Today you’re holding our annual Times Community Review.

It’s largely devoted to the successes of businesses in our community over the past year. We thank them for their participation, both in advertising and in helping us gather stories and photographs that show progress in the many fields of business endeavors in Barren and surrounding counties.

One of those areas we salute in this annual edition is industry. Our manufacturers, large and small, are a vital part of our economy and the jobs and benefits they provide our citizens allow the community to grow and prosper. They also provide an opportunity for future employment for young people to “stay home” and not be forced to seek employment in other cities or states.

Scott Luth, director of the Industrial Development Economic Authority, is optimistic that the community’s industrial base is solid and will continue to be in the future. While working to bring new jobs, he also realizes that our existing industries play the most important role in keeping our community strong and vibrant. It is through growth and expansions of our existing industries that many new jobs are produced.

Two members of the industrial family here, DANA and J.L. French, have recently sought protection from creditors through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, allowing the companies to restructure, making them stronger and more viable in the ever-changing automotive industry.

The U.S. auto industry faces some tremendous challenges as evidenced by the problems of GM and some other major players. There is a trickle down effect that reaches supply industries in small towns across America.

While concerned, Luth says Glasgow industries have shown no direct changes because of the challenges they face, continuing to provide pay and benefits for their employees and, in some cases, even hiring more employees as they cope with new demands on productivity.

Luth says IDEA is closely monitoring the affected companies and will work with them in every way possible to help them achieve their new goals.

“Our hope is they will get through this restructuring successfully and we won’t see any changes in their operations at the local level,” he said. “We believe that overall, this could have a positive effect on our plants here.”

So while there is cause for concern, this is not a time to panic. These companies must be given the opportunity to work through their issues as the auto industry deals with its problems nationwide.

As spring arrives and brings with it a season of renewal, we hope that the year ahead will be a safe and profitable one for everyone.

And to our readers, we hope you enjoy today’s Community Review.

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