We welcome Seymour Common Council’s issuance of $2.375 million in municipal bonds last week to help Cummins Inc. expand its Seymour Engine Plant off East Fourth Street and help make up to $4.5 million in state money available for local education efforts.
The education piece seems to be the part of the picture some folks are missing when they question the use of city bonds to help Cummins with its $219 million investment that’s expected to generate more than 200 new jobs, most of which will be high-paying engineering jobs.
Yes, it may seem like a sleight-of-hand maneuver, but it’s all part of how the state sets up its industrial development assistance program and accounting procedures for those programs.
We’ve already commended Cummins for telling state and local economic development officials it would prefer that the state divert its economic development assistance to local educational programs. And that is what the bond process will accomplish.
The money collected as a result of selling those bonds will finance programs through the Jackson County Education Coalition. The coalition should see $1.5 million of that money in October.
Plans call for spreading those dollars across the board, for projects and initiatives ranging from preschool to college to incumbent workforce training.
That means children of all ages and adults already in the local workforce — and not just Cummins employees — could see some direct benefit from the process. Indirectly, the entire community should benefit with better education and work opportunities in the future.
We think that’s a winning situation for the people of Seymour, for Jackson County and for Cummins Inc.
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