Mark Emkes, chairman and chief executive officer of Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. (BSAH) and Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC (BFNT), announced that the team charged with evaluating relocation of the Bridgestone Firestone Technical Center has recommended that the company build its new facility in Akron OH.
Bridgestone Americas has signed letters of understanding with the state of Ohio, Summit County, the Summit County Port Authority, and the city of Akron that set out the framework for an agreement to build the new Technical Center in Akron and keep at least 1,000 related jobs in the community. Additional work will be necessary before a definitive and binding final agreement can be signed.
To be completed, the recommendation must be approved by the boards of directors of BFNT, BSAH, and Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corporation. The agreement also requires final approvals of all the appropriate government entities.
The announcement took place in Akron during a company event celebrating the 1988 alliance of The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company with Bridgestone Corporation.
Bob Handlos, vice president-product development for BFNT, has served as leader of the team tasked with evaluating options both in Tennessee and Ohio for updating or replacing the nearly 100-year-old Technical Center currently in use. Handlos wanted to ensure teammates' voices were heard during the process, seeking input about the new Technical Center from many teammates from a variety of disciplines.