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Chowchilla city leaders fighting hard to keep jobs in their city

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Chowchilla city leaders have been fighting to keep people working at Brake Parts Incorporated. (KFSN)

Chowchilla city leaders have been fighting to keep people working at Brake Parts Incorporated. But last week the manufacturer reported to the state they plan on letting go more workers.

The city of Chowchilla is expecting layoffs from one of its biggest employers, but the news isn't all bad. "Nobody can get established in any decent kind of living," said Edward Meyer, unemployed.

People in Chowchilla said they are much like the city's vast empty fields-- idle and waiting for an opportunity to work. "I've been putting applications in for over six months now, and I've yet to be hired to do anything that would give me a substantial living," said Meyer.

Meyer has been unemployed for the last two months, dozens more may soon join him.

Brake Parts Incorporated, one of the city's biggest employers, recently reported to the state its plans on laying off more than 100 workers. "Every job is important in this community, because it's important to the families that make up this community, and, so, we are willing to fight," said Brian Haddix, city administrator.

City leaders said they're trying hard to retain businesses-- from offering tax credits to other incentives. Haddix said while Brake Parts promised to maintain a presence in the Valley, it's also time to explore other opportunities. "Cities continue to grow and businesses come, and businesses go, but we fight to keep new ones coming online."

The city is currently in talks with a manufacturing company and a distribution company, both businesses would be located in the industrial park and could bring in more than a hundred jobs. "The more businesses you have, the more me people you draw in, and it would be good," said Claude Sheppard, Sheppard Sporting Goods.

The goal is to bring in more jobs than the city might lose. "It would just be wonderful if we did have a few establishments come into town, anytime you can get the father of a family off welfare it's a good thing," said Meyer.

If an agreement is reached, more information on the proposed manufacturing business and distribution center could be released in the next few weeks.

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