The City of Bridges has been hit hard by the economic recession, with massive layoffs at John Deere and the closing of Praxis Mid-America.
And now: Synovate. The international company for telephone research services has announced that it will close on November 15th, and a total of 80 part-time employees and one full-time employee will be out of work.
Synovate is offering, however, those employees the opportunity to stay with the company by working from home.
KTVO spoke with Roger Jones, Ottumwa's Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation. He said that John Deere is expected to rehire the laid-off workers in the coming months, and Praxis Mid-America may reopen next spring. "We're suffering like everybody else. But with regard to our closings, there have been, like I say, silver linings in all of them," Jones said.
He added that the Economic Development Corporation is being proactive to keep business in Ottumwa, and that projects like the construction of a new Job Corps Center is a positive step.
"We're working. We're being very proactive. We're working with three 'live projects,' I call them. At the airport...[Job Corps Center] is an excellent asset that we have. We have an excellent transportation hub. We have a great railroad infrastructure which a lot of companies want," Jones added.