New Initiative Working To Keeping Navistar Engineers & Technicians In Northeast Indiana

By Scott Sarvay
By John W. Davis

September 15, 2010 Updated Sep 15, 2010 at 10:28 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - As the sand in Navistar's Fort Wayne hourglass slowly slips away, keeping those workers in Northeast Indiana has become a regional initiative.

Leaders say the initiative will turn challenging times with Navistar, into a great opportunity for job growth.

The plan is to market the area's highly skilled and available workforce by enticing businesses to set up shop in our region.

“With Navistar stepping back, it's now our job as a regional partnership to step up and market that skill and that talent on a global basis," said Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership President & CEO John Sampson.

"The truth is, we're not competing so much with Indianapolis and Chicago and Milwaukee and other places in the Midwest, we're competing on a global scale, and that global economy is looking for talent," said Sampson.

Officials say they'll target Fortune 500 companies, specializing in design, research and engineering opportunities.

Meanwhile, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership will target the automotive, defense, aerospace, energy and medical industries, when searching for companies to hire workers already living in Northeast Indiana.

"We're already in the process of making connections of really making our employees a magnet for other companies, so it's already happening," said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry.

"Fortunately we have a little bit of time. They didn't say two or three days, or two or three weeks, but two or three years. So we do have a little bit of time. But also understand the urgency of the situation because many of these employees are under a tremendous amount of stress right now because they don't know when," Henry explained.

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