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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Pratt & Whitney Expands Florida Plant

November 16, 2012 10:33 am | by AP | News | Comments

Pratt & Whitney is expanding its aircraft engine plant in West Palm Beach with help from Florida taxpayers. The $63 million project is expected to result in 230 new jobs. The company currently employs about 1,000 people in Florida. The state and Palm Beach County contributed $4.4 million in incentives toward the expansion project.

Manufacturing Skills Gap Less Pervasive Than Thought

November 16, 2012 8:06 am | by The Boston Consulting Group | Articles | Comments

The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing today is more limited than many people believe and is unlikely to prevent a projected resurgence in U.S. manufacturing by the end of this decade. But more severe shortages could develop, threatening to constrain that revival, unless aggressive steps are taken now, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Chrysler To Add 1,250 Jobs At Detroit Plants

November 15, 2012 2:28 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Chrysler plans to add up to 1,250 jobs at three Detroit-area factories as it prepares for a rise in pickup sales. The company said Thursday that it will invest $238 million at engine plants in Detroit and suburban Trenton, Mich., and add a third shift at a pickup truck factory in nearby Warren, Mich.

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Rolls-Royce To Build New VA Manufacturing Facility

November 14, 2012 2:40 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce is planning to build a new Virginia facility to produce turbine blades for its engines. The company said Wednesday that it is investing $136 million to develop the advanced airfoil machining facility in Prince George County, creating 140 jobs.

Smithfield Foods To Begin Layoffs At VA Plant

November 14, 2012 2:33 pm | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Smithfield Foods Inc. said it will begin its previously announced shutdown of a Virginia facility that makes hot dogs and deli meat. The first layoffs at the Smithfield Packing Co. facility will involve about 120 workers, with more than 400 workers affected by the time plant is closed, said Jeff Gough, Smithfield's senior vice president for human resources.

Governors Call For Wind Energy Tax Credit Renewal

November 14, 2012 10:28 am | by Jeff Barnard, Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The fate of a tax credit that advocates say is needed to maintain tens of thousands of wind energy jobs will be decided during high-stakes, last-minute negotiations between President Obama and House Republicans over fiscal issues, officials said Tuesday.

Savannah Firm To Add Up To 200 New Jobs

November 14, 2012 10:20 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A machine company has announced plans for an expansion of its Savannah facility that is expected to add up to 200 jobs. The Savannah Morning News reports (http://bit.ly/ZEUp0M) that K Machine Industrial Services LLC announced the expansion Tuesday, at a meeting of the Savannah Economic Development Authority.

Hostess Closing 3 Bakeries Following Strike

November 13, 2012 10:29 am | by Sarah Skidmore, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Hostess Brands Inc. is permanently closing three bakeries following a nationwide strike by its bakers union. The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread said Monday that the strike has prevented it from producing and delivering products, and it is closing bakeries in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati. The facilities employ 627 workers.

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Hostess Workers Picket In Sacramento

November 12, 2012 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

About a dozen workers began picketing at a Hostess Brands plant in Sacramento honoring a bakers' union strike at the bankrupt company's plants across the country. The picket line formed on Sunday, two days after the walkout began when the maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Ding Dongs imposed a contract that would cut wages by 8 percent.

Machinists Union Approves New Bombardier Contract

November 12, 2012 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers approved a five-year contract with Bombardier Learjet on Saturday, putting an end to the month-long walkout. The workers could return to the Wichita plant as soon as Monday.

Creativity And The Organization

November 9, 2012 4:09 pm | by Mike Collins, Author, Saving American Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

I believe that creativity can’t happen without changing from a rigid organization that depends on control, rules, and a formal structure to a flexible and less formalized organization where employees are encouraged to take risks, experiment, and question the status quo without reprisal.

Appliance Parts Plant Closing To Cut 620 NC Jobs

November 9, 2012 2:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

About 620 workers will lose their jobs when a North Carolina factory that makes electrical connectors for household appliances shuts down in 2013. It is one of the state's largest announced layoffs this year. A spokesman for Swiss electronics maker TE Connectivity said Thursday the company will shut a Greensboro factory beginning in January.

Energizer To Cut 10 Percent Of Workforce

November 9, 2012 10:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Energizer plans to cut roughly 10 percent of its workforce as part of a cost-cutting overhaul. The St. Louis-based company said Thursday that it expects to shed about 1,500 employees. When finished, the restructuring should lead to $200 million in pretax yearly savings, Energizer said. It aims to have most of its restructuring steps finished by the end of September 2014.

