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Editorial: Rowan will recover from Daimler layoffs

For any community, a looming layoff of 450 local workers might be something from which it might not recover.

That’s especially the case when they are good-paying jobs, as in the case in Cleveland’s Daimler truck manufacturing plant. There, 450 employees will lose their jobs on Oct. 14. The company says decreased demand for its trucks is the reason.

But there’s cold comfort for those facing a layoff in the fact that our community is growing and that employers need and complain about qualified workers. Our community is growing.

Rowan County Economic Development Commission President Rod Crider said Tuesday that “there are many other local employers who are in need of qualified workers and talent.”

County Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds said layoffs announced this week are unlike previous ones for the same reason.

They’re right. There are open manufacturing jobs in Rowan County and nearby communities found easily by visiting any well-known job search website, NCworks.gov’s job search portal or the Post’s classifieds.

And while Rowan County’s economy will temporarily suffer, there are signs of growth that will make any resulting dip in employment temporary. In south Rowan, there are developers just waiting for construction to wrap up on Interstate 85. A distribution facility for online pet product retailer Chewy.com is under construction. Local businesses already are expanding and advertising open jobs.

Make no mistake, 450 jobs is a blow to families with loved ones who work at the Daimler facility, businesses nearby and the entire community, but there are ways to ensure it doesn’t result in months of unemployment

For now, institutions in our community must be focused on helping those affected get through an uncertain time. That includes Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, which says it will offer its training program to affected people, and the many nonprofits in Rowan County, too.

Rowan County will recover from Daimler’s layoffs announced Tuesday.

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