No word yet on where Cummins cuts will be made

Mayor says Columbus has strong economy

COLUMBUS, Ind. - Cummins Inc. announced Tuesday it will cut 1,000 to 1,500 employees by the end of the year due to the slumping global economy.

But a big question is looming -- how many of those jobs will be in Columbus and what impact will it have on the community?

"I would expect most of the reduction in force will take place in manufacturing operations, which are located all over the world," said James Smith, a lecturer with the IU Kelley School of Business. "I don't expect we will see too many people in Indiana lose their jobs."

Smith said Cummins had back-to-back good years in 2010 and 2011. He said 2012 won't be as good, but it won't be bad either.

"I have no idea how it is going to affect my customer base, but when you have unsettling news it causes concern for everybody," said Jeff Bake, who owns and operates a Gift and Accessories shop a few blocks away from Cummins headquarters in Columbus.

Nancy Andrews' husband works at Cummins. She is undaunted by the projected cutbacks.

"Two years into the recession, it's finally touching Columbus. We are doing real well here," Andrews said. "It's caught up with us because the orders are stepping back, but as a community, we are still ahead of 99 percent of the country."

Columbus mayor Kristen Brown told RTV6 that her city's economy is strong. She said Cummins will act prudently and responsibly.  

Columbus' unemployment rate is 6 percent, much lower than the statewide rate.

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