When the For Bare Feet plant burned on September 10th, officials from several nearby communities began calling company leaders asking them to relocate. Martinsville Mayor Phil Deckard offered up the vacant Harman-Becker automotive plant – a building he says should allow For Bare Feet to create jobs.
“I’ve met with the president of the company, who assured me that once they find out how many people actually will decide to come to Martinsville with the company, then they will have more of a feel on how many vacancies, if any, they have,” Deckard says. “But she does anticipate a job fair after the first of the year and I think that’s going to be a big plus to Martinsville.”
Martinsville beat out Nashville and Bloomington in the competition to be the company’s new home, meaning additional benefits for a city with a courthouse square ringed by businesses struggling to survive. Morgan County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Joy Sessing says it’s not just jobs in the factory which will be up for grabs…
“They are going into a much larger building than they had in Helmsburg so we have to also think that they’re going to expand, and I know that’s their plan,” Sessing says. “They’re doing work here on the premises, well there’ll be folks that’ll have to keep up the parking lot and the lawn and all those sort of things; the landscaping.”
Mayor Deckard says the company did not ask for any economic incentives to locate in Martinsville, aiming instead to pick the spot which would allow the company to restart its operation the fastest.