Together for better or worse, job markets and bankruptcy are joined at the hip. On the negative side, breadwinners’ job loss has always proven to be a main driver of bankruptcy, along with uninsured medical catastrophes and divorce. It’s no mystery that in geographic areas experiencing major layoffs and plant closings, bankruptcy statistics rise. Here in Indiana, where I’ve practiced bankruptcy law for almost twenty-five years, we’ve certainly had our share of job market upheavals, along with a related rise in the number of bankruptcies and foreclosures.
There’s a sunny side to this street, though. I’m always alert for news that can help my clients rebuild their financial lives after bankruptcy, and, in just the past two weeks, I heard good news out of the Muncie area. Brevini, an Italian wind turbine manufacturer headquartered in Chicago, announced it will be bringing 450 jobs to our state when it locates a new plant here. These will be decent jobs, too, paying an average of $46,000 a year along with employee benefits. I was particularly gladdened by good news from Muncie, because one of my four Indiana bankruptcy law offices is located in nearby Anderson.
Next, TriMedx , the medical equipment company, announced plans to hire more than 100 employees and spend more than $5 million to grow their facility on Indianapolis’ northwest side.
In the same newspaper issue in which I was reading dire news about the stock market’s “free fall”, there was wonderful news out of Plainfield, Indiana, telling about OHL (Ozburn-Hessey Logistics) getting set to add 120 jobs to its 400-person workforce because, according to regional vice president Nathan Sanders, “We’re planning on continued growth.” Plainfield has been generating good news almost routinely lately, with 22 million square feet of warehouse and industrial buildings having been put up in just the past ten years, adding 13,000 jobs to the area.
As I steer my Indiana clients through the bankruptcy process, often helping them establish court-supervised Chapter 13 repayment plans, I’m feeling especially optimistic about the type of distribution facility jobs that OHL and TriMedx will be offering. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is helping companies with grants for new worker training, and this type of job typically comes with benefits, of crucial importance to financial rebuilding.
I don’t have the very latest figures, but in September, Indiana jobless claims dropped by more than 500, while claims were rising in most other states. As a bankruptcy attorney who’s dealt with tens of thousands of individual and small business clients over the years, I certainly don’t believe in sugar-coating financial realities. But these very recent examples of growth in our job markets demonstrate to me that there is a sunny side to the Indiana job market street.