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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Unemployment Benefit Applications Fall To 343K

July 3, 2013 10:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000 last week, a sign that employers are adding jobs at modest pace. The less volatile four-week average dipped 750 to 345,500, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

GM Supplier Plans Opening Factory Near Fort Wayne

July 3, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A General Motors supplier plans to open a new facility near Fort Wayne and hire up to 160 workers in the next few years. Ground Effects LLC announced Wednesday it expected to spend about $3.4 million to lease and equip a facility where it will process bed liners and other accessories for GM's nearby pickup truck assembly plant.

Nothin' But Blue Skies

July 3, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

After a car maker or a steel mill wears out a factory, extracts all the tax breaks a treasury will bear, and accumulates more obligations to its workers than the stockholders will bear, it flees town like a deadbeat husband, leaving a worn-out, exploited patch of land no else will touch. An industrial city follows the same life cycle as a boxer, or a prostitute.

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Gov: Unions Not Needed At Mercedes-Benz Plant

July 2, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance does not need a union. His comments from a visit to the Tuscaloosa County plant last week are the most pointed public ones to date from a state official about the United Auto Workers' aggressive campaign, Al.com reported Monday.

Metal Manufacturing Company Expanding In AL

July 2, 2013 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A metal manufacturing company has announced plans to add between 250 and 300 jobs at its plant in Hartselle. The Decatur Daily reported Monday that Indiana-based Busche plans to hire new employees over the next five to six years. The company makes parts for heating and ventilation units, air conditioning compressors and tractor-trailers.

U.S. Factory Activity Expands In June, Jobs Decline

July 1, 2013 2:04 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturing activity grew in June behind a pickup in new orders, exports and production. Better economic growth overseas is boosting U.S. exports and could help American factories rebound in the second half of the year. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of factory activity increased to 50.9 in June. That's up from 49 in May, which was the lowest reading in four years.

EU Unemployment Solution: Apprenticeships

July 1, 2013 12:36 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The European Union is offering companies tax incentives to hire more apprentices, in a plan to put the "lost generation" back to work. One apprentice, who helps build a crucial part for Boeing's 737, talks about his experience as a Safran apprentice.

American Boss Held Hostage Returns To U.S.

June 28, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An American executive held hostage for nearly a week by his company's Chinese workers in a pay dispute said Friday from his Florida home that he was held for ransom and paid nearly half a million dollars for his freedom. "One-hundred percent I got held for ransom," Chip Starnes said on NBC's "Today" show, just hours after arriving back home from China.

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AR Wind Turbine Plant To Stop Production

June 28, 2013 2:13 pm | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A $40 million wind turbine factory in northeast Arkansas that opened in 2010 with plans to employ more than 700 people announced Friday it would end production and lay off 40 workers. Germany-based Nordex SE, parent company of Nordex USA, said the company had not received enough orders due to an uncertain U.S. market, overcapacity in the industry and an unstable outlook for a federal tax production credit.

UT Halfway To Governor's Goal Of 100,000 Jobs

June 28, 2013 2:11 pm | by Paul Foy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Utah is on track to add 100,000 jobs within three years, Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday, reporting on a promise he made in early 2012. Herbert stopped at Exelis Aerostructures, which makes carbon-fiber parts for aircraft, to promote Utah's economy, which ranks 34th among the states in output.

Von Drehle On Its Way To 100 Jobs

June 28, 2013 2:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Von Drehle Corporation officials say the Natchez plant will be the company's only "all-under-one-roof" facility. The Natchez Democrat reports that company engineer Tanya Richardson told a local civic club this week that the operation would have pulp converting and paper manufacturing capabilities, the company's only plant to have both.

Nissan Celebrates 30th Anniversary Of U.S. Manufacturing

June 28, 2013 12:53 pm | by NissanNewsroom | Videos | Comments

In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of its Smyrna, Tenn. Vehicle Assembly Plant, Nissan is adding more than 900 manufacturing jobs to support future production of the Nissan Rogue, marking the first time the Rogue has been produced in the United States.

NC Becomes First State To Drop Federal Jobless Funds

June 28, 2013 10:13 am | by Emery P. Dalesio, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

With changes to its unemployment law taking effect this weekend, North Carolina not only is cutting benefits for those who file new claims, it will become the first state disqualified from a federal compensation program for the long-term jobless.

