Dana breaks ground on new axle plant; promises 300 new jobs by 2020

Dana breaks ground on new axle plant; promises 300 new jobs by 2020
The plant should be up and running by the end of 2017. (Source: WTOL)
The plant should be up and running by the end of 2017. (Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Dana broke ground Wednesday morning in central Toledo, the next big step to creating more than 300 manufacturing jobs by 2020.

Jeep was originally made at the Overland Industrial Park and now Dana is ready to start a new tradition that will keep the Jeep Wrangler rolling.

Dana is now ready to move forward, after turning dirt into a 200,000 square foot addition to the 100,000 square foot spec building that went up two years ago. It will be called Toledo Driveline and they will manufacture high-tech axles for the next generation Wrangler.

"It will help the citizens who live in this area to understand that it is an investment of more than just dollars and cents but also of personnel and people," said Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, who also attended the event, added, "This is what Toledo is. It's people pulling together. It's an iconic company like Dana with an iconic brand like the Jeep over the years."

Dana did not have any specifics yet, but the plant manager promised a good wage to the future workers.

"I think it will be a great place to work and one of the goals is to set the foundation with our fantastic culture to begin with, a teamwork environment and problem-solving mindset, said Jason Johnson.

Dana's axles were on display at the groundbreaking. The Models 30 and 44 will be built at the new plant for the Wrangler. It's a positive sign for the future, said UAW Local 12 President Bruce Baumhower. "The more things like this that happen, the further it drives that anchor into the ground that we're going to keep Jeep here in Toledo and we're going to build more and more and more," Baumhower said.

Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken also believes it comes with a challenge.

"We have until next year to make sure that when workers are interviewing on this site, that they have the skills. That's our job at Lucas County, is skills development," said Gerken.

The plant manager for Dana did not know yet when prospective workers can apply but it will be coordinated by Lucas County, Jobs Ohio, and Ohio Means Jobs.

The plant should be up and running by the end of 2017.

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