The Press 12/28
Special to The Press
It’s been approximately six weeks since a $561,000 state grant was offered to the local Goodyear plant, but there is still no news on whether the offer has been accepted or how long the offer will remain on the table.
It was in November that the State of Tennessee, through the state Department of Economic and Community Development, made the offer to Goodyear.
Laura Elkins, with the state Department of Economic and Community Development, explained the funds that have been offered to Goodyear are being channeled through the local Industrial Development Corporation and they are earmarked for “plant modernization.”
Ms. Elkins is the director of communications for the state Department of Economic and Community Development.
In a telephone interview with The Messenger Wednesday, she said in addition to the $561,000 offer, there are job training grants in the works, and “that contract is still being worked on.”
There has been considerable speculation about the future of the local tire plant, but, according to a plant official, there is no change in the plant’s status.
The offer from the state was intended to help the plant invest in operations and upgrade some of its manufacturing equipment.
When the offer was made, it was the company’s decision to consider the offer as part of its planning process.
According to the state Department of Economic and Community Development’s website, the local tire plant currently employs 2,500 workers, but the plant’s actual current employment is considered to be closer to 2,000.
The Union City Goodyear plant is the largest employer in Obion County and is one of the largest employers in the region. Earlier this year, the local Goodyear plant began moving tire-building equipment from the plant to its facility in Lawton, Okla.
“This allows the plant to continue meeting market demand while maximizing the overall efficiency of its North American Tire operations,” a plant spokesman stated in October.
Editor’s note: Kevin Bowden is a staff reporter for the Union City Daily Messenger.