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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Noranda Plans Upgrade At MO Plant

July 26, 2013 2:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp. is expanding its plant in the southeast Missouri town of New Madrid, an expansion expected to create 29 jobs. Gov. Jay Nixon joined Noranda officials on Friday in New Madrid for the announcement. Noranda will spend $45 million on the expansion.

Spirit AeroSystems Announces 360 Layoffs

July 25, 2013 2:07 pm | by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Spirit AeroSystems announced Thursday it is laying off about 360 salaried support and management employees at its Kansas and Oklahoma facilities. The Wichita-based aircraft parts maker said it remains strong with a "robust backlog" of orders worth about $36 billion.

Obama: Washington Took Its Eye Off Economic Ball

July 24, 2013 2:32 pm | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that Washington has "taken its eye off the ball" as he pledged a stronger second-term commitment to tackling the economic woes that strain many in the middle class nearly five years after the country plunged into a recession.

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Ford Hiring 800 More Salaried Workers In U.S.

July 24, 2013 2:24 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. says it's hiring 800 more engineers, computer specialists and other salaried workers in the U.S. Ford initially planned to hire 2,200 salaried workers this year, but says it will now hire 3,000 as demand for new vehicles grows. U.S. auto sales were up 8 percent to more than 7.8 million through June. Ford's sales rose 14 percent.

NLRB Picks Pledge Fairness, Despite Union History

July 23, 2013 2:31 pm | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama's newest picks for the National Labor Relations Board sought to assure Senate lawmakers Tuesday that they can be fair and impartial in resolving business-labor disputes, despite backgrounds that include advocating for unions.

Manufacturing Plant To Create Jobs In Virginia

July 23, 2013 2:26 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Atomized Products Group is planning to open a battery component manufacturing facility in Chesapeake, Va., creating 26 jobs. Governor Bob McDonnell's office said Monday that the company plans to invest $4.3 million for the facility. Officials say the operation will produce negative battery plate expanders for lead acid battery manufacturers.

American Tank Building $2M Facility In LA

July 23, 2013 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

American Tank Company Inc. is building a $2 million manufacturing plant in New Iberia, Louisiana. Company officials and Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the plans Monday, saying the plant will create 20 jobs averaging $32,000 a year plus benefits.

Work Sharing Solves Fiscal, Labor Challenges

July 23, 2013 8:01 am | by Kevin Prather, CPA, Baker Tilly | Blogs | Comments

Manufacturers around the country have found themselves struggling to find the qualified workforce needed to meet demand. This problem is compounded by the ever present threat of economic downturn, making it difficult for employers to maintain their workforce and ensure that employees remain available for work as needed, despite layoffs and other challenges.

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STEM Learning Vs. Pseudo Science

July 22, 2013 4:08 pm | by Mike Collins | Blogs | Comments

There is a continuous barrage of editorials, TV commentators, and published stories that denounce the current educational system as declining and inferior to other countries. In general, the blame is directed at students, teachers, school administrators, and their curriculums. Everyone seems to be searching for the magic key that will unlock the performance of kids and knock down the barriers to a good education.

Barriers To ReShoring: A Detailed Look

July 22, 2013 3:20 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Not too long ago, an article outlined some major reasons why reshoring, for all its business viability and value to the American economy, faces real problems with aging machinery and a workforce in need of new, well-trained people. Naturally, these concerns stem from a variety of flaws in the educational and training systems, and from a lack of foresight from manufacturers, who were not prepared for such a wide skills gap.

Survey: Brighter U.S. Economic Outlook Boosts Hiring

July 22, 2013 2:00 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Companies are increasingly confident the economy will grow at a modest pace over the next year and are hiring more, according to a survey of business economists. Nearly one-third of the economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics said their companies added jobs in the April-June quarter, according to a report released Monday.

Detroit Leaders Defend Bankruptcy

July 22, 2013 12:46 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

Detroit city leaders defend the decision to file for bankruptcy, saying there is no funding mechanism for its crushing debt. One big question remains: Whether or not the city will ask Washington for help once again. CBS News' Terrell Brown reports.

Why Can't Detroit Make A Comeback Like The Big Three?

July 22, 2013 10:15 am | by Tom Krisher, Associated Press | News | Comments

Four years ago, America's Big Three automakers mortgaged all they owned or went into bankruptcy court to keep from going broke. Since then, General Motors, Chrysler and Ford have all returned to full financial health, unlike Detroit itself, which filed for bankruptcy Thursday after years of painful decline.

