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Ford to create 1,800 new jobs at Avon Lake assembly plant

A rendering of the planned expansion of the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake.
Ford Motor Company
A rendering of the planned expansion of the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake.

The Ford assembly plant in Avon Lake will get 1,800 new union jobs, more than doubling the workforce, as part of a plan to build a new commercial electric vehicle at the facility.

“You will see shovels in the ground later this year," said Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford Blue, at a news conference in Lorain County Thursday. "And you will be building an all new commercial electric vehicle in the middle of the decade.”

Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker said the footprint of the plant will expand, but she did not provide a square footage for the $1.5 billion investment.

And while Felker did not offer details on the new EV to be built in Avon Lake, she said it is an all new commercial vehicle, rather than a new generation of an existing model. It’s fitting, Felker said, to build the new EV at the Ohio Assembly Plant which currently builds other commercial vehicles.

“These are 1,800 jobs of the future,” Gov. Mike DeWine said at Thursday's news conference. “This is the future of manufacturing. This is the future of Ford Motor Company. This is the future of our workers, as we make electric vehicles.”

Ford also announced another 4,400 new jobs at other Midwest plants in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri, including 90 jobs and $100 million in investments in the Lima Engine Plant and the Sharonville Transmission plant in southwest Ohio.

The company also will move an additional 3,000 temporary workers from around the country to permanent full-time status including health care benefits. Felker could not say how many of those full time jobs will be in Ohio, but she said they will become permanent employees as of June 13.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, a tax credit and grant assistance will be among the state’s incentives to Ford for the Avon Lake plant expansion.

DeWine discussed Ford’s plans for a “next generation vehicle” at a City Club of Cleveland event in March 2021. At the time, the United Auto Workers had warned its workers at the plant that Ford planned to move production of the new truck to Mexico.

The company had announced in 2019 it would ramp up production in Avon in 2023 with up to 1,500 new jobs and a $900 million investment.

“They have assured us that the future of Ford, as far as in Ohio, is very good,” DeWine said at the City Club. “The jobs that are in there now are not in jeopardy in any way, shape or form. What we're talking to them about is their future plans.”

Annie Wu is the deputy editor of digital content for Ideastream Public Media.