WARREN, Ohio — Residents of Lordstown and Warren were dealt another blow this month when a company that makes seats for the automotive industry announced it will lay off 120 employees in the first quarter of 2019.
On Dec. 14, Magna sent a letter to the Ohio Office of Workforce Development regarding the layoff, citing the closing of the Lordstown GM plant as the catalyst for its decision.
"Should General Motors allocate a future product to Lordstown Assembly, we would hope to be selected as the seat supplier, which may allow us to recall a significant number of employees," Jennifer Darnell, Magna's human resources manager wrote in the letter.
The layoffs are expected to last longer than six months.
The letter came with a dire warning about the future for residents in the Lordstown and Warren area.
"If a future product is not allocated by General Motors and/or we are not selected as the seat supplier for the future product, these layoffs should be considered permanent," Darnell wrote.
Magna Seating Systems is located just 2 miles from the troubled GM plant.
In November, officials announced that the Lordstown General Motors plant will stop production in 2019. The plant has been Lordstown's beating heart for 50 years, employing thousands of employees and generations of families who called the area home.
GM's announcement follows a decline in Chevrolet Cruze sales. Over the summer 600 GM employees opted to take an early retirement or take a buyout when the elimination of the second shift was announced. A third shift had already been cut in January 2017.
Lordstown has some relief in sight. Friday evening the village council approved changes to a tax abatement agreement betweeen the county and TJX Homegoods, the parent company of TJ Maxx. The deal is expected to bring 1000 jobs back to the beleaguered town by 2024.