Region will hurt from loss

Published 12:00 pm Monday, May 2, 2016

It’s been a few days since Caterpillar’s announcement that Oxford’s plant will phase down and cease production, but the community is still talking about it.

The loss of 240 jobs will hurt in a city and county our size, both for those who are residents of Lafayette County and those who live in nearby communities and drive in to work. Its effect will go across geographical borders and be one more plant that is closing in North Mississippi.

Perhaps nearby Toyota and its suppliers with their growth can accommodate some of those laid off. Perhaps booming technology startups like Next Gear Solutions, headquartered right here in Oxford, can bring in some of the employees.

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Ultimately, we need to look to our elected officials, those people we chose to lead us for the next couple years, and ask for their help. Between those officials and the work of the Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation, businesses can start up and be recruited to open in places like the Max Hipp Industrial Park. There also are acres upon acres in the county just ripe for development on our major thoroughfares. Let’s all do our part to keep Oxford and Lafayette County a promising place and encourage those we elected to keep our quality of life high.