TOPEKA, Kan. — Goodyear is planning to invest $125 million over five years to modernize production of truck and OTR tires at its 77-year-old tire plant in Topeka, according to Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.
The modernization program will create 40 new jobs at the factory, which employs 1,600 currently.
Kelly disclosed the investment during a "Prosperity on the Plains" tour promoting economic development.
"Goodyear's expansion shows that our laser-like focus on creating jobs and supporting manufacturers benefits Kansans across the state," Kelly said. "Now, 40 more Kansans will have quality jobs and $125 million will be brought into our communities, reinforcing our state's ability to compete – and win – in the global marketplace."
Neither Kelly nor Goodyear commented on how the investment will impact the plant's production capacity. Improvements to the plant are expected to generate a local economic impact of $480 million over 10 years, Kelly said.
"Our Topeka facility is integral to our operations," Tim Davis, manufacturing director for Goodyear-Topeka, said, "and this investment will help position Goodyear to continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers."
A spokesperson for Goodyear said the majority of the anticipated new jobs will be positions related to production and technical maintenance.
"We have worked closely with Goodyear for nearly a year to make the case for this investment happening in Topeka," David Tolan, lieutenant governor and secretary of commerce, said.
"Building a robust Kansas economy through private sector investment is a top priority of Governor Kelly and this announcement shows that this focus is paying off for Topeka and our state."
Goodyear officials said the company "very much appreciates support from Governor Kelly and the State of Kansas in helping make possible investments in the Goodyear-Topeka tire plant."
Earlier, the Topeka and Shawnee County's Joint Economic Development Organization (JEDO) board approved an incentive agreement valued up to $585,000 to assist the Goodyear project.
This latest investment package comes six years after Goodyear budgeted $250 million to modernize and boost capacity at the plant.