Members of an Oklahoma Senate Committee want to know more details about what led to Michelin’s decision announced this week to close its tire production plant in Ardmore, a move that will put 1,400 employees out of work sometime in 2025.
The Senate Select Committee on Business Retention and Economic Development plans a hearing on Tuesday at the State Capitol. It wants to hear from state and local leaders about Michelin’s closure and what can be done in the future to keep businesses in the state.
“Michelin has been a pillar in Ardmore for decades,” said Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, who chairs the committee.
He called it devastating for Ardmore to lose the jobs and said he was saddened for the workers and their families.
“We called this meeting with Ardmore in mind to see how we can help these individuals in the near-term and what can be done differently in the future to keep major employers in the state. The purpose of this committee in part is to look at all aspects of business and commerce in Oklahoma. We must examine everything, including our shortcomings especially when we lose major employers.”
The committee will hear from Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, representatives from the Ardmore Development Authority, the City of Ardmore and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
“My heart breaks for the Ardmore community,” said Senator Kristen Thompson, R-Edmond, who serves as the vice chair of the committee.
“Losing 1,400 jobs is devastating for the families who relied on them, and for our state. I know this was a challenging decision for Michelin. We appreciate them being in the state for 53 years and we are grateful for the positive impact they brought to the Ardmore area.”
Sen. Thompson said it’s critically important to focus on existing businesses in the state and their well-being.
“While we always want to recruit new businesses to the state, we must find ways to further support companies that are already here. Now, we need to shift our focus into finding solutions for the benefit of Ardmore and our fellow Oklahomans who are being negatively affected by this move.”
The meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 10 a.m. at the Oklahoma State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. in room 535.
To access Tuesday’s agenda, click here.