A big announcement is expected in Columbus on Friday about a new tenant for the old GM plant in Moraine. As Lewis Wallace reports from Ohio Public Radio member station WYSO, the news is a symbolic win for southwest Ohio.
The announcement comes at a good time: just past the five-year anniversary of GM leaving Moraine, which a lot of people saw as a death knell for Dayton’s economy. Now the sprawling factory south of Dayton is a complex of white buildings with not much inside, a skeleton.
But Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says that skeleton is getting a new life.
"The work we’ve done has really paid off," Brown said. "There will be real jobs, real manufacturing jobs at Moraine."
The new anchor tenant, still referred to by the code name “Project Southbound” until a formal announcement, would bring up to 800 jobs to the area.
Mike Davis with the City of Moraine says government support has kept the plan trucking along.
"The state of Ohio through JobsOhio, their non-profit arm has really geared up and provided a large level of assistance," Davis said. "The City of Moraine has been a part of that."
And Montgomery County also stepped in with a $700,000 grant.
Project Southbound would join five small companies already occupying parts of Moraine Assembly, which has been renamed Progress Park.
Several news outlets are reporting the newcomer is a Chinese manufacturer -- but government leaders are tight-lipped until after the official event.