An expansion by Fuyao Glass America will bring a hundred new jobs and $46 million in new investment to what was a GM plant in Moraine.
Fuyao has invested $600 million into the plant since 2014, six years after GM shut it down and 2,000 workers lost their jobs.
Gov. Mike DeWine said these 100 new employees will join the 2,300 workers at Fuyao. And he’s hoping for more.
“We asked the chairman to spread the good news among his friends and Chinese companies, because we certainly welcome investment in the Miami Valley, we welcome investment in the state of Ohio," DeWine said after making the announcement.
That's consistent with comments that DeWine made after a constitutional amendment was proposed that would ban Chinese majority ownership in things like power plants, power lines, pipelines, and water. That ban proposal came out after the bitter battle over the state's nuclear power plant law, during which the law's supporters accused its opponents of being financed by Chinese investors with interests in natural gas plants. But a spokesman for the opponents said that was "ridiculous".
Fuyao has grown quickly, and was fined more than $724,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration over the summer for multiple health and safety hazards. But the company has said it’s “laser focused” on worker safety and product quality.
And Fuyao has angered unions, which used to represent the workers at the GM Moraine plant. Three former Fuyao workers who say they were fired for supporting a failed drive for unionization filed claims with the National Labor Relations Board. They settled for $120,000.
One of the workers was featured prominently in the Netflix documentary "American Factory". The movie was made by two Dayton-based filmmakers backed by former President Obama's production company.
DeWine was joined for the announcement by JobsOhio, Fuyao's chairman Cho Tak Wong and China Counsel General Huang Ping, who made a brief comment about relations between the U.S. and China. He praised the planned signing of Phase 1 of a trade deal between the two countries on January 15, "which I think will be very good news to stop this trade war which has been going for two years already.”