Obama to visit GM Lordstown plant Tuesday

Obama to visit GM Lordstown plant Tuesday

Special to the Salem News

POSTED: September 14, 2009

WARREN -President Barack Obama will visit the General Motors Corp. Lordstown Complex on Tuesday to talk about the economy, a White House official confirmed.

The event will be closed to the public and by invite only. The arrival of Air Force One to the Youngstown-Warren regional airport in Vienna is closed to the public. Obama is scheduled to speak at 11:10 a.m.

"People are all excited at the plant," Dave Green, president of United Auto Workers Local 1714 said.

Lordstown Councilwoman Mary Jane Wilson said, "I hope he comes. I want him to see what a depressed area looks like and what these jobs mean to the middle class. The whole Valley is dependent on this one industry."

UAW Local 1112 President Jim Graham declined to comment.

According to complex spokesman Tom Mock it would be the first time a sitting U.S. president has made to the complex.

The White House previously announced Obama would fly to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to speak at an AFL-CIO convention. He is planning to stop in at the GM plant to give a speech to focus on the 1,050 workers returning to work there next month, according to the Detroit News and The Associated Press.

Administration officials said the president is planning a Midwest swing to talk about jobs and the economy, and will highlight the fact that GM is recalling the Lordstown workers.A second shift is being added because of increased demand for the Chevrolet Cobalt, a big seller during the Cash for Clunkers program.

The new shift is scheduled to begin Oct. 5, with 1,000 hourly workers and 50 salaried workers recalled.

The complex is preparing to produce the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze in April.

Lordstown Mayor Mike Chaffee said, "This isn’t a campaign stop, a candidate going around to get votes, this is a sitting president coming to celebrate the growth of the plant as they start to roll out the Cruze."

Obama visited the Valley in August 2008 during a campaign stop at Austintown Fitch High School when he was a senator running for president.

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