As I see it, staying on top of the local, national, and world news is part of my job as an Indiana bankruptcy lawyer. For clients emerging from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, finding or holding onto steady work is a key factor in their making a new financial start. For those emerging from a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which involves making regular debt repayments, holding steady work is crucial to their plan’s success.

The rising cost of fuel has been in the news a lot lately, and it’s had several direct effects on the job market here in Indiana. 2008 has been a very difficult year in the automotive industry, with many layoffs. Now another 300 jobs will be eliminated in Kokomo, I learned.

On the flip side of the coin, the logistics business has been growing rapidly in our state. Logistics means packaging and transporting goods, and that means fuel. Since Indiana is within one day’s drive to just about anywhere in the U.S., our very location means savings on shipping costs (both truck fuel costs and air shipping costs). Because of that, has plans to hire more than 1600 people in Munster, Plainfield, and Whitestown. All of this is extremely relevant to my work, as my bankruptcy law offices serve 38 Indiana counties.

Also in the positive column of news relating to fuel, Polaris Laboratories plans to double its work force. Polaris is a fluid analysis lab company that tests oils, fuels, and coolants. Their work results in companies savings millions of dollars in equipment downtime and equipment replacement.

As a bankruptcy attorney in Indiana for more than two decades, I’ve witnessed many changes in our local economy. Since so many of our Indiana jobs were manufacturing-related, improvements in technology hit our job market especially hard. In fact, for many years now, Indiana has led the nation in per-capita bankruptcy filings. Many of the layoffs that played a part in clients filing bankruptcy came as a result of these shifts in manufacturing employment. It’s very encouraging to me to see there are several silver linings in the clouds caused by fuel costs.