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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

First U.S. Smartphone Assembly Plant Opens

September 10, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Rick Perry and top executives are attending the opening of a Fort Worth plant where cellphone pioneer Motorola will produce the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S. Motorola is owned by Google, whose Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, will be on-hand Tuesday, as will Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside.

1,400 To Lose Jobs In Plants' Closure

September 10, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Financially troubled Furniture Brands International is laying off 1,451 workers in northeast Mississippi after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The St. Louis, Mo., furniture company designs, manufactures and markets furniture under a variety of notable brand names, including Broyhill and Thomasville.

Jaguar To Create 1,700 New Jobs In UK

September 10, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Jaguar Land Rover has announced a substantial new investment in Britain and the creation of 1,700 jobs. The Indian-owned company plans to invest 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) to produce an advanced new car manufactured out of aluminum.

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"Made In America": The Competitiveness Imperative

September 10, 2013 8:01 am | by Scott Paul, President, Alliance for American Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

Politicians love promoting "made in America" during an election season but tend to forget about it once the dust settles. And so, for all the praise of American manufacturing in the last campaign – by Democrats and Republicans alike – very little has actually been done. So what happened to a real competitiveness – and – jobs agenda?

Muddled U.S. Jobs Picture To Weigh On Fed Decision

September 9, 2013 2:21 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Employers are sketching a hazy picture of the U.S. job market for the Federal Reserve to weigh in deciding this month whether to reduce its stimulus for the economy — and, if so, by how much. The economy added 169,000 jobs in August but many fewer in June and July than previously thought.

MI Battery Factory Closes For 6 Weeks

September 9, 2013 2:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Michigan factory that makes lithium-ion batteries for General Motors is halting production for up to six weeks because of a controversy over a chemical. LG Chem spokesman Jeremy Hagemeyer says a chemical used to make batteries may not be registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He declined to name it.

Energy Dept. Loses $42M On Loan To Van Maker

September 9, 2013 10:11 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Energy Department said it will lose about $42 million on a loan to a now-shuttered Michigan company that made vans for the disabled. Vehicle Production Group suspended operations in February and laid off 100 workers. The company had paid back $5 million of a $50 million federal loan this spring.

A ‘Monster’ Look On Manufacturing Jobs

September 9, 2013 8:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Not too long ago, Monster.com, the well-known online job marketplace, conducted a comprehensive survey on the state of U.S. manufacturing jobs, and came to some compelling, if not worrying, results. In general, workers in U.S. manufacturing are largely unhappy with their current positions, for a variety of reasons, and are more likely to be actively searching for different work, be it at another plant, or another industry.

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Study: New Gas Development Boom Unlikely In MI

September 6, 2013 2:19 pm | by John Flesher, AP Environmental Writer | News | Comments

Michigan may have large natural gas reserves deep underground, but it will likely be years before they would be developed on a large scale, giving policymakers time to deal with the environmental and public health concerns associated with the extraction method known as fracking, according to a study released Thursday.

Green Mountain Coffee Closes Toronto Facility

September 6, 2013 2:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. said Thursday that it will cease production at its facility in Toronto and cut 120 jobs as it consolidates its Canadian production in Montreal. The Waterbury, Vt., company said it will move all of its Canadian coffee and portion-pack production to its facility in Montreal. It plans to end its operations in Toronto by March 5.

UAW Confirms Talks With VW About TN Plant

September 6, 2013 10:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The United Auto Workers union confirmed Friday that it's in talks with Volkswagen about representing workers a factory in Chattanooga, Tenn. Currently no U.S. plants owned by foreign automakers have UAW representation. But the union has been trying for years to organize the plants, which mainly are in southern states.

U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 7.3 Percent

September 6, 2013 10:09 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers added 169,000 jobs in August and much fewer in July than previously thought. Hiring has slowed from the start of the year and could complicate the Federal Reserve's decision later this month on whether to reduce its bond purchases.

Study Details Jobs Created By Shale In Manufacturing Sector

September 5, 2013 3:46 pm | by U.S. Chamber Of Commerce | News | Comments

The third and final phase of a comprehensive study co-sponsored by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy demonstrates that the impact of shale energy production on America’s economy goes well beyond the energy industry itself—but it could be in jeopardy if the U.S. adopts more restrictive policies or regulations.

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ADP: Businesses Added 176,000 Jobs In August

September 5, 2013 2:38 pm | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

American businesses added 176,000 jobs in August, a private survey showed Thursday. That was fewer than in June and July but roughly in line with the monthly average for the year. The payroll company ADP said professional and business services firms added 50,000 jobs.

Forum Focuses On Preparing Students For WV Jobs

September 5, 2013 2:32 pm | by John Raby, Associated Press | News | Comments

Manufacturers and others responsible for attracting jobs in West Virginia need to get tomorrow's workforce interested in their industries at a young age, a speaker at an economic forum said Wednesday. With coal industry jobs dwindling and young people leaving the state to find work, members of a panel at the Clay Center in Charleston discussed workforce training and directing students toward getting degrees that fit available jobs.

UAW May Gain Southern U.S. Foothold

September 4, 2013 2:20 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

The prospect of the United Auto Workers gaining a new foothold at Volkswagen's plant in Tennessee worries some Southern Republicans, who say laws banning mandatory union membership have helped lure foreign automakers. But Volkswagen faces pressure from labor interests on its supervisory board to grant workers a stronger voice at the plant.

Fiat Confirms Investment In Flagship Turin Plant

September 4, 2013 2:14 pm | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Italian carmaker Fiat, which controls Chrysler, will go ahead with investments in its flagship Mirafiori plant in Turin, where it will produce Maserati SUVs. Fiat confirmed the decision Wednesday, after signing a contract with seven unions on flexible work rules.

Lighting Company To Expand, Add Jobs In MS

September 4, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

St. James Lighting is expanding its operations in Columbia, Miss., to create 20 new jobs. The announcement came Tuesday from the company and the governor's office. Officials say the $225,000 investment will meet a growing demand for its products. The company currently has 23 employees.

Calsonic Kansei To Add 1,200 Jobs At TN Plants

September 4, 2013 10:10 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Auto parts supplier Calsonic Kansei North America announced Tuesday it will add 1,200 jobs at its plants in Tennessee over the next three years. The Nissan subsidiary said it is investing $109 million at its facilities in Lewisburg, Shelbyville and Smyrna, and that total employment in the state will reach nearly 3,800 within three years.

UAW, VW Meet On Representing TN Workers

September 3, 2013 2:32 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A German newspaper says United Auto Workers union officials met last week with Volkswagen to discuss representing workers at VW's Chattanooga, Tenn., plant. The Handelsblatt business daily says UAW President Bob King and five other officials were at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to meet with the employee relations chief.

Toyota To Invest $90M In WV Plant

September 3, 2013 2:26 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. is investing $90 million in its Buffalo, W.Va. manufacturing plant. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Friday the automaker's investment will create about 80 jobs. Tomblin says Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc. plans to increase production of 6-speed automatic transmissions by 20,000 per month by early 2015.

Toyota To Boost U.S. Transmission Production

September 3, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota said Friday that it will spend $102 million to increase U.S. production of transmissions. The company said that it will boost its automatic-transmission assembly and machining capacity at its Buffalo, W. Va., plant, as well the capacity at its powertrain plant and Bodine Aluminum casting facilities in Missouri and Tennessee.

Report Outlines 'Lost Decade' For NY Workers

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

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.

Report: 38,600 Clean Energy Jobs Announced In Q2

August 29, 2013 2:18 pm | by E2 | News | Comments

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).

Applications For U.S. Unemployment Aid Fall

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

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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