Cali Braces for NUMMI Closure

With all the huss-n-fuss surrounding the Toyota recall and the countless hearings scheduled for this week and the next, the fate of the New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) plant in Freemont was pushed off the scene. But as March, the month when the plant is slotted to close, approaches, the NUMMI story is slowly becoming the harsh reality.

This week, a 10-member panel of California leaders, summoned by State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, held a public hearing in San Francisco. The goal of the hearing was to evaluate the impact the expected closure will have on the local economy, while the conclusions were painful.

According to the panel united under the Blue Ribbon Commission designation, NUMMI will be the largest mass layoff in the current recession.

The Commission will try in the following weeks to evaluate the impact of closing NUMMI, as well as try to find possible ways to keep it running. Should an alternative solution not be found, as many as 50,000 jobs will be lost from both the plant and related businesses.

"Californians are deeply concerned about how the loss of this plant might affect their economy, their state and their lives, and it is the job of this Commission to help find the answers to those questions. It is a testament to the quality of leaders on this panel that they have been more than willing to take up this challenge," Lockyer said in a release.

"I have asked the panel, and they have agreed, to gather and assess the facts and to have a report on my desk by next Wednesday morning so that I can share it with the public at noon."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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