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Kettering Mayor-elect: City, state working on redevelopment of Tenneco property after closure

KETTERING — Weeks after Tenneco announced plans to close their Kettering facility before the end of 2023, the city’s mayor-elect said multiple groups are already looking at ways to redevelop the space after its closure.

>>PREVIOUS REPORT: ‘It’s a lot of hurt,’ 648 employees impacted by Kettering Tenneco plant closure

Kettering Mayor-elect Peggy Lehner spoke with News Center 7′s John Bedell Monday on the future of the Tenneco site after the company’s announcement in November. In the few weeks since the announcement, Lehner said multiple groups are involved in the redevelopment discussion from the City of Kettering, Dayton Development Coalition, and even the State of Ohio.

“Everyone’s looking at this to make sure the workers at Tenneco land in a good spot,” Lehner said.

>>RELATED: City estimates $750,000 loss in tax dollars per year with Tenneco closure

“There’s a shortage of employees. So we think if sort of a minimum amount of retraining perhaps, the employees at Tenneco will be prepared to step into other jobs. And we are prepared to help them get that training should they need it,” she said.

Lehner said one positive for workers, the city, and the future use of the industrial facility is the advanced warning Tenneco gave and the city hopes to use that to its advantage.

“One thing I think is really significant too, is that we’ve got two years to do it. They’re not walking out this week. And that’s unusual to have that kind of warning. So I feel very confident that we will provide the work that is needed to get the employees to land in new jobs,” Lehner said.

“And we then have a first-class manufacturing facility that we can go out and market. Market to the entire nation. ‘Come to Kettering. It’s built. It’s here. It’s ready to go,’” she said.

Lehner said while she’s confident with the future of the site it sill brings concerns.

“And while I’ll say I’m not worried about it, I am concerned about it,” she said.

Lehner was elected mayor of Kettering in November after running unopposed. She will take office in January.

The entirety of Lehner’s interview with Bedell on the future of the Tenneco site, and the future of Kettering, will air on Sunday’s edition of WHIO Reports, airing at 11:30 a.m.