Workers: More effort should follow new jobs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2000

Former Cabletron employees greeted Monday’s news of 150 jobs for the City of Ironton with eager expectation and smiles.

Thursday, March 30, 2000

Former Cabletron employees greeted Monday’s news of 150 jobs for the City of Ironton with eager expectation and smiles.

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"I think it’s fantastic news," said Debbie Horner. "The more people we get to work, the better."

But, as wonderful as the news is, Mrs. Horner still hopes for more jobs for the more than 1,000 displaced workers now in the city and surrounding area.

"This is one goal achieved and, hopefully, there will be more (jobs) on the way," she said. "I just hope the town doesn’t stop at 150 jobs."

With so many people out of work in the city in the wake of closures at Cabletron Systems Inc., Honeywell Specialty Chemicals, and the most recent at Intermet-Ironton Iron, where many workers punched the clock for the final time Wednesday afternoon, job competition will be heavy, said Brenda Myers.

"I’m glad they’ve gotten someone to fill the Cabletron building," she said. "But, just at Cabletron, when it closed, about 350 people lost their jobs. With all the other closures and so many people out of work, there will be a lot of people applying for these 150 jobs."

The incoming jobs, however, could bring additional work opportunities as an indirect bonus, Ms. Myers added.

"I think if this company comes down and makes a go of it, others in Columbus will take notice," she said. "But, we’ve got to prove ourselves. Not that I think we’re going to have any problem with that because we’ve got a good, well-trained work force and 90 percent of those people are excellent workers with a great work ethic."

Once other businesses that are looking toward expansion see Liebert Corp.’s successful venture in Ironton, the Columbus-based computer technologies manufacturing company could very well be the harbinger of better things to come in the city, Brenda Adams pointed out.

And, even if Liebert’s development does not lure other industries to the city, it’s not time to give up on the home front, Ms. Adams added.

"I think we need to keep plugging along," she said. "We lost about 1,000 jobs, so 150 jobs is still leaving a lot of people out of work and without any means of income. (This announcement) has given us all some hope, and we needed that, but now it’s time to double up on our efforts while things are changing for the better."

Regardless of things to come, Ms. Adams is ready to apply for a job with the Liebert Corp. and said she is pleased with the relatively fast turnaround.

"I think everybody worked very hard for this to have happened so quickly for the city," she said.

Another former Cabletron employee, Teresa Pyles said that, although she has a new course set for herself with plans to continue her education rather than applying for a job at Liebert, she is pleased for the community that the announcement has come.

"I think it’s wonderful – there’s no doubt about that," Mrs. Pyles said. "It’s a big step toward solving the problems that we have in the Tri-State area and in the county and Ironton specifically."

Jobs like this will give people hope, lift their spirits and make things more positive within the city and county in general, she said.

And that can be a great asset in recruiting even more jobs and industry, she added.

"This is a great opportunity for people to get back into the work force while allowing them to stay close to home," she said. "I know we’ve had 1,000 jobs lost, and that 150 isn’t enough to go around, but you have to start somewhere and it looks like this is a very good place for us to get started."