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Published: Wednesday, 1/12/2011

Governor Kasich heads for Detroit to meet with U.S. automakers

COLUMBUS -- John Kasich will make his first out-of-state economic development trip Wednesday as sitting governor.

The Republican governor; his new development director, Mark Kvamme; University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs, and Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee are planning to head for the North American International Auto Show to talk with the Detroit Three automakers.

"If you don't have a game plan and an agenda, you can meet until the cows come home," Mr. Kasich said Tuesday.

"The first thing I want to know is 'What do you need?' We had some success up here in Toledo with the Fiat plant, and the [United Auto Workers] has been cooperating with Chrysler.

"We'll go up to see what they have to say …," he said. "We want to use the universities and their ability to train people as a real asset for us."

Mr. Jacobs will be present for a 12:30 p.m. meeting with Ford officials this afternoon, according to Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols.

Mr. Kasich, however, will also meet with General Motors and Chrysler and will take a walk-through tour of the auto show.

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