closure of the GM Lordstown plant nearly a year ago.

Both Brown and Green were critical of Trump and his policies in the Saturday news release.

“President Trump has betrayed workers at every turn. The workers at Lordstown helped create GM’s financial success and, instead of fighting to save these jobs, the President sided with corporations and gave companies like GM massive tax breaks to shut down American factories and ship jobs overseas,” Brown said. “We need to do better to honor the dignity of work in this country – and we can start by putting workers like Dave at the center of our tax and trade policies. If you love this country, you fight for the people who make it work.”

Green said he was honored to be Brown’s guest Tuesday night and expressed his appreciation to the senator for standing with working people throughout his career.
 
“Unlike President Trump who has turned his back on working families and their communities, Senator Brown continues to fight for the least privileged. Corporations need to focus more on the communities they do business in as opposed to shareholder returns,” Green said in a statement. “People are worth more than a paycheck.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Monday he had invited Dr. Patrice Palmer, founder of nonprofit Chosen4Change and head of Franklin County’s Pathways Achieving Recovery by Choice program, to accompany him to the speech.

Pathways is a voluntary recovery program for incarcerated women with substance-use disorders and often a co-occurring mental illness. The program is funded in part by $881,070 in federal grants Franklin County received through the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act that Portman cosponsored.

“As the head of Pathways, an Ohio-based program that helps women deal with mental-health, substance-abuse, and recidivism issues, Patrice has played a leading role in helping some of the most vulnerable women in the Columbus area turn their lives around and break the cycle of incarceration that has harmed so many,” Portman said. “Pathways is making terrific use of the funding they received through my bipartisan CARA legislation to help fund their voluntary recovery program.”

Pictured: Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns is attending Tuesday’s State of the Union address as the guest of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.