We must ‘keep on trying’ to develop

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2001

We need to keep a positive outlook and keep on trying.&uot; Natchez Aldermen Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West’s advice comes in the wake of a news that Titan Tire of Natchez would further reduce its workforce to a skeleton maintenance crew of some 12 to 20 workers.

And that news came Wednesday, just one day after Ethyl Petroleum Additives announced plans to shut down is Natchez plant by the end of May, eliminating 40 jobs in the local economy.

While the Titan scaleback comes as little surprise – the company severely reduced its workforce 60 days ago and the tire industry has been suffering nationally – the news is disappointing and could be discouraging to Natchez residents.

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But we must, as West said, &uot; keep on trying.&uot;

Our future lies in our development, our growth, and that means our economic growth. We must not lose sight of that goal and we must continue to push forward – as a community; as business leaders; as taxpayers. We desperately need economic development momentum – most notably absent in the Economic Development Authority which has been pressing on in spite of its lack of a permanent director for two years now. When the new board is finally authorized and in place, it is critical that members find a top-notch economic development director, and that city and county leaders maintain their gentleman’s agreement on funding and support of the agency.

Moreover, it’s crucial that business and civic leaders step up and answer the call, as well, do their part to recruit jobs and opportunities to Natchez and the area.

We must remain positive, yes, and most important, we must keep on trying.