I commend Meredith and Jim Tracey and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church for their efforts to help provide for the needy in our community (a story appeared in the Newton Daily News on July 26 “Blessing Box Helps Those In Need”). As the saying goes, “it take a village” to raise a child, so “it takes a village” to provide for the less fortunate in any community. I think Newton works very hard at meeting the needs of the needy — food pantries, free community meals, Manhatten Christmas Club and churches having give aways of household items, clothing, diapers and school supplies, just to name a few.
Our community has changed a great deal over the last 10 plus years. All communities have. The world is just not the same anymore. This leads me to take exception to the comment the article quotes Merle Smith as saying — “There’s no industry here anymore.”... We do have industry and companies that provide jobs. The list includes TPI, Trinity Structural Towers, Anderson Printing, UL Laboratories, Cline Tool, bio diesel plant, Atlas Hydraulics, Aeuron and Multi Packaging and Printing. The Newton Development Corporation points out that in the fall of 2007 the final 1,750 Maytag jobs went away. Since 2008 until the present time Newton has had 11 new companies locate in Newton. These 11 new companies have diversified our employment base (all eggs not in one basket) now employ 1,800 people. Unemployment went from 9.9 percent in 2009 down under 3.5 percent today. Several of these employers are continuing to hire.
The Newton Development Corporation, under the direction of Frank Liebl, continues to recruit new businesses for our community. More than half of the space at the former Maytag Plant Two is filled. Renovation of the remainder of the space continues.
It is unfortunate that we have needy people and even homeless in our community. But, I don’t think we can say Newton is not moving forward in the areas of jobs, housing, schools and retail offerings. Frank Liebl, executive director of the Newton Development Corporation, says that “Newton is definitely trending in the right direction.”
Let’s focus on the positive while we work to eliminate the negative.