- But, Clay County employers are optimistic, says Brazil Economic Development Commission chairman
Employment prospects in the Terre Haute area may be dwindling, but one local official has predicted a relatively stable year for Brazil's workforce.
A recent survey by Manpower found that 20 percent of employers in the Terre Haute area plan to reduce their payrolls in the first quarter of 2006, while just 7 percent expect to add employees. The outlook in Terre Haute is one of the worst in the United States, according to a Manpower press release.
Jeff Stewart, Chairman of the Brazil Economic Development Commission, acknowledged that fluctuations in the Terre Haute economy affect residents of Brazil and Clay County.
"Quite often people from Brazil and Clay County go to work in Vigo County, and the reverse is also true," he said. "We're closely tied. Any time Vigo County sees an increase or decrease in employment, it's going to affect us."
But he added that, based on his discussions with local manufacturing concerns, he doesn't expect employers in Brazil to cut jobs.
"I've talked to local manufacturers, and I don't see much reason for concern from our local employees," he said. "Most of (our major employers) are fairly optimistic for 2006."
Stewart said the Economic Development Commission is actively engaged in keeping jobs, especially those in manufacturing, in Brazil.
"With manufacturing companies, given the wages they pay, it's important that they stay healthy and keep their employment up," he said.
The Brazil Economic Development Commission has also been involved in luring new business to the community. The Times reported Nov. 2 that the mayor had submitted a proposal, dubbed "Project Pumpkin," to an industrial firm looking for a location for a new facility.
Stewart said Project Pumpkin is still pending, but the commission is always looking for the opportunity to bring jobs to Brazil.
"(Project Pumpkin) was one of many that will come across in a year's time," he said. "There are companies out there looking for sites constantly."