Fort Wayne Rally Rolls Out Welcome Mat For Navistar

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 16, 2010 at 6:07 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Fort Wayne uses a rally to try and convince Navistar to keep an engineering facility and 1,000 high paying jobs in the community.

Somewhere around two hundred people showed up at Parkview Field Wednesday morning for an event pulled together by Mayor Tom Henry’s administration.

Navistar announced last September it might eliminate Fort Wayne's truck design and technology center, in favor of combining operations in Lisle Illinois.

Protests by property owners there knocked Lisle out of the running.

Cheers rang out as Fort Wayne tried to send the exact opposite message.

Mayor Tom Henry/(D) Fort Wayne: " Navistar, we want you to stay in Fort Wayne Indiana."

Andy Candor/Hopes Navistar Will Choose Fort Wayne: " I thought it was interesting that there was a contrast with a rally in Lisle saying, we don't want you here, versus this, saying we want you here, so I hope that comes across loud and clear."

It’s not known if the effort has much chance of influencing Navistar officials.

Local economic development officials have been working for ten years or more to get a long-term commitment from Navistar.

The “Tech Center” on Meyer Road is viewed by the company as inadequate.

The show of community support, however, can’t hurt Fort Wayne’s campaign to hold onto Navistar.

You can click on the "NaviStay" link in this story to send a personal message to company officials, in case citizens do have some power to shape the outcome on this issue.

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