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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Report Outlines 'Lost Decade' For NY Workers

August 29, 2013 2:32 pm | by Michael Virtanen, Associated Press

A new report on New York's economy calls the last 10 years a "lost decade" for typical workers, with median wages dropping almost 7 percent for men and about 1 percent for women. The Fiscal Policy Institute said the recovery from the Great Recession shows more underemployment despite the state restoring overall jobs lost in the downturn.

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MD Police Raid Turns Up Fake Apple Products

August 29, 2013 2:30 pm | by The Associated Press

Maryland State Police say raids at Arundel Mills Mall turned up hundreds of counterfeit Apple products for sale at a store and kiosk. Police say troopers served search warrants at the Cyberion store and the ST Tech Pros kiosk last week and found hundreds of counterfeit Apple Inc. products being sold as authentic factory replacements. 

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WestJet Plans To Buy 65 737 Max From Boeing

August 29, 2013 2:28 pm | by The Associated Press

Canadian airline WestJet plans to buy 65 of the new fuel-efficient 737 Max aircraft from Boeing as it looks to modernize its fleet. Boeing said Thursday that the pending order is valued at $6.3 billion at current list prices.

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U.S. Sugar Producers Receive Good News

August 29, 2013 2:24 pm | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press

Questions about low sugar prices, dry growing conditions, discolored product and a bloated North American market due in large part to Mexican exports had American Crystal Sugar Co. officials reeling in recent weeks. But CEO David Berg told employees about plans by Mexico's soft drink industry to buy more of its own cane sugar so less of it will be sold elsewhere, an issue that has frustrated U.S. executives.

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Report: 38,600 Clean Energy Jobs Announced In Q2

August 29, 2013 2:18 pm | by E2

Companies and communities across the United States announced at least 58 clean energy and clean transportation projects in the second quarter of 2013 that could create as many as 38,600 jobs, according to a report released by the nonprofit business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

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Applications For U.S. Unemployment Aid Fall

August 29, 2013 2:06 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits remained near the lowest level in more than five years last week, a sign that companies are cutting few jobs. First-time applications for benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 331,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

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First U.S.-Made Smartphone Cheap To Produce

August 29, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press

Motorola's new Moto X phone doesn't cost more to make simply because it's assembled in Texas, research firm IHS said. The Moto X is the first smartphone to carry the "Made in the U.S.A." designation. Labor costs are higher in the U.S. compared with Asian factories, where phones are typically made.

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Obama To Address AFL-CIO Convention Next Month

August 29, 2013 2:02 pm | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

President Barack Obama will speak to the AFL-CIO's Quadrennial Convention next month in Los Angeles. The AFL-CIO is a key part of the Democratic base, but Obama has a fragile relationship with the group. White House and labor officials confirm Obama's attendance on Sept. 9. 

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Predator Drone Now Part Of CA Wildfire Battle

August 29, 2013 1:59 pm | by Brian Skoloff, Tracie Cone, Associated Press

As crews advanced against a giant wildfire around Yosemite National Park, fire commanders said they would maintain use of a Predator drone to give them early views of any new flare-ups across the remote and rugged landscape. Officials remained confident on Thursday about their efforts to corral the Rim Fire, which grew by a relatively modest few hundred acres overnight.

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1,400 New Employees Kick Off U.S. Fusion Production

August 29, 2013 1:20 pm | by Ford Motor Company

Supported by 1,400 new employees, the new Ford Fusion rolled off the line at Flat Rock Assembly Plant yesterday, marking the first time the popular car has been built in the United States. The move expands Fusion availability by more than 30 percent – up to 350,000 units annually – as the midsize sedan is setting sales records for Ford.

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PMMI Gives Workforce A JumPPstart

August 29, 2013 1:12 pm | by PMMI

By working together, PMMI members hope to spark a new generation of manufacturing workers. They say it takes a village to raise a child. PMMI members in Milwaukee and Minneapolis would put it another way: “It takes an industry to raise a workforce.” 

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Toyota Says New Prius, Fuel Cell Car Due In 2015

August 29, 2013 12:52 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

Toyota has two important vehicles coming in 2015: the next-generation Prius hybrid and the company's first hydrogen fuel cell car. Satoshi Ogiso, a top Toyota engineer who helped develop the original Prius 20 years ago, said Wednesday that the new Prius will get significantly better fuel economy than its current 50 miles per gallon (4.7 liters per 100 kilometers).

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Nobody Hurt In TX Drilling Rig Fire

August 29, 2013 12:51 pm | by The Associated Press

Nobody has been hurt in a fiery drilling rig accident in rural South Texas and efforts continue to put out the blaze. The Lavaca County Sheriff's Office says the accident happened Wednesday night between Shiner and Yoakum. The area is about 80 miles east of San Antonio.

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Renault's COO Steps Down Unexpectedly

August 29, 2013 12:49 pm | by The Associated Press

French carmaker Renault has announced that its chief operating officer, Carlos Tavares, is unexpectedly stepping down to pursue personal projects. Spokeswoman Raluca Barb said Thursday that Tavares is not leaving the company, but she would not give any more details.

IEPA OKs Work At Fire-Damaged Plant

August 29, 2013 12:47 pm | by The Associated Press

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says limited manufacturing may resume at a fire-damaged northern Illinois chemical plant. Agency officials and attorney general's office gave the approval Wednesday for the Nova-Kem plant in the town of Seward, about 18 miles west of Rockford.

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Decision On Site For Big Fertilizer Plant Delayed

August 29, 2013 12:45 pm | by The Associated Press

The company planning to build a new $1.2 billion fertilizer plant in either Iowa or Illinois is delaying a decision on the location. David Lundy is a spokesman for Cronus Chemical LLC. He told The Associated Press Thursday that the company has pushed its decision back "several weeks" over engineering issues and how those issues affect building costs.

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TN Cheesemaker MDS Foods Plans New Plant

August 29, 2013 12:43 pm | by The Associated Press

Cheesemaker MDS Foods Inc. plans to build an expanded production facility in Manchester. The Tullahoma News reports that a 58,000-square-foot facility will be constructed over two phases. Coffee County industrial board executive director Ted Hackney says employment is expected to grow from 41 to about 70 in the next few years.

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Nissan Pledges To Make Self-Driving Cars By 2020

August 28, 2013 2:28 pm | by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Nissan Motor Co. says it will make cars that drive themselves by 2020. The Japanese automaker made the pledge Tuesday at an event in California. CEO Carlos Ghosn has said before that he wants Nissan to be the first to sell self-driving cars. But Tuesday's announcement was more specific.

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Advice For Small Biz: Take Stock, Take Risks

August 28, 2013 2:26 pm | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer

The economy is showing signs of life and that makes it a good time for small business owners to re-evaluate how they are running their companies. Now that crisis mode has passed, owners need to make sure they're ready to take advantage of growth opportunities on the horizon. Experts say it's time for owners to think about taking some risks and to make sure that they are taking care of employees.

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$1.5B Fertilizer Plant In ND On Course

August 28, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press

A group planning a $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant in northeastern North Dakota has secured a supply of natural gas and is in the process of buying a site. Northern Plains Nitrogen Chairman Darin Anderson said the company is buying land next to Grand Forks' municipal sewage lagoons north of the city and east of Interstate 29, the Grand Forks Herald reported.

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