Businesses in Plainfield pay for commuter line due to workforce shortage

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PLAINFIELD, Ind. - Businesses in Plainfield need more employees and have decided they are willing to pay for public transportation to get Indianapolis residents there.

For the first time in Indiana, the businesses along the South Plainfield Connector have rallied to create a Economic Improvement District to pay for a commuter line.

“So each of those businesses will pay into a pot of money that will... fund this service," Central Indiana Regional Transity Authority Spokeswoman Jen Thomas said.

The South Plainfield Connector takes residents from a stop on the western part of Marion County into Plainfield. The line's federal funding expired in 2015. The Town of Plainfield and CIRTA fit the bill for 2016 and now the businesses along the route have pitched into to pay for the line.

“It means a whole lot because a lot of people can’t get back and forth to work," Indianapolis resident Donald Walton, who uses the connector, said. "If this bus wasn’t running I wouldn’t have a job.”

The demand for employees in Plainfield is high.  A survey of local HR professionals and staffing agencies that the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership conducted in late 2014 and early 2015 identified there were  2,400 unfilled jobs in Plainfield. According to Indeed.com, there are currently 843 open positions in Plainfield.

Plainfield Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brad DuBois said with unemployment low in Hendricks County it is hard to fill all the open jobs. He explained there are 45 million square feet of industry space in Hendricks County and 40 million of those are in Plainfield.

“We went from basically zero to that 40 million in the last 20 years. So it’s been crazy," DuBois said.

If you're interested in applying for a job in Plainfield you can click here. To learn more about the South Plainfield Connector and other bus routes, visit the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority.

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