Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry made this statement about Navistar at a news conference this afternoon:
Our community received some challenging news yesterday from Navistar. While our spirits may have been dampened for a moment, we are not discouraged.
We are more committed now and more united in our fight for good jobs here in Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana than we ever have been.
That’s why I am so pleased that so many business and community leaders and many of our local elected officials have joined me this afternoon. Fighting for good jobs is our community’s challenge and one that we are determined to meet together.
We stand here together united in our fight for business investment and our skilled workforce. We know there is no better place than Fort Wayne for good jobs to grow and companies to prosper.
There are no better employees than our talented and ready workforce.
And there is no more welcoming community than the one you’ll find right here.
We are pleased that Navistar’s CEO Daniel Ustian has accepted our invitation to talk with us about the company’s future here, as well as other possibilities. To update you on what has happened overnight, company officials have already been in contact with our representative, Mark Williams, president of Strategic Development Group, to arrange that meeting.
We are convinced that there are future options for Navistar in Fort Wayne, and we want to explore every possibility for retaining Navistar jobs. We want to demonstrate to the company that we are prepared to help them succeed and that Fort Wayne can remain a vital part of the Navistar profitability equation.
Fort Wayne is a legacy community for Navistar. We have a proud nearly 90-year history with the company producing great products. We believe that’s a foundation for future success.
We want the talented employees of Navistar to know that we want them to remain in our community. These exceptional professionals are an extraordinary community asset. These workers and their families are part of the fabric of our community. Their abilities make this area a more competitive business environment and their community involvements enrich Fort Wayne countless times over. We need them here.
And we want them to know that they have options. They can stay right here, build great careers and live happy and successful lives in our flourishing community.
We want to remind them that northeast Indiana is a center for design and engineering excellence with numerous employers in a variety of stable, growing innovation sectors, one that could easily be their new home. We want them to be aware that they can sharpen their skills at our first-class colleges and universities. And we are going to make sure that they know there are opportunities for them if they wish to remain a Hoosier.
One of my duties as Mayor is to find ways to keep Fort Wayne a great place for business. That is why I am glad to stand today with Kathleen Randolph and WorkOne Northeast. WorkOne is part of the collective effort of the City of Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and other local and regional organizations that are working together to advance economic development in our community and to support Navistar’s local employees.
WorkOne’s efforts to help Navistar’s employees stay here in Fort Wayne is one more way we are working together as a community to address this difficult issue. Our message today is loud and clear: We are united in our fight for good jobs and our talented workforce. It is a fight we are committed to winning.
I would now like Kathleen Randolph, President & CEO of WorkOne Northeast, to give details on the WorkOne Northeast training scholarship fund and the customized retention and recruitment effort.