Recently, there have been signs of hope surrounding Lockport’s Delphi plant.

In a welcome bit of news, Gov. George Pataki announced he’s ready to offer incentives to keep Delphi plants in the state. The proposal would be similar to the 1999 grant of $20 million the state gave Delphi to support its $300 million-plus improvement plan in Lockport.

The plan would reportedly offer grants contingent on keeping jobs in Delphi’s Lockport and Rochester sites, a 10-megawatt block of low-cost power from Niagara Falls and a workers’ compensation “pilot program” to answer concerns from the company over added expenses for the two New York sites.

Delphi Corporate Affairs Manager Lindsey Williams said if the grant comes to fruition, it would “go a long way towards helping the Lockport site, as well as Rochester.”

It’s a good sign to see our state lawmakers step up to the plate in an effort to save the plant — and more importantly, its 4,000 jobs. At the rate industrial jobs have left the area over the years, they need to do all they can to save what’s left.

In addition to the incentives, an internal memo obtained by the Detroit News details a Delphi Corp. plan to restructure one of the company’s major division and possibly close five plants.

The good news? Lockport and the company’s thermal sector are not mentioned on the list.

Also, during a visit to Lockport this past Thursday, Delphi CEO Steve Miller said he was impressed with the plant’s improved productivity.

“This is a fabulous plant,” he said. “Their performance is improving.”

We realize they’re just words, but taken with everything else that’s gone on recently, they’re encouraging.

Of course even if Lockport’s plant remains open, its workers aren’t going to come out of this process unscathed.

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