Life's Better Here: Huntington 2011

By Eric Olson
By Scott Sarvay

August 10, 2011 Updated Aug 10, 2011 at 6:08 PM EDT

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - There is some good news on the jobs front in Huntington as a ceremonial ribbon cutting marks the grand opening of a new business.

The event marks the opening of 'Anytime Fitness' and the eleventh ribbon cutting Chamber of Commerce Director Steve Kimmel has attended in just the past six months.

Kimmel says there has been three restaurants open in just the past thirty days, a trophy center open downtown and a retail shoe store opened just last week with another retail store opening up probably in the next thirty days.

In fact Huntington has added 1,500 new jobs in the past year, an enviable record by any standard.

Perfection Wheel opened six months ago in the old Wabash Magnetics building and hired 75 people. Continental Structural plastics has hired 300 in the last year and a dozen small businesses like Anytime Fitness have added hundreds more jobs. Anytime owner Amy Carpenter says support from the community has been outstanding.

“They've just been so helpful so welcoming to us, offering assistance however they can with starting up the business,” says Carpenter.

Kimmel says, “We roll out the red carpet and we welcome them into the community and once they're here we do everything to support them and keep them here.”

Kimmel’s 40 hour a week job is now a 50 and 60 hour a week job, just hustling around the community addressing business owners needs. It's the kind of effort required to grow jobs at a time when every community is fighting to lure businesses.

“One here one there, that's just putting one more person back to work. So we work hard at it,” says Kimmel.

Work that's paying off as this small town tones up its economic muscle.

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