LORDSTOWN, Ohio – Turnpike Exit 216 is still characterized by great characters that say "Lordstown Home of the Cruze." This is where General Motors produced a series of vehicles, including its popular Chevy Cruze. 19659002] Now, 6.2 million square meters of general engine factory is idle. Many once filled with workers and fixtures are now available. Small signs that feed the fences, read: "Save our plant."
GM completed the Lordstown General Motor facility last week as part of a comprehensive corporate overhaul that will focus on making trucks, SUVs, and electric and autonomous vehicles. Cruze will be settled in North America.
The nearby community has already felt the influence.
"It's been very slow today," said Lisa Miller, a server at Nese Country Cafe.
THE LAST CHEVROLET CRUZE TO BUILD
Neses, located a few miles from the plant, is usually packed with workers on a lunch break. But lately, the audience has been sparse. During lunch time one last day, only one table was set.
"It's really a sad situation," Miller said. "I have had to say goodbye to many customers who have transferred or want to move to work."
For 52 years, families in the small Ohio town lived and breathed cars. Now the city is 32,000 inhabitants uncertain about their future. If the plant turns off for good, hundreds can lose their jobs.
Miller said the end of production at the plant is not only bad for the business, "it's a blow to the face", after the IRS bailed out car companies a little more than a decade ago. Miller is wondering who will help his community.
"Lordstown has nothing, it doesn't have a grocery store," Miller said. "So if you don't work here or you don't live here, you probably won't come here."
Hundreds of plant workers now have a painful choice: Take the company's offer to work at another factory – possibly hundreds of miles away – even if it means leaving their families, their homes and everything they have built – or remaining and risking losing their highly paid jobs.
General Motors spokesman Dan Flores said about 400 workers have voluntarily transferred to plants in the Midwest and South. There are still hundreds of others who remain in limbo, either considering retirement or hoping that jobs somehow come back to the region. Gouverneur said on Wednesday that he doubted that GM would revive the facility.
GM CUTS JOBS RESPONSIBLE FOR PRISENT COSTS, FUTURE INNOVATION
Amanda Weinstein, Professor of Economics at the University of Akron, said the plant closing in Lordstown is not only devastating to the region's economy but also affects many families too.
"Many times when a plant closes, you will see higher skill workers finding jobs a little faster. But they will also take a pay stroke," Weinstein said, leaving the result for low skill workers far less optimistic. "They will often not find a job and will remain unemployed for a very long time, which becomes very difficult on families."
Weinstein said that this type of situation is particularly common in rural regions where lack of industry diversity is.
"You will hear about comeback cities like New York, where the textile industry went down, but fashion [industry] waited in the wings. Lordstown does not," said Weinstein.
Kathleen "KC" Watson owns an antique shop in the neighborhood of North Jackson and can tell about the store's sale when jobs were eliminated at the facility. Only two years ago the plant had 4,500 employees, but it continued to shrink as the shifts were cut.
"Many families have come to try to sell their goods in preparation for their moves," Watson said. "And I have to turn them off because I don't have more space."
Antiques and Uniques show 19 suppliers and are open seven days a week. Watson said the business has slowed significantly.
"Oh, I can remember when they cut the third shift and the second shift, and now this was the worst January I've seen in my three-year business," Watson said.  Local business owners in the neighborhoods of Lordstown, Ohio, feel the feeling of the latest closure of General Motors facilities. Kathleen "KC" Watson is considering her January sales, the lowest on record since she opened three years ago. “/>