Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ford Plant and 2006 Prediction

I want to make a prediction for this year.

Let's say Pawlenty is successful in saving the 1900+ jobs at St. Paul's Ford plant. I bet that the UAW goes ahead and endorses Hatch.

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Pawlenty met with Anne Stevens, chief operating officer of Ford's American division, and other executives. Stevens also is helping to lead Ford through its restructuring plan.

"We're going to fight like crazy every day" for all Minnesota jobs, said Matt Kramer, the state's commissioner of economic development, who was also on the trip. But in the case of the St. Paul Ford plant, he said, the fight has to be on the company's terms.

Minnesota is the only state to require that its gasoline supplies contain 20 percent ethanol, though Hawaii and Montana are adding mandates of their own. Minnesota also leads the nation in the number of gas stations -130- that sell a blend of gas containing 85 percent ethanol.

Pawlenty and Kramer hope Ford, which is ramping up development of alternative fuel vehicles, will want to further embrace that strategy in Minnesota in some fashion.

For the state to participate in a deal with incentives, Pawlenty said, it would have to be linked to the St. Paul plant and some economic benefit for Minnesota. Would a new project feature the same plant and the existing building? Pawlenty said he doesn't know. (Source: Pioneer Press, Jan. 4, 2006)
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