The Etowah County Commission on Tuesday formally presented a proclamation in regard to Gadsden’s Goodyear plant, pledging their support for the manufacturer and urging that it remain in operation in the city.
The proclamation has been discussed by commissioners in recent weeks, especially after a roundtable discussion held in October that brought together union leaders, city and county representatives, state representatives and Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., to open a dialog into the company’s future in Etowah County.
“The Etowah County Commission would like to express appreciation to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Gadsden, Alabama Plant and gratitude for their contribution to the economic prosperity of Etowah County and the employment opportunities they provide for our citizens,” the proclamation read.
It went on to outline some of the benefits the plant provides for the community, saying that it offers a $111 million payroll for its more than 1,500 employees, 71% of whom live in Etowah County.
The plant’s impact is felt through its $12.7 million spending in utilities, $8.5 million spent with local vendors and $2.2 million in municipal taxes. The overall economic impact from Goodyear is more than $1.53 billion.
“We hope and are very positive that things will move forward with them, and we just want to let them know we appreciate them and that we are on their side,” Commission Chairman Joey Statum said. “Anything we can do to help or assist in any way, the county commission is here to do that.
Other commissioners chimed in, with District 6’s Craig Inzer Jr. speaking of his appreciation for all the city, state and federal officials who have worked to address the situation.
Jeffery Washington, commissioner for District 5, agreed, saying, “It’s great that we have so many coming together to see what we can do to encourage them to stay here.”
While the proclamation acknowledges the county’s appreciation for Goodyear and its impact on the local economy, it also calls on others to do what they can to keep the plant in Gadsden.
It calls on the governor, state legislators and congressional delegates to “make all efforts to ensure the Goodyear-Gadsden Plant secures a future in Alabama and Etowah County.”
The commissioners plan to send the proclamation to local mayors and other officials, as well as directly to the Goodyear headquarters in Akron, Ohio.