Marion growing by leaps and bounds

Marion growing by leaps and bounds
By: Arnold Wyrick

Marion, IL - While some Heartland communities are bracing for hundreds of workers to be unemployed, one is hiring people as quickly as they can.  The town of Marion, Illinois is growing quickly, with no end in sight.
Some might say it's growth is mainly in retail and restaurants.  Especially after a Super Wal-Mart store recently opened employing more than 400 workers.  And new restaurants popping up all over the town.
"It really concerns me when I hear people complain about the creation of minimum wage jobs.  The guy that has no job is going to be happy to have a minimum wage job," says Marion Mayor Bob Butler.
The city is cashing in though on an estimated $500,000,000 a year in sales revenues.
And Mayor Butler points out that there are other entities and businesses throughout the community that employ hundred's of people.
"For instance Marion's Veterans Hospital has some 600 workers.  And the Aisin plant now with it's 3 buildings has more than 800 employees, just to name a few," Mayor Butler said.
"So even though we've lost jobs over the years to coal mines closing up, we're doing the best we can to bring in new businesses, and jobs."
The Chamber of Commerce boosts 600 members, and the Economic Development department works hand in hand with the chamber to seek out new employers to fill the city's industrial parks.
"You can't put your finger on just one aspect.  But look at the broad spectrum of things.  I think you'll find that people are much better off in this area today, then they were 10 to 15 years ago," Mayor Butler said.