Council makes pitch for jobs

January 24, 2011

City Council passed legislation Monday night that will give 12 acres of city-owned land and about $50,000 a year in tax rebates to Roechling Automotive if the German manufacturer builds an automotive plastics plant in Akron.

Roechling, a global manufacturer of high-performance plastic auto parts, named Akron as one of three cities competing for a new 75,000 square-foot manufacturing plant that will employee 115 people.

Council President Marco Sommerville said that city officials learned of Roechling's interest in expanding operations in America at a trade show they attended in Germany. He also used the opportunity to counter those who have criticized the administration's overseas travel in search of partnerships.

"We're in a fight for jobs," he said. "This opportunity is the result of a trip to Germany. We have to continue to get out and find jobs for our residents, not just wait for them."

The land Council set aside is in the Massillon Road Industrial Park. Council also agreed to give Roechling first right of refusal on five additional, adjacent acres. The tax rebate Council offered is 1 percent of the payroll for five years. Roechling Automotive is expected to make its decision in May.