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A Shifting Jobs Picture in Lordstown as GM Cuts Back, HomeGoods Warehouse Looms

photo of TJX HomeGoods warehouse
Signs like these welcoming TJX are in most yards of the homes near the site of the proposed HomeGoods warehouse.

Lordstown’s employment picture could be changing in the next several years, as two large employers in the village face shifting futures.

Today is the first day Lordstown’s GM plant is down to one shift, due to waning demand for the vehicle that’s built there, the Chevy Cruze. About 1,200 workers on second shift reported for the last time on Friday. Just across the turnpike, 290 acres are slated for a new TJX HomeGoods warehouse, which is projected to create about a thousand jobs. That project has been a source of controversy for some nearby residents, who say it will impact their home values.

Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill says the warehouse could help make up for the jobs lost at GM, especially as the wage gap between the two closes.

“Some of the UAW wages, a lot of them have come down as the newer people came in. The union agreed to that. I don't know where they're at now, but they're not where they used to be years ago. And it will help take some of the sting out.”

Most homes adjacent to the TJX site had signs in their yards welcoming the company. Hill says about half of the acreage will be donated to a land conservancy to prevent future development and provide a buffer for nearby homes.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.