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Website will link manufacturers, schools

A new website will connect manufacturers and Lake and Geauga county schools, helping students learn about the opportunities available in the industry and companies prepare the next generation of workers. NextWork, which was started under the direction of the Wickliffe City School District, is just one of many programs working to close the skills gap in manufacturing. The approach NextWork is taking is a collaborative one that allows companies and schools to get involved at whatever level works best for them. NextWork grew out of Wickliffe City School District's workforce and career development program, which helps students in fourth through 12th grades connect with resources ranging from cla

State approves $1.7 million low-interest loans to Bucks manufacturers

Two Bucks County companies will receive a total $1.7 million from a state program to help expand operations and retain jobs. A state-run financing program approved more than $1.7 million in low-interest loans to a Bensalem manufacturer and a Middletown distribution warehouse that will help the companies grow operations and retain more than 160 total local jobs. Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday the approvals made by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA), part of more than $7.4 million in fixed loans made to 11 small business projects across the state. “These fiscally responsible investments support a broad array of private-sector enterprises that reflect the formidable streng

Actually, There Are Still Some Good Blue-Collar Jobs

Tom Berryman knows how to put young people in some pretty sweet blue-collar jobs. Graduates of the two-year auto-mechanics’ training courses he oversees at Lawson State Community College’s campus in Bessemer, Alabama, all get work at auto dealerships, most with starting salaries in the high-40s. If they’re lucky enough to end up at a Toyota dealership, they make over $60,000. That’s in a state with a median household income of $44,765. “My guys are much more successful than a lot of four-year students after spending $14,000 for a two-year degree,” Berryman told me. Still, getting enough students to sign up can be a struggle. “If you can get me in front of the parents, I can get the kid here.

Steel stocks rise on hope for import penalties

Shares of U.S. Steel and other steel producers rose Wednesday after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced preliminary penalties on sheet steel made in China, processed in Vietnam, and exported to the U.S. The federal agency recommended the duties after Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel and other domestic producers complained the imports were China’s way of getting around duties slapped on Chinese imports two years ago. A final decision on the penalties could come as soon as February. The penalties would apply to corrosion-resistant steel and another type of high-margin steel used in automobiles, appliances and other products. All imports arriving on or after Nov. 4, 2016, the date U.S. steelma

Manufacturing unemployment is at a record low

The unemployment rate in the U.S. is currently at 4.1%, its lowest level since December 2000. But if you’re in the manufacturing industry, you’ve never seen an unemployment rate lower. In November, the unemployment rate in the manufacturing industry fell to 2.6%, the lowest on record for the series, which dates back to January 2000. Jed Kolko, an economist at job site Indeed, notes that in 2017 manufacturing employment has grown 1.5% from last year, right around the same pace at overall economic growth. In 2016, manufacturing employment declined. Since 2000, however, overall employment in manufacturing has declined about 25%, falling from around 17 million at the beginning of the century to

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