More lay offs, more questions

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

According to information in a press release from Batesville Tool & Die, the company laid off 58 full-time associates recently as a direct result of the economy.

Jody Fledderman, president of the Batesville facility, noted that sales in their industry was off by nearly 40 percent.

As to when the employees would be returning to work, there was no time frame given. “Hopefully the economy will rebound soon and we can concentrate on growing our business as we have for three decades,” Fledderman noted.

The lay off is the first in 30 years for the Batesville company.

One of the company’s main customers is Honda, which has also been affected by the economic downturn in auto sales.

This comes on the heels of the announcement that 170 people would be affected by lay-offs at Hill-Rom in Batesville and Gecom letting more of its employees go as well.

With all of the job uncertainty, particularly within the automotive industry, questions have been raised about the future of Belletech in Ripley County.

Mark McIntyre, vice president of Belletech replied to questions from the Osgood Journal last week about their status in the building process in Versailles. He noted they are currently working with local officials to “determine exactly how much of an impact the slow economy will have on our operation.”
McIntyre further noted that Belletech has made a proposal to Ripley County officials and will release that information upon receiving their response.