GM Lordstown's ripple effect and future - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

GM Lordstown's ripple effect and future

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LORDSTOWN, Ohio -

Lordstown isn't the only place GM is slowing down its production lines. 

With a downturn in sales, the Hamtramck Assembly plant in Detroit and the Lake Orion plant in Michigan, are also down to one shift. 

An industry analyst believes the company will need to make a decision about Lordstown soon.

"I would think sometime within about the next year they would probably be looking to get some more products in there," Nick Bunkley said, news editor with Automotive News.

With a Cadillac crossover SUV going to a GM car plant in Kansas later this year, he says it's a sign that a crossover SUV could work with the Cruze.

"I just think that it would be more likely that they would look to Lordstown as a place they could add a product rather than get rid of it entirely, because they're still selling the Cruze in high numbers, it's just not selling as high as it used to sell," he said.

While workers at GM Lordstown wait to learn what could eventually be in store for the valley plant, employees who work for one of the plant's suppliers are now bracing for layoffs.

"If they lose a shift, we lose a shift," Jose Arroyo said, staff representative with the United Steel Workers. 

Arroyo says a lot of the workers with Source Providers, which operates under the banner of Comprehensive Logistics, are really concerned about their jobs right now.

The facility in Austintown currently employs 325 workers. 

He says about 170 workers lost their jobs when GM cut its third shift in Lordstown last year. 

This summer he's expecting more layoffs.

"You're looking at potentially over a hundred workers that are now going to be thrown back into a tough job market," Arroyo said.

Talks with the employer haven't started yet, but Arroyo predicts the layoffs will last into 2019. He speculates close to 130 workers could be cut.

Arroyo says the area has seen downturns like this before and he's hopeful the situation will turn around.

Bunkley believes Lordstown is still a place where GM wants to be for manufacturing.

"Lordstown's not far from GM's main supplier network, it's not one of these far flung plants, so it's not the kind like you saw in Janesville, Wisconsin, you saw back during the recession or some of the East Coast plants that GM used to have," he said. 

"They just have to figure out what else they want to build there."

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