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Michelin pledges to help economically troubled area

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Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. has announced details of Michelin Development, "an initiative aimed at effectively contributing to the economic regeneration and long-term prosperity of the Waterloo, Ontario, area," say Michelin officials.

John Tully, a long-time Michelin North America, Inc. executive, was named director of Michelin Development.

"Tully brings extensive experience in community relations and customer service to Michelin Development. He will relocate to Kitchener, Ontario, from Greenville, S.C. to establish the company’s office."

Michelin plans to close its factory in Kitchener this July. The plant, built in 1962, produces BFGoodrich, Uniroyal and private and associate brand tires, primarily for the U.S. market. It has the capacity to produce 18,500 passenger and light tires per day, according to Modern Tire Dealer research.

"Michelin Development will focus on new job creation by offering low-interest loans to qualified entrepreneurs and start-up companies.

"The initiative aims to create hundreds of new jobs over the next six years, primarily focusing on the manufacturing sector.

"In addition to this financial support, Michelin Development will buttress the development of new and existing businesses by providing access to Michelin’s industrial expertise."

"We recognize that the BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing facility in Kitchener is a significant part of the local economy and we are concerned about the economic impact of its closing," says Tully.

"The Michelin Development program will help minimize this impact by working with community stakeholders to foster the creation of new jobs from diverse industries."

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