Jay Williams is the Featured Speaker at June 20 RACER Open House


Willow Run event bringing together public, private sectors
to focus on redevelopment of former GM properties

Jay Williams, Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, will be the keynote speaker at the RACER Trust Open House on Wednesday, June 20, at the historic Willow Run Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich.  The Open House will bring together economic development officials from the public and private sectors who are committed to redeveloping former GM properties now held by the RACER Trust.

The RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust was created last year by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy. When the RACER Trust was formed, it owned more than 44 million square feet of industrial space in 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Northeast.  

Open House attendees also will hear from RACER officials as well as local and state leaders about RACER’s redevelopment and environmental cleanup work, and successful reuses of abandoned GM properties. Attendees also will have the opportunity to network with others who share an interest in redeveloping RACER properties. 

“Jay Williams and the U.S. Office of Auto Communities and Workers are important partners in the work of the RACER Trust,” said Elliott P. Laws, RACER’s Trustee.  “His leadership and the support of his organization have been tremendous assets to RACER as we work to help bring jobs and opportunity to the former GM communities where the Trust owns property.”

In addition to Mr. Williams’ remarks, the RACER Open House will feature panel discussions moderated by Mr. Laws and Michael O. Hill, RACER’s Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel. The first panel will focus on RACER’s redevelopment mission and feature Mr. Williams; Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Mayor Dayne Walling of Flint, Mich.; and Bruce Rasher, RACER’s Redevelopment Manager.

A second panel about RACER’s environmental accounts and cleanup responsibilities will feature Jim Sygo, Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Maureen Leary, Chief of the Toxics Section for the New York State Office of Attorney General; Amy Alduino, Environmental Solutions Team Leader for the Ohio Department of Development; and Grant Trigger, RACER’s Michigan Cleanup Manager.

“The RACER Trust is a crucial stakeholder in the Obama Administration’s effort to aid recovering automotive communities,” Mr. Williams said.  “RACER’s commitment to ongoing community input will help establish viable outcomes for these former automotive sites, which are of great interest to the respective communities.”

Mr. Williams was Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, from 2006 to August 2011, when President Obama appointed him Executive Director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. Mr. Williams received the 2007 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, which recognizes exceptional young Americans whose contributions in elective office, community service or advocacy demonstrate the impact and value of public service in the spirit of President Kennedy.

Prior to serving as Mayor, Mr. Williams spent five years as the Director of Community Development for Youngstown. Before transitioning into public service, Mr. Williams enjoyed a distinguished career in banking, which included stints at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and First Place Bank, where he was a vice president. A native of Youngstown, Mr. Williams graduated from Youngstown State University with a B.S.B.A. in Finance.

RACER is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history. For more information visit: www.racertrust.org

Media contact: Bill Callen
(518) 792-3856 (office), (518) 480-9793 (cell)