Michelin North America has announced plans to close its Ardmore tire production plant. The move will impact 1,400 workers, with the facility to be closed no later than the end of 2025. When staffing reduction begins next year, officials say, the company will offer a mix of early retirement, separation benefits and financial incentives for relocation support.
"It’s definitely disappointing to hear that Michelin is leaving Ardmore. They’ve been a mainstay in southern Oklahoma for years," said Governor Kevin Stitt. "Events like this illustrate why it’s important to be the most business friendly state. Business is constantly changing, but Ardmore is great location with a great workforce, and I have no doubt we will attract more businesses. I know Oklahomans will do what we always do – lend a hand to their neighbor as these folks transition to the next chapter. I’m working with Lt. Gov. Pinnell and the Department of Commerce to make sure those impacted have access to available programs so they land on their feet."
"The abruptness of this announcement caught everyone off guard, including those in the industry," said Sen. Jerry Alvord. "This decision will undoubtedly have a significant economic impact on our community, and the loss of jobs is deeply distressing. Our thoughts are with the hardworking employees and their families who will be affected by this unfortunate development. I understand the importance of job stability and economic security and will work tirelessly to help bring new opportunities to our community and great state."
Alvord says he met with Michelin representatives yesterday, along with Bill Murphy President & CEO of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce and Ardmore Development Authority, Kevin Boatwright the Ardmore City Manager, State Rep. Tammy Townley and State Rep. Josh Cantrell.
“All of us are in agreement that as Michelin closes down operations over the next two years, we must immediately work together to not only process this news, but consider what options might be available as we look ahead," said Alvord.
"This plant has been an anchor not only in Ardmore but throughout southern Oklahoma’s economy, providing hundreds of well-paying jobs for more than 50 years," said Murphy.
"I know this decision was not made lightly, and while we would have loved to of been given every opportunity by Michelin North America to keep them growing strong in our area for years to come, we respect their decision to move their operation," said Townley. "We are so grateful that they are going to keep the rubber mixing operation in Ardmore. We will do our best to support the affected families during the shut down process."
“We are all sensitive to the hardships that will be experienced, and we will do all that we can to alleviate these stressful times, working together to develop economic opportunities,” said Alvord.
U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin also reacted to the news. "My team will soon be on the ground to meet with local officials, connect workers with federal employment resources, and discuss economic impact and recovery," said Mullin. "Please note that due to the scope of this closure, workers may be eligible for grant assistance through the Dept. of Labor to help qualifying Oklahomans find job openings, access training, and other career services. Feel free to contact my office if you have any questions."