Anderson keeping close eye on governor's race
Eyewitness News made the inaugural stop on our "On The Road" tour in Anderson last week. Wednesday, we returned to Madison County to take a closer look at what affects people in that town that may impact the rest of Indiana, too.
With many of its manufacturing jobs long gone, Anderson struggles with nearly 1 in 10 people out of work. So it's no wonder jobs were a hot topic at our community conversation.
"I went from making $37 an hour to $7 an hour," said one person.
"Stop giving breaks to send jobs out of America," said another.
"My daddy taught me, if a man don't work, he don't eat," said Daniel Simmons.
Eyewitness News followed up with Simmons at his south side home. Thanks to his garden, he has plenty to eat, but it hasn't been easy.
"It's just hard coming from making so much money to no money," Simmons said.
He was at GM when it closed, then he lost his job at the Ford plant in Indianapolis. His wife saw her hours in retail cut sharply. With unemployment near 10 percent, they're not alone.
As for what would help Anderson the most?
"To have more incentives for big companies, because we need more than $10 an hour jobs to come here," Simmons said.
He says retraining workers is also key. He and his wife are watching the governor's race closely. The Simmons family and others in Anderson say the biggest thing they want from the candidates is specifics - "What is your game plan?"
So Eyewitness News went to the candidates.
Democrat John Gregg says he'd encourage companies to locate here by eliminating the corporate income tax for those that headquarter in Indiana. He'd also push for funding job training at community colleges and help match employers with displaced workers.
Republican Mike Pence says he'd cut the personal income tax 10 percent, helping the vast majority of Indiana businesses, he'd halt new regulations until the current ones are evaluated and he'd expand career, technical and vocational education at Indiana high schools.
It's food for thought as the Simmonses and others look to Election Day.