Kokomo’s mayor says a move by Chrysler to put 4,000 of its employees on a four-day work week could have an effect on volunteerism in the city.
Though details have not been announced, Chrysler says many of its Kokomo employees will move to four, 10-hour days later this year from the normal five, eight-hour shifts. Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight forecasts that could help free up time for city residents to volunteer their time on their new-found day off.
“Sometimes having that four, ten-hour day does free up people to work or volunteer and do things in the community,” Goodnight says.
Indiana Business Research Center economist Tim Slaper says that is a reasonable conjecture, but takes it a step further, saying that if enough employees engage in similar activities – or if few influential employees are affected – schedules elsewhere in the city could change, too.
Slaper says bowling leagues might elect to start later or little league teams may play games on different days, for instance. But he adds any financial windfall felt by some companies due to the new day off could be offset by losses elsewhere.
“As in many cases, there are winners and there are losers,” Slaper says. “We may see increased sales at the bait and tackle shop because more people are going out fishing. The folks that are commuting into Kokomo from other counties — and there are quite a few – they may be spending less money on gas or smokes or Slim Jims at the local Circle K.”
Numbers from the State of Indiana show 7,000 to 10,000 people commute into Howard County for work from neighboring counties. Slaper says he suspects many of those may be auto workers.