It was a belated Christmas gift to the local economy.
that Brownfield Communities Development Co. closed on the sale of the
former GM stamping plant in Ontario on Friday means the possibility of
hundreds of jobs coming into the county.
The deal also is a boost
in our community’s fragile self-confidence, which has seen massive job
losses and the threat of job losses for the last decade and beyond.
has been difficult to understand why businesses cannot see the assets
Richland County has to offer. Those who have moved here understand the
benefits of our community — strategic location, stable and talented
workforce, low cost of living.
Still, the year 2012 saw job lows,
highs and uncertainty. We saw the manufacturing industry plead for
trained workers. We saw the federal government threaten to strip 1,000
jobs from Mansfield’s Air National Guard Base. We saw broad changes in
the retail market with new stores opening and old stores closing.
All of these changes affect the local job market in meaningful ways.
Friday’s announcement that 1,100 new jobs will be created in Ontario in the next year is welcome news.
as these jobs begin to materialize, we hope to see a multiplying effect
as jobs are created to support the companies moving into the building.
news of the sale trickled out during the last year, it has been
received with guarded skepticism by many. When GM closed the plant, it
was a blow to the thousands of residents who banked on those reliable
jobs expected to be there for decades. When a California solar company
showed interest in the plant, we felt a buzz of excitement.
when that deal flopped, we all felt a little gut-punched. So when
Brownfield stepped up, we wondered if this was just another Calisolar.
Calisolar, by the way, still has no building in Mississippi, where it has apparently left another community in the lurch.
for the sale of the Ontario plant goes to state and local economic
development officials who continue to work to bolster our struggling
Brownfield is a joint venture of Adler Group Inc., a
Miami-based firm with more than 50 years of leasing and property
management, and Hilco Real Estate.
We are hopeful that this move in a positive direction is a signal to other employers that we have something real to offer.
Yes, our fair MNJ gets credit, where credit is due – where’s the News?.