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What the President's jobs plan means for hiring in Indiana

BusinessSmall BusinessesWill Wingfield

The President says Congress can help create jobs quickly by targeting areas like small business and public infrastructure, but those doing the hiring locally have mixed opinions on whether that will happen.

B&W plumbing, heating and air conditioning warehouse has been a family-owned small business for 50 years, but Beth Rovazzini said the last six years have been some of the hardest. In 2006, there were more than 100 professionals riding around in their big black trucks, but that number fell to 40 in 2008 and hasn't recovered.

But despite the tough times, when Fox59 News asked Rovazzini what he would ask the federal government to do for her business she had a short answer.

"To stay out of it," Rovazzini said.

Despite recent federal incentives for energy efficient heating and cooling equipment, Rovazzini said the programs provided artificial boosts to sales that didn't result in any additional hiring.

Despite President Obama's plan to cut taxes for small businesses and create additional breaks for those who add employees or raise wages, Rovazzini said she's afraid it won't last if it happens at all.

"If you gave just small businesses a tax credit for the next two years, yeah that might help in the real short term," Rovazzini said. "Is that a long term solution? No, we need less taxes for everybody."

One area where federal money does appear to translate quickly into jobs is infrastructure. Officials with INDOT were watching the President closely Thursday because they were able to put federal money to work quickly the last time it came their way.

"We had more highway and bridge projects during the Recovery Act than any other state in the nation and it's not because we received more money," said INDOT spokesperson Will Wingfield. "It's because we did a lot of smaller projects that allow us to extend the life of the work and be able to compete."

Increase or not, Wingfield said the biggest concern right now is that Congress still has yet to pass a funding plan which expires at the end of the month. It's a plan that may have now become more difficult to pass.

"That's what we're watching closely to make sure our planning efforts, what projects we're planning to build in the short term, align with the funding that's available," Wingfield said.

The President said he is also pushing for more money to modernize schools and prevent teacher layoffs. A spokesperson with the Indiana Department of Education tells Fox59 News that they will not offer a comment on the proposal until they have time to thoroughly review what it entails.

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