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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

NASA Is Outsourcing Future Spaceflight

July 22, 2011 7:06 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer

HOUSTON (AP) — How America gets people and stuff into orbit is about to be outsourced in an out-of-this-world way. With the space shuttle's retirement Thursday, no longer will flying people and cargo up to the International Space Station be a government program where costs balloon.

Worker At KY Plant Injured In Chemical Spill

July 22, 2011 5:43 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A worker at a Louisville plant has been injured in a chemical spill. Lake Dreamland Fire Department Chief John Wilkinson says three employees came in contact with toluene at the American Synthetic Rubber Company and one was taken to the hospital because it got into his eye.

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MI Unemployment Up Again

July 22, 2011 5:33 am

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's unemployment rate rose again in June, this time to 10.5 percent, its highest rate since January. The seasonally adjusted figures released Wednesday by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget show an increase of 0.2 percentage points since May.

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Bill Would Prevent NLRB From Closing Plants

July 22, 2011 5:31 am

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina U.S. Rep. Tim Scott has introduced legislation in Congress to prevent the National Labor Relations Board from closing down plants or ordering companies to transfer employment. Scott's measure comes in light of the NLRB suit against Boeing, which last month opened its $750 million assembly plant in North Charleston.

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Ex-Yarnell Worker Sues Over Company's Closing

July 22, 2011 5:29 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A former worker is seeking class status for a lawsuit against Yarnell's Ice Cream, claiming the Searcy company didn't give workers the required 60-day notice that the plant would close. The family-owned company, in business for more than 75 years, abruptly closed its doors on June 30, saying it couldn't get financing to continue operating.

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CAT 2Q Profits Jump 44 Percent

July 22, 2011 5:24 am | by Josh Funk, AP Business Writer

Caterpillar's second-quarter profit grew 44 percent and with strong demand for its heavy equipment, the company bumped up its outlook for the entire year Friday. But profits fell just shy of Wall Street estimates and shares tumbled 6 percent in premarket trading. The Peoria, Illinois, company said it generated $1.

Gov't Ends Chrysler Investment

July 22, 2011 5:21 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department said Thursday it has exited its investment in Chrysler LLC after Italian automaker Fiat SpA purchased the U.S. government's remaining holdings in the auto company. Fiat paid $560 million to the Treasury Department for the government's 98,000 shares.

Spirit Expands Production, Creates Jobs

July 21, 2011 9:35 am

KINSTON, N.C. (AP) — A company that manufactures large aircraft sections is expanding production at its North Carolina factory, adding work that could mean up to 200 additional jobs within five years. Spirit AeroSystems Inc. said Wednesday that it will move wing production for Gulfstream trans-continental business jets from its Tulsa, Okla.

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Polyplex Will Open $185M Plant In AL

July 21, 2011 9:33 am

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — An international company that makes high performance plastic films has decided to open a new $185 million manufacturing plant in Decatur. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Polyplex Corp. chairman Sanjiv Saraf announced Wednesday in Decatur that the new plant would create 150 new jobs.

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Bridgestone Will Expand SC Plant

July 21, 2011 9:31 am | by Seanna Adcox, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Bridgestone on Wednesday announced plans to expand its tire plant in Aiken County and add 122 jobs by 2013. Bridgestone Americas, Inc. plans to invest $135 million in a 266,000-square-foot expansion at its Graniteville plant off Interstate 20, according to a news release from Gov.

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Boeing Makes Fast Turnaround On 737

July 21, 2011 9:29 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

To keep one of its biggest customers, Boeing just promised American Airlines a plane it wasn't sure it wanted to build. The plane doesn't even have a name yet. Boeing, a massive company that typically plans years in advance for airplanes it will build for decades, made a lightning-fast turnaround.

Worker Collapses, Dies At Steel Mill

July 21, 2011 9:28 am

BARTONVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in central Illinois are trying to figure out what caused the death of an employee at Keystone Steel & Wire Co. Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll says 40-year-old John DeCanter of Manito was found unresponsive in the plant's shower room Wednesday.

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More Sought Unemployment Last Week

July 21, 2011 9:25 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, evidence that layoffs are rising and the job market is weak. Applications for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 418,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dipped to 421,250.

Union To Push Rejection Of Spirit Contract

July 20, 2011 9:15 am

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A union at aircraft parts maker Spirit AeroSystems is recommending that workers reject the company's contract offer. Leaders of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace recommended Tuesday that members reject the 10-year contract proposal. The contract covers about 2,300 technical and professional employees at Spirit.

SD Businesses Expanding, Adding Jobs

July 20, 2011 9:12 am

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Two more businesses in southeast South Dakota are expanding and adding jobs. Adams Thermal Systems plans a $6 million expansion in Canton that will add 50 jobs and make room for even more growth in the future. The company makes engine cooling systems for vehicles.

PVD Coatings Will Spend $9M On Plant Upgrades

July 20, 2011 9:09 am

WARSAW, Ind. (AP) — A company that provides finish coatings for automotive wheels plans to expand its operations in northern Indiana and hire dozens of more workers. Winona PVD Coatings announced Wednesday that it would spend about $9 million on new equipment for its Warsaw plant, where it now has about 35 workers.

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MS Governor Chasing Jobs In CA

July 20, 2011 9:06 am | by Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says he's spending several days in California "chasing jobs" and calling on companies that have investments in his home state. Barbour told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday from California that he had already visited executives from KiOR, which is building refineries in Mississippi to convert timber products to a crude oil substitute.

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Worker At Goodyear Plant Died Of Heart-Related Problems

July 20, 2011 9:03 am

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Shawnee County coroner says an employee at the Goodyear plant in Topeka who died Tuesday had heart-related problems that contributed to his death. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that the worker was identified as 45-year-old Darrell Wayne Davis of Netawaka.

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Locked Out Union Workers Reach Deal

July 20, 2011 8:58 am | by Jim Suhr, AP Business Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The union representing about 230 workers at a key southern Illinois plant that makes nuclear fuel has reached a tentative three-year deal with the company that locked them out more than a year ago in Superman's adoptive hometown, both sides confirmed Wednesday. Terms of the deal involving Honeywell's Metropolis plant were not released, pending a vote by the union's members after bargainers first resolve how to transition the workers back to their jobs at the nation's only plant that begins refining uranium for eventual use in nuclear power plants.

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Ballard Gets Order For Fuel-Cell Stacks

July 20, 2011 5:22 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Ballard Power Systems said Tuesday that Plug Power Inc. committed to buy at least 3,250 of Ballard's fuel-cell stacks to power forklift trucks. The deal was made under an existing agreement between the companies that runs through 2014. Plug Power said some companies such as Kroger Co.

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