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City of Fort Wayne

Verbatim: Rally aims to keep Navistar part of the equation

Statement issued Wednesday:

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Joining with other elected officials, community leaders and Navistar employees, Mayor Tom Henry led a public rally this morning at Parkview Field to show Fort Wayne's support for keeping Navistar's Truck Design and Technology Center and its more than 1,000 exceptional jobs here.

"As mayor in these difficult times, I'm working every moment of every day to make Fort Wayne the kind of place where good jobs can grow and families can thrive. Navistar is a vital part of that equation," Mayor Henry told the crowd. "Navistar employees represent the kind of high-skill, high-wage jobs that will strengthen our local economy – and keep our community attractive and competitive long into the future."

Mayor Henry has been working in cooperation with officials in Allen County government, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce to retain Navistar's Fort Wayne operations while also exploring options for the Chicago-based company to expand in northeast Indiana.

"With our mission to retain and expand jobs in Fort Wayne and Allen County, the Alliance is committed to Navistar's legacy. It is valuable to our community and beneficial to Navistar as well. We are a community that thrives in the advanced manufacturing and defense industries. We have talented engineers and a technical workforce here that allows many employers to succeed at a national and international level," said Andi Udris, president of the Alliance.

"As Navistar makes its final decision, the Chamber is positioned to showcase the reason business is better when it's done in Fort Wayne. With a highly affordable cost of doing business in Fort Wayne, we are the best choice for Navistar to stake its claim. In addition the affordable cost of living provides an excellent and attractive place for Navistar employees to call home. Fort Wayne provides what very few communities can, an affordable yet growth-focused economic climate that allows for both Navistar and its employees to flourish," said Mike Landram, CEO and president of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Henry noted Navistar has been in Fort Wayne for more than 90 years and the area has had a long history of building and designing trucks. Despite competition for this operation and the jobs that accompany it, local leaders are confident Fort Wayne remains the best place for Navistar's engineering center.

The event was held at Parkview Field's south plaza. Two of the City's International-nameplate trucks, including a hybrid, where at the rally. Local engineers designed the trucks at the Fort Wayne facility, and the City's fleet department has worked closely with the Navistar design center to test new components.

To find out more about local efforts to keep Navistar in Fort Wayne, visit www.navistay.com or become a Navistay fan on Facebook and follow the Navistay Twitter feed.

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