Lordstown Motors

Ryan Invites Biden to Tour ‘Voltage Valley’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Following President Joe Biden’s announcement that his administration plans to covert the entire federal vehicle fleet to electric power, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan has invited the president to visit the Mahoning Valley – or rather, “Voltage Valley.”

“Our regional economic development partners like Youngstown State University, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Brite Energy Innovators, are working closely to fully realize our vision becoming America’s ‘Voltage Valley,’ “ Ryan said in a statement announcing the invitation. “We are leveraging both our traditional and advanced manufacturing strengths, together with our emerging capabilities in clean energy and e-mobility, to revitalize our region, providing well-paying jobs for our citizens, address global energy and environmental concerns, and once again, regain our place as a valued national manufacturing center.”

The invitation, which was also extended to “key administration personnel,” includes two site tours of “modern energy facilities” – unnamed, but presumably Lordstown Motors Corp.’s assembly plant where it will build the Endurance electric-powered truck and the the Ultium Cells plant under construction in Lordstown – and a Voltage Valley roundtable with local leaders in government, education, entrepreneurship, economic development and clean energy research.

The discussion, Ryan said, would cover “strategic initiatives and look for opportunities to accelerate local efforts that align with the current administration’s goals.”

The full text of Ryan’s letter to Biden can be read below:

Dear Mr. President: 

Congratulations on your victory and being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America. The country couldn’t have a more seasoned and honorable diplomat to lead our government. Without question there is much work ahead of us, yet I am delighted that you have an aggressive agenda to turn this country around. With that in mind, I am honored to invite you, along with key administration personnel, to visit my congressional district and the Mahoning Valley (Ohio) at your earliest convenience. 

The Mahoning Valley, traditionally known as America’s “Steel Valley” is rapidly becoming America’s “Voltage Valley”, with last year’s announcement of a $2.8 billion Ultium Lithium/Ion Battery Manufacturing Plant being constructed in Lordstown, and the re-engineering of the vacated GM Lordstown Manufacturing Plant to build Lordstown Motors Electric Vehicles. With more than 100,000 pre-orders, Lordstown Motors will begin production in 2021. 

Our regional economic development partners like Youngstown State University, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, BRITE Energy Innovators, are working closely to fully realize our vision becoming America’s “Voltage Valley”. Youngstown is home to the Obama-Biden Administration’s very first manufacturing innovation institute, America Makes, which has helped our region whose past was defined by steel mills and auto plants, become the center of additive manufacturing and 3-D printing. We are leveraging both our traditional and advanced manufacturing strengths, together with our emerging capabilities in clean energy and e-mobility, to revitalize our region, providing well-paying jobs for our citizens, address global energy and environmental concerns, and once again, regain our place as a valued national manufacturing center. 

Furthermore, I have been working closely with a number of Federal Agencies to realize this vision. Our community has received outstanding support from the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce (EDA), Department of Transportation (TIGER/BUILD grant), the National Institute of Science and Technology (Malcolm Baldrige Communities of Excellence), and others. 

In addition to your touring two modern clean energy facilities, I propose the convening of a “Voltage Valley” roundtable, including area leaders in government, academia, clean energy research, energy entrepreneurship, and economic and workforce development, during which we would discuss our strategic initiatives and look for opportunities to accelerate our efforts and more closely align with your administration’s goals. 

I look forward to your positive response so that we might plan and schedule appropriately. Thank you for your consideration.

Pictured: Lordstown Motors’ assembly plant is among the sites U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan has invited President Joe Biden to tour on a trip to the “Voltage Valley.”

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.