Mullin addresses Michelin shutdown with Ardmore leaders
ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — As Michelin's tire production shutdown continues to be a focus for Ardmore city leaders, Oklahoma Sen. Markwayne Mullin made stops throughout the city Friday to discuss the company's partial departure.
The Republican lawmaker met with the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce and the Ardmore Development Authority, along with Mayor Sheryl Ellis and City Manager Kevin Boatright.
Discussions included options to retrain the 1,400 Michelin employees who will lose their jobs so they can remain in Carter County.
Mullin said he normally gets a 24-hour notice of any major layoffs, but in this case, he was caught by surprise.
"It would have been really devastating if they said, 'Hey, we're closing. We'll be closed in 30 days.' That would be very devastating, but the fact that we have a two-year wind-down gives us a lot of time to prepare," Mullin said. "I feel very confident in where that's going to be."
Mayor Ellis is confident that the senator's experience in handling similar situations will pay off for Ardmore.
"He had some good information to share having been involved somewhat in some closures of other plants in previous times," Ellis said. "He's been there, and he knows about this."
Once Michelin's facility is no longer being used to make tires, Mullin said his connections to employers around the world could spark some interest.
"I talk to CEOs all over the country; really, in some cases, all over the world," he said. "They're already interested in Oklahoma. Because I know this plant is going to be open, we're going to say, 'Hey, let's work directly with Ardmore.'"