Plantation pushing forward

Published 2:43 am Saturday, October 9, 2010

The employment news Friday on the national front did not look good. The U.S. economy lost 95,000 nonfarm jobs in September and 159,000 jobs were lost at all levels. The Labor Department also reported companies added 64,000 jobs last month, down from August’s 93,000 jobs.

Sounds pretty bleak, correct?

Then, let’s bring the focus down to Selma and Dallas County.

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In the last two weeks local companies already established here in the area announced job expansion of one kind or another.

American Apparel, based in Selma, announced it was awarded three U.S. military contracts valued at $50 million to provide uniform and uniform pieces for troops serving in combat operations.

Jim Hodo, the company’s chief operations officer, said the contracts would prevent any future layoffs and give American Apparel the ability to bring back 40 people recently laid off and hire about 40 more.

Then, Thursday, Plantation Patterns announced a total of 100 or more jobs coming to Selma over the next three years because the company is expanding. Just a little more than a year ago, Plantation Patterns was caught up in bankruptcy proceedings.

Home Casual LLC of Fitchburg, Wis., bought the company. Now, Home Casual is spending more than $1 million to broaden Plantation Patterns operations, spinning off the site at Craig Field Industrial Park.

In this time of the Great Recession, those who work toward economic development in our region have not stopped; they have not been thwarted by figures drawn up by bureaucrats with long agendas and short pencils.

Or as Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”