Goodyear Chairman, CEO and President Richard J. Kramer, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, and Summit County Executive Russ Pry made brief remarks, then were joined by a number of federal, state and local officials – all who helped negotiate the deal – and together, shovels in hand, they helped start construction at the worksite.
"This was truly a remarkable team effort and a good example of the public and private sectors working together for the common good," said Kramer. "Goodyear is proud to be a global company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Both Goodyear and the city have changed and grown over the years, but our commitment to Akron remains constant. Goodyear will continue to be a vital part of this community's future."
The groundbreaking took place on a grassy lawn, site of the new facility, just south of the company's Innovation Center.
The project is scheduled to be completed in early 2013. At that time, Goodyear will relocate about 2,000 associates into the building, which will serve as headquarters for the company's global operations and North American tire business team. The new building will connect with Goodyear's existing Innovation Center and serve as a central campus for the company in Akron. The Innovation Center is currently home to more than 800 associates.
As part of the agreement, Goodyear will lease the office space through 2038 and have potential options through 2093.
The project was announced several years ago, but was delayed by the credit crisis.
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs approximately 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 55 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com.