Published by Mark

Bankruptcy And Jobs Situation Briefing

May 23, 2009 at 7:15 am

Just a week ago, in my bankruptcy blog’s Indiana job market update, I mentioned two companies: Nestle in Anderson, and Monaco Coach in northern Indiana. The news about Nestle was good, highlighting the opening of a new factory and distribution center. News about Monaco was not hopeful, as the Oregon-headquartered company announced it would be laying off its remaining Indiana workforce, costing 700 jobs.

Since then, I’ve read news about each of these companies. Nestle is now saying it expects to hire as many as 500 workers to make Nestle’s Nesquik Ready-to-Drink and Coffee-Mate products. The new plant will expand the existing 880,000 square foot plant by 222,000 feet, creating a plant big enough to cover 17 football fields. Nestle will use environmentally friendly manufacturing practices, company officials explained. Unfortunately, the news from Monaco Coach was not nearly so hopeful: the company has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, I learned.

More bad news was forthcoming from Emmis Communications Corporation. Two weeks ago, the company laid off 7 1/2% of its work force, including 91 full time positions and 14 part time positions.

There is no final news on this yet, but WellPoint is looking to sell its pharmaceutical benefits management business. 400 workers are employed in the Wellpoint site at the Indianapolis Airport that opened in 2007. As a counterpoint to this rumor, Medco, another pharmacy benefits company, is opening a large mail order pharmacy in Boone County this year. That distribution center will eventually employ 1300 people.

One really interesting piece of news had to do with Davis Homes, which closed back in July. A new, much smaller version of the company has opened, called Davis Building Group, with plans to buy foreclosed and distressed homes, remodel them, and then sell them. I don’t know any more than this about the situation, but I’m hoping this effort will provide at least a few jobs for craftspeople as the homes are remodeled.

Back in December when I was interviewed by the Indianapolis Business Journal, I mentioned the glut of bankruptcies I’d been observing from people related top the real estate industry, including roofers, framers, and carpet installers. As I described the situation, “The painters aren’t painting!” At least in a small way, I hope, the remodeling of distressed homes can get the painters painting and the roofers roofing!

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