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GE Transportation Moving Forward With Erie Cuts

June 28, 2013 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The chief executive officer of GE Transportation says the locomotive maker has "decided to move forward" with plans to eliminate 950 union jobs at a century-old locomotive manufacturing plant in northwestern Pennsylvania. The Erie Times-News reports CEO Lorenzo Simonelli's final announcement came Wednesday, several days after talks to save some of the jobs failed.

Sikorsky Cuts Jobs, Cites Weak Military Spending

June 28, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is laying off 200 workers due to military spending cuts and the uneven economic recovery. Spokesman Paul Jackson said Thursday that the subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. is responding to reduced spending by the U.S. and other governments.

Talent Management: Easier Hires, Better Skills, More Compliance

June 28, 2013 8:03 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

There is an epidemic of sorts within the high-tech manufacturing community, in that there are thousands of available jobs, but few candidates to fill them. And while manufacturers have taken off in dozens of directions on the best methods to fill those roles, Irma Long, Director of Global Talent Acquisition at ACCO Brands has one simpler solution: better talent management.

U.S. Boss Held In China Leaves Plant After Payout

June 27, 2013 1:57 pm | by Louise Watt, Associated Press | News | Comments

A pay dispute was resolved Thursday at a medical supply factory, ending a labor standoff in which the Chinese workers detained their American boss for nearly a week inside the plant until they reached agreement on a compensation package.

Nissan Adds 900 Jobs To Make Rogue At TN Plant

June 27, 2013 1:48 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan is adding 900 jobs to start making the Rogue crossover SUV at its Tennessee plant, the Japanese automaker announced Thursday. The new jobs are in addition to 800 positions added at the Smyrna plant last year, and will bring total employment at the suburban Nashville facility to more than 7,000. Hiring is already underway, and Rogue production is scheduled to begin this fall.

Expansion Planned At Woodford Reserve Distillery

June 27, 2013 1:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Liquor producer Brown-Forman Corp. says it will invest more than $35 million to expand operations at its Woodford Reserve Distillery in central Kentucky. The Louisville-based company said Thursday it would add warehouses where the bourbon ages for several years before being bottled. The company also plans to add stills, improve its bottling line and make other upgrades to increase capacity.

Why ADP & Labor Dept. Jobs Numbers Differ

June 27, 2013 1:08 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

ADP CFO Jan Siegmund says that his company's monthly employment report uses 'real-time payroll processing transactions' to calculate jobs data, unlike the BLS which uses surveys. Siegmund says that ADP has worked very hard to create a very high quality, sustainable, and relevant measure.

Small Businesses: Still Scared To Hire

June 27, 2013 8:01 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The job situation is still a very hot topic in the United States. ADP has access to jobs data from 600,000 employers and ADP CFO Jan Siegmund explains what the data is telling us now. He says that the slowing of employment growth over the last few months is due to tax rate changes and the anticipation of health reform.

Auto Parts Maker To Employ 150 In Kentucky

June 26, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Whitehall Industries has broken ground on a facility in Paducah, Ky. that will employ 150 people making aluminum components for the automotive industry. Gov. Steve Beshear's office says the company plans to invest nearly $13 million in the project. Beshear attended the groundbreaking Tuesday.

GM Announces Another Wentzville Expansion

June 26, 2013 2:13 pm | by Jim Salter, Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors is again expanding its suburban St. Louis plant in Wentzville, the second expansion in less than two years at the facility. The $133 million expansion announced Wednesday calls for GM to build a new 114,000-square-foot stamping press.

Court Makes It Harder To Sue Businesses

June 26, 2013 10:00 am | by Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press | News | Comments

A divided Supreme Court on Monday decided to make it harder for Americans to sue businesses for retaliation and discrimination, leading a justice to call for Congress to overturn the court's actions. The court's conservatives, in two 5-4 decisions, ruled that a person must be able to hire and fire someone to be considered a supervisor in discrimination lawsuits, making it harder to blame a business for a co-worker's racism or sexism.

Screw Conveyor Corp. Plans To Expand

June 25, 2013 1:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Delta Regional Authority is investing $102,215 in the expansion and renovation of manufacturing facilities for the Screw Conveyor Corporation located in Winona. Screw Conveyor Corporation specializes in bulk material handling equipment used in the food processing, chemical and agriculture industries. It also has plants in Hammond, Ind., and Visalia, Calif.

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