photo of Tim Ryan, Ray Mancini

A lot of people are looking to understand the forces that may be at work in this year’s presidential election. Author David Giffels believes Ohio holds the key to that. For his next book, he’s been travelling the state on his own listening tour.

This month, To Understand Ohio, we spent some time talking with Giffels about Congressman Tim Ryan’s short-lived bid for the White House, what that says about the Mahoning Valley and how that relates to the rest of the country.

A banner reading "GM INVEST IN LORDSTOWN" hangs on the fence along the truck gate to the shuttered GM Lordstown Assembly Facility.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, January 15:


Workers at the General Motors Lordstown assembly plant have built cars and a community for more than 50 years. Earlier this year, GM shuttered the plant, but hope had remained that it would not close permanently. GM’s new contract with union workers, approved Friday, dashed those hopes. 

WKSU joined workers on the picket line at the assembly plant last week for a final farewell to Lordstown.

a photo of Tim Ryan

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Oct. 25:

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Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Oct. 24:

A striking member of United Auto Workers Local 1005 walks in front of the General Motors Metal Fabrication Division in Parma, Ohio Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Oct. 23:

David Johnson, United Auto Workers Union member for 46 years, poses for a portrait with a UAW ON STRIKE picket sign outside of the General Motors Metal Fabrication Facility, where he has worked for the last six years. Parma, Ohio Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.

United Auto Workers (UAW) at General Motors (GM) are expected to vote this weekend on a tentative deal negotiators have reached with the company. UAW workers who lost their jobs when GM Lordstown shut down in March had hoped the national agreement would include a future for their plant. Sen. Rob Portman said it’s disappointing that it doesn’t.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Oct. 17:

The Lordstown GM plant across the road from the TJX site

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Feb. 27:

photo of Mike DeWine

President Trump told governors yesterday that automakers are returning to Ohio and other states, a remark he’s said before that fact checkers have found to be untrue. Governor Mike DeWine was among the guests who heard that comment.

DeWine says he talked with Trump at a dinner the night before, and that the president is very aware and concerned about the impending shutdown of the GM plant in Lordstown.

“I did not have a chance to talk with him about his statement about auto companies that are returning to Ohio.”

photo of downtown Canton, Ohio

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Feb. 22:

GM Lordstown Boosters Take a Road Trip

Jan 16, 2019
Southwest end of the GM Lordstown facility

Lordstown’s Drive it Home Campaign is heading to the Detroit Auto Show. Advocates for the local GM plant say they want to create a “presence” in the minds of decision makers in the motor city.

The northeast Ohio contingent includes auto workers and union, political and business leaders.

Superintendent , teacher, student, and school board president

GM’s decision to cease production of the Chevy Cruze at Lordstown is bringing an end, at least for the time being, to one of the last super-size industrial sites that used to drive the Mahoning Valley economy. It’s also bringing an end to the plant’s defining presence for the community around it.  

Medical marijuana study

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, December 6:

photo of John Kasich

Gov. John Kasich said he’ll be talking to General Motors about its decision to shut down the assembly plant in Lordstown, potentially putting 1,500 people out of work. He’s sounding like all isn’t lost even if the plant closes.

Kasich said he’s talked to GM about how the Lordstown-made Chevy Cruze wasn’t very profitable.

“I had a sense that there wasn’t this kind of a decision coming at this point,” he said.

But in the end, he said there isn’t much the state can do.

photo of Lordstown GM

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, November 19:

photo of Lordstown GM

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, September 13:

photo of TJX HomeGoods warehouse

Lordstown’s employment picture could be changing in the next several years, as two large employers in the village face shifting futures.

photo of Lordstown GM

GM’s Lordstown plant is down to one shift starting tomorrow, as the plant faces a downturn in demand for the once-best-selling Chevy Cruze

Lordstown lost its third shift last year, and earlier this year, GM said it was cutting about 1,200 workers on the second shift.

photo of CruzeTalk

The GM plant in Lordstown is billed as “The Home of the Chevy Cruze.” And over the weekend, Cruze owners came home to celebrate their cars and also ponder the plant’s future.

The Lordstown plant opened on what had been 900 acres of open fields northwest of Youngstown in 1966. Since then, it’s turned out millions of vehicles for GM -- mostly compact Chevys. That means the plant’s fortunes have usually ridden a rollercoaster alongside gas prices.

photo of Lordstown GM

The new president of Lordstown’s United Auto Workers union is facing the elimination of another shift and making a vehicle that the company says customers are shifting away from.

David Green was sworn in yesterday as the new president of Local 1112, which represents assembly workers at GM’s Lordstown plant. The union also now includes fabrication plant workers – previously Local 1714 – of which Green was the president from 2007 until 2013.

GM Lordstown plant

Editor's note: We'll have more coming on the Lordstown layoffs Thursday morning on WKSU.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST: The day of Donald Trump's inauguration is also the last day for the midnight shift at the General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. About 1,200 people will lose their jobs. Trump blames GM production in Mexico. As M.L. Schultze of member station WKSU reports, the reality and reaction in Lordstown is more complicated.

Lordstown Schools Waive Fees for Students After GM Layoffs

Dec 14, 2016
photo of Lordstown GM

The Lordstown school district  has waived participation and classroom fees for its students, many of whose parents were laid off from the Lordstown GM factory last month.

The waiver applies to athletic programs, and fees for books and classroom supplies. There is no cost to participate in arts and music programs.

Lordstown Superintendent Terry Armstrong says recovering from economic hardship will take a community effort.

photo of Chevy Cruze

The recent earthquake in Japan is having an effect on auto production worldwide, including GM’s plant in Lordstown.

The Lordstown plant just received a $50 million makeover to start production of the third-generation Chevy Cruze. Now, GM is suspending production for at least two weeks due to a disruption in the parts supply chain.

Spokesman Tom Mock says the company is eager to get the plant moving again.