Kmart closing adds to Connersville jobless woes

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The 1,550 jobs that could be created in Connersville via Carbon Motors can’t come soon enough for residents of the city in eastern Indiana.

With a December unemployment rate of 13.8 percent, the fourth-highest in the state, Fayette County’s attempts to lower the figure took another hit, albeit a small one, from Kmart Corp.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based discount retailer has informed the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that it will close its Connersville store by the end of May, leaving 59 employees jobless.

Kmart provided no reason for the closing but said cuts will begin on May 17.

It’s at least the fourth Kmart to close in Indiana during the past year. A Jeffersonville location closed earlier this month, sending 69 employees out of work. Forty-eight employees lost their jobs when a Kmart in Martinsville closed in November. And in July, 67 workers were displaced when a store closed in Vincennes.

Five Kmart stores in Indianapolis remain open, as well as one in Brownsburg and one in Greenwood.

Meanwhile, Carbon Motors is awaiting approval of a $310 million federal loan so it can begin producing an energy-efficient police car. Work—and hiring—is expected to begin in 2012.

But the company is already getting ready, planning a job fair this spring to help residents polish resumes and have a pool of applicants ready to go when it's time to fill the 1,550 jobs the company expects to create.

Carbon Motors announced in July that it had selected Connersville for its proposed headquarters and manufacturing operations.


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  1. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  2. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

  3. Good try, Mr. Irwin, but I think we all know the primary motivation for pursuing legal action against the BMV is the HUGE FEES you and your firm expect to receive from the same people you claim to be helping ~ taxpayers! Almost all class action lawsuits end up with the victim receiving a pittance and the lawyers receiving a windfall.

  4. Fix the home life. We're not paying for your child to color, learn letters, numbers and possible self control. YOU raise your children...figure it out! We did. Then they'll do fine in elementary school. Weed out the idiots in public schools, send them well behaved kids (no one expects perfection) and watch what happens! Oh, and pray. A mom.

  5. To clarify, the system Cincinnati building is just a streetcar line which is the cheapest option for rail when you consider light rail (Denver, Portland, and Seattle.) The system (streetcar) that Cincy is building is for a downtown, not a city wide thing. With that said, I think the bus plan make sense and something I shouted to the rooftops about. Most cities with low density and low finances will opt for BRT as it makes more financial and logistical sense. If that route grows and finances are in place, then converting the line to a light rail system is easy as you already have the protected lanes in place. I do think however that Indy should build a streetcar system to connect different areas of downtown. This is the same thing that Tucson, Cincy, Kenosha WI, Portland, and Seattle have done. This allows for easy connections to downtown POI, and allows for more dense growth. Connecting the stadiums to the zoo, convention center, future transit center, and the mall would be one streetcar line that makes sense.