The Mitsubishi Plant in Normal is preparing to close, but the company says it still wants to remain a part of the Bloomington Normal Community. The Mitsubishi Motors USA Foundation is redirecting its efforts from a national focus to concentrating on charitable works in the twin cities.
Ryan Gremore of the O'Brien Mitsubishi Dealership has announced a nearly $53,000 scholarship gift to Heartland Community College benefiting five graduates each from Bloomington, Normal Community, and Normal West High Schools for five years.
Mitsubishi Motors North America Executive Vice President Don Swearingen says it's not a poignant gift as the company departs, but one that will help the community grow for years to come.
Some UAW workers at Mitsubishi were upset at the level of severance packages the company negotiated in a new contract. But, Plant spokesman Dan Irvin says the charity is a completely separate issue from operational considerations.
The foundation is several decades old and has typically given more than $100,000 per year nationally.
Swearingen says they are still considering other requests for this year.