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Feds Probe Worker Safety At GA Auto Parts Maker

July 22, 2013 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal authorities are questioning working conditions at a Georgia auto parts plant for the eighth time in four years, this time in connection with a worker's death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an inquiry of Sewon American in LaGrange after someone submitted a complaint of excessive heat same the same day Teresa Pickard died, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

TIC’s Control Plant Expansion: Creating Jobs, Space, Quality

July 22, 2013 8:02 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

TIC required more capacity to produce medium voltage adjustable speed drives to meet increasing demand, as well as keep up with the growth of our other product lines including low voltage drives, motors starters, and rail transit products.

Restoring The ‘Tech Belt’ With Next-Gen Manufacturing

July 22, 2013 8:01 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

The “Tech Belt“ region of the U.S. has undergone explosive growth in the years since the Great Recession. Some of the hardest-hit cities have seen manufacturing’s return with very positive upward trends. Among the region’s largest success stories is winning the nationwide bidding contest for the NAMII, a public-private collaboration to develop next-gen manufacturing processes based around additive manufacturing. 

Fertilizer Industry Grows Despite Safety Concerns

July 19, 2013 9:37 am | by David Mercer, Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press | News | Comments

Cronus Chemicals wants to build a $1.2B plant on a cornfield that would manufacture nitrogen-based fertilizer, a staple of the corn and soybean farms that fill the landscape around Tuscola, a community of 4,500 people about 160 miles south of Chicago. Similar projects are being proposed across the nation, driven by booming demand for corn and newly abundant supplies of natural gas.

Senate Ready To Approve Labor Dept. Chief

July 18, 2013 4:52 pm | by Alan Fram, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Senate was poised Thursday to approve President Barack Obama's choice to head the Labor Department after lawmakers, by the thinnest of margins, voted to remove obstacles blocking the confirmation while honoring a bipartisan pact for approving top nominations.

U.S. Unemployment Aid Applications Drop To 334K

July 18, 2013 4:51 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 24,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 334,000, a sign that steady job gains should continue. The drop left unemployment benefit applications at the lowest level in 10 weeks, the Labor Department said Thursday. Some of the decline may have been caused by seasonal factors.

VT Gov. Urges IBM To Go Public With Layoff Numbers

July 17, 2013 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is urging IBM Corp. to make public the number of employees it laid off last month at its Vermont facilities. And the governor says if he and his lawyer conclude the Vermont Public Records Act requires it, his administration will release the number whether IBM wants to or not.

Valero Refinery Planning For Expansion

July 17, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Construction on a $700 million expansion at Valero Refinery's St. Charles Parish plant is expected to begin sometime in late 2015 or early 2016. The plant occupies roughly 1,000 acres along the Mississippi River in Norco. The expansion will include construction of a large methanol unit, designed to compress natural gas into liquid in order to manufacture chemicals and plastics.

Food Service Manufacturer To Expand In NC

July 17, 2013 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An Illinois-based food service and food packaging manufacturer says it's expanding its facilities in North Carolina's Lenoir and Iredell counties, with additional plans to create 77 jobs. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's office announced Tuesday that Pactiv LLC will invest more than $9 million in its facilities in Kinston and Mooresville.

Major Economies Still Struggling To Create Jobs

July 17, 2013 9:56 am | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

Jobs growth remains weak among the world's 20 biggest economies, where almost a third of the 93 million unemployed have been out of work for more than a year, top labor and development officials reported Wednesday. In a batch of new figures intended to push G-20 governments into action, the U.N.'s International Labor Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned the rate of employment growth remains low.

Delta Faucet Boosting Production At IN Plant

July 17, 2013 9:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Delta Faucet Co. plans to increase production at a southeastern Indiana factory and add up to 160 workers in the coming year. Company officials say it will spend about $12 million to renovate and equip its factory in Greensburg. Delta now makes kitchen and bathroom faucets, shower heads, toilets and other accessories.

Honeywell Announces $208M LA Expansion

July 16, 2013 1:27 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honeywell International Inc. has announced plans for $208 million in expansion projects at its Louisiana production sites in Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Geismar. Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the plans Monday with Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies CEO Andreas Kramvis. The expansion projects are estimated to create 42 new jobs at the sites, with an average salary of $68,300.

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