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Adapting For The “Chronologically Gifted” Worker

November 8, 2012 5:17 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Josh Kerst, vice president of Humantech, debunks common myths about the older workers in the industry, and offers key changes that manufacturers can make to embrace a safe and productive older workforce. “The workforce is getting more chronologically gifted,” says Josh Kerst, vice president of Humantech, an ergonomics and workplace improvement company.

Q & A With Bernie Anger, GE Intelligent Platforms

November 8, 2012 4:08 pm | by Mike Schmidt. Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

As automation technology has developed over the years, workers have been forced to adapt and refine the necessary skills to utilize and maintain various systems. According to Bernie Anger, General Manager Control and Communication System for GE Intelligent Platforms, there is a shortage of individuals with the expertise necessary to accomplish these tasks and usher in the future of automation.

Hawker Beechcraft To Close 3 Facilities, Cut Jobs

November 8, 2012 1:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Wichita-based airplane maker Hawker Beechcraft says it's closing facilities in three states and laying off more workers in Kansas. The company said Wednesday that 240 employees will lose their jobs with the closing of Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities in Little Rock, Ark.; Mesa, Ariz.; and San Antonio, Texas.

CAT: Production Cuts Will Run Into 2013

November 7, 2012 10:21 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Caterpillar Inc. says it will continue to idle factories and cut production into next year due to a slowdown in demand for its mining and construction equipment. Mike DeWalt is director of investor relations for Peoria-based Caterpillar. Crain's Chicago Business says DeWalt said that Caterpillar has been hard hit by a slowdown in mining.

Danish Vestas To Cut 3,000 More Jobs

November 7, 2012 10:16 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world's largest maker of wind turbines, plans to cut 3,000 more jobs. Its announcement Wednesday came alongside figures Wednesday showing that its third-quarter loss almost trebled to €175 million ($224 million) amid stiff competition and a market slowdown.

IN's Oldest Ethanol Plant Shuts Down, Idling 40

November 6, 2012 10:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana's oldest ethanol plant has shut down indefinitely. New Energy Corp. President Russ Abarr tells the South Bend Tribune (http://bit.ly/RNOBg7) the plant shut down last week, idling 40 employees. Abarr says an undetermined number of workers will stay on the job as the plant that opened in 1984 prepares to remain idle for at least several months.

Auto Industry Could Ease IN Manufacturing Slowdown

November 5, 2012 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana's manufacturing industry has seen its recovery stall, and experts predict things will get worse as many of the state's largest companies feel the effects the European financial crisis and slowing growth in China. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the state lost an estimated 1,400 manufacturing jobs in September.

Canadian Company Plans Steel Plant In Great Falls

November 5, 2012 1:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Canadian company announced plans to build a structural steel manufacturing plant in north-central Montana to make oil production modules for companies working in the oil sands of Alberta. Quebec-based ADF Group said it is buying 100 acres of land near Great Falls to build a 100,000-square-foot facility. It expects to hire 200 workers in the coming year, the Great Falls Tribune reported.

Jobs Dwindle During Green Power Debate

November 5, 2012 10:21 am | by Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press | News | Comments

Romney and Obama prominently collided during the campaign over the fate of the tax credit. Romney has called for its expiration, while Obama supports its renewal. Amid the gridlock, Vestas has closed offices and laid off hundreds of U.S. workers. Wind businesses from South Carolina to Washington state also have cut jobs.

Post-Storm Construction Hiring May Aid U.S. Economy

November 5, 2012 10:13 am | by Alex Veiga, Matthew Perrone, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Hiring in the long-depressed U.S. construction industry will get a boost from the rebuilding that will follow Superstorm Sandy. Those jobs, in turn, could raise economic growth, analysts say. Boats and cars destroyed by Sandy will have to be replaced, too, likely leading to some increased manufacturing.

Honda Announces $200M Investment, 200 Jobs In Ohio

November 2, 2012 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honda said Thursday it will make more than $200 million in new investments at two plants in western Ohio, creating at least 200 new manufacturing jobs. The automaker says the expansions for the Anna engine plant and Russells Point transmission plant were announced to mark Honda's 30th anniversary of auto production in the United States.

Fiat Says It Must Fire 19 Workers To Rehire Others

November 1, 2012 1:38 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Italian carmaker Fiat says it will have to fire 19 workers at its Naples factory to make room for an equal number a Rome court has ordered rehired. Fiat said Wednesday it does not have enough work at the plant, which has closed for 20 days this year due to shrinking demand, to add the workers to its force of 2,150.

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