General Motors

GM's Moraine assembly was once an iconic Dayton-area employer. A Chinese auto-glass company will soon take over the building, but the city of Moraine is still short thousands of jobs.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

UPDATE: On Thursday morning, Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown told WYSO he expects an announcement on the new tenant for the Moraine Assembly Plant as soon as Friday. Click here for the news.

It’s been just over five years since General Motors left its giant plant in Moraine, taking the last thousand jobs with it and spelling doom for Dayton’s economy, which once ran on the jobs provided by major industrial manufacturers like GM and NCR.

General Motors started manufacturing trucks in Dayton in 1951. Fifty-seven years later, GM closed its Moraine Assembly plant and over two thousand people lost their jobs - including Debbie Bradley of Fairborn. After 13 years at GM, Bradley started hearing rumors. GM was struggling. The plant might close. Bradley wanted to have a Plan B. So she took a placement test at Sinclair Community College. 

A government inspector general says President Barack Obama's administration played a key role in the General Motors bankruptcy in 2009 as pensions were cut for salaried Delphi Corp. retirees but not unionized workers and retirees of the supplier.

The report issued Thursday stopped short of saying the administration's role was right or wrong. It made no recommendations.

About 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees - nearly half in Ohio - saw their pensions cut by as much as 70 percent during GM's bankruptcy.

Photo by Juliet Fromholt

Next Saturday marks the grand opening of Dayton History's Heritage Center of Dayton Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship. WYSO's Juliet Fromholt took a tour of the new facility with Dayton History's President, Brady Kress. They started off in an exhibit room dedicated to NCR.

 

"It's always awkward for us because we feel like the spotlight should stay on the workers," says filmmaker Steven Bognar talking about his film's Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Short Film.

 

Bognar and two-time Oscar nominee, Julia Reichert received word this morning that their film, The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant was nominated. The 40 minute film focuses on GM workers at the Moraine Assembly Plant. Reichert says the workers played a key role in making the film.

 

Candidates Plan to Aid Manufacturing Differ

Oct 31, 2008

Dana Davidson helped build SUVs at a General Motors plant near Dayton, Ohio for 11 years. Today she's unemployed and the automaker is closing the factory for good in December.

"You know, the people in the plant we look at as family. You build a network with people, you're close to them, you know about their children, their family, you've been to their homes. It's been a rocky road," says Davidson.