Tuesday, September 09, 2008
sponsored by Jake's Furnishings

FedEx to keep Lincoln operation intact

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[September 09, 2008]  The groundbreaking of a new 43-acre, 162-door FedEx facility in Effingham in May was cause for local concern. Frank Hurst, vice president of division operations, told Effingham officials that the new hub would service the St. Louis-to-Indianapolis corridor.

FedEx officials did not give an exact number as to how many employees would eventually be working at the new hub. They also would not say how many of those jobs would be filled by employees transferred in from Logan County or other FedEx sites.

The Lincoln facility serves as a hub for Chicago to St. Louis. FedEx has another facility in the proximity of Effingham also. The Arcola center serves as the Indianapolis-to-St. Louis hub.

As big as the new facility is, rumors began swirling that FedEx might pull out, or almost leave our community. A watch began for announcements that would affect the local facility.

The Effingham plant is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving, with an operations start date early in the next year.

Concerns escalated in recent months when word on the street said that some management was being asked to transfer to the Effingham facility.

Last week two FedEx media relations representatives had one direct comment for Lincoln Daily News: "There are no current plans to close the Lincoln facility."

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Joel Smiley, Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership executive director, said that he had been in contact with FedEx corporate in Tennessee in recent months. The vice president of facility management told him that there would be some changes at the Lincoln facility, but that would not come until the first quarter of the new year.

Current communications from management to Smiley are that they are still going to have a presence here and there would be no major changes at the Lincoln facility.

Smiley said that when he spoke to the facility manager it was pointed out that Lincoln is a hundred miles from Effingham and they still need Lincoln.

Smiley said: "We're willing to do everything we can to protect jobs in Logan County. We're willing to keep communications open, and whatever we can do to retain jobs here in Lincoln, we will do that."

[By MIKE FAK; LDN staff]


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