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Americhem Inc. celebrating 75 years in business

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 30, 2016

Americhem Inc., the Cuyahoga Falls-based provider of color and additives for polymeric products, is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Americhem has about 800 employees globally. Of those, 50 employees have been with the company 30 years or longer, and 13 have worked for Americhem for more than 40 years.
Throughout the rest of 2016 and 2017, Americhem said it will celebrate its anniversary year with customers, employees and communities in which the company operates.

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A. Schulman Inc. wins award for Mexican plant

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 30, 2016

Fairlawn polymer company A. Schulman Inc., was named the 2016 Plasti Award for Best Supplier of Additives for its San Luis Potosi facility, Mexico.
This is the second year in a row A. Schulman has won the annual Plasti Award. The awards are presented by Mundo Plástico, a plastics industry magazine, in coordination with Plastimagen Mexico, trade fair for the Mexican plastics industry.
A. Schulman makes and supplies plastic compounds, masterbatches, powders and resins.

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YRC Worldwide to get new chief financial officer

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 29, 2016

Trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc., which has operations in the Akron area, is getting a new chief financial officer.
Stephanie D. Fisher, 39, will become the Kansas company’s acting CFO effective Jan. 1 following the Dec. 31 resignation of current CFO and Executive Vice President James G. Pierson.
Pierson is resigning to become chief financial officer with a building supply and material company near his home in the Dallas, Texas, area, where his family resides, YRC Worldwide said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pierson has commuted from Dallas for the last eight years. He became YRC Worldwide CFO in 2011.
Pierson will continue as a consultant to YRC Worldwide for six months into 2017
Fisher joined YRC Worldwide in 2004 and has been steadily promoted over the years. She currently is the company’s vice president and controller.
Fisher has more than 15 years of experience in accounting, financial analysis and corporate compliance. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a masters of accountancy from Kansas State University.

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Huntington CEO to be Akron Roundtable speaker on Dec. 8

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: November 28, 2016

The head of Huntington Bank will be the featured speaker at next week's Akron Roundtable.

Stephen D. Steinour, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Columbus-based Huntington Bancshares Inc. will speak at noon at the Quaker Station on the University of Akron campus on Dec. 8. His topic will be "Coming Together in Partnership."

According to a press release, "roundtable attendees will learn what’s in store for the Akron community following the Huntington Bank / FirstMerit merger, as Huntington’s leader reflects on the bringing together of two companies serving their respective communities for more than 150 years to better meet the needs of consumers and businesses across the Midwest."

Huntington acquired Akron-based FirstMerit Corp. in a $3.4 billion stock-and-cash in a deal that was finalized on Aug. 16.

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Summit County jobless rate drops slightly but remains higher than a year ago

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 22, 2016

Jobless rates fell in Summit County and its two largest cities from September to October but remained higher than a year ago, according to figures released Tuesday.
Summit County had a 4.7 percent unemployment rate in October, down from 4.9 percent in September but higher than 4.4 percent a year ago, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services showed.
Akron’s jobless rate fell to 5.4 percent last month from 5.6 percent in September and was up from 5 percent in October 2015.
The unemployment rate in Cuyahoga Falls was 4.1 percent in October, down from 4.5 percent in September and up from 4 percent a year ago.
The underlying figures show that Summit County still has not regained jobs lost during the Great Recession – and there are fewer people counted as working in the county than there were in October 2000.
Last month, there were 262,000 people counted as employed in Summit County. Employment for the month of October since 2000 peaked at 284,900 in 2006; the unemployment rate then was 4.7 percent, the same as last month. But while the jobless rates are identical, in October 2006 there were 22,900 more people working Summit County than there were a month ago.
There also were 270,100 people counted as employed in October 2000, or 8,100 more than last month.
Jobless rates elsewhere in Northeast Ohio for October, September and a year ago:
• Cuyahoga County: 5.2, 5.1, 4
• Cleveland: 6.6, 6.4, 5.1
• Medina County: 4.1, 4.1, 3
• Portage County: 4.6, 4.9, 4.3
• Stark County: 5, 5.3, 4.9
• Canton: 5.9, 6.3, 5.5
• Wayne County: 3.7, 4, 3.5
Rates were not adjusted to take into account seasonal factors.
Unemployment rates fell in 75 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Rates ranged from a low of 3 percent in Mercer County to a high of 9.1 percent in Monroe County.
The comparable Ohio unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in October, down from 4.8 percent in September and up from 4.3 percent a year ago. The seasonally adjusted rate for Ohio in October was 4.9 percent.
The comparable U.S. unemployment rate was 4.7 percent last month, down from 4.8 percent in September and down from 4.8 percent a year ago. The seasonally adjusted U.S. rate for October was 4.9 percent.

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S&T Bank opens new Akron-area location on Dec. 1

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: November 22, 2016

S&T Bancorp, Inc. is opening a new location in the Akron area on Dec. 1.

The Bath Township location at 491 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road will offer commercial, business and consumer banking, as well as offer treasury management. The 5,288-square-foot facility will replace a facility on Embassy Parkway, which opened in 2012. It will have 12 employees.

S&T Bank is a full-service financial institution with assets of $6.7 billion and locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. It is based in Indiana, Pa. 

"We look forward to growing S&T Bank's presence in northeast Ohio," said Todd Brice, president and CEO of S&T Bank. "The new facility and expanded service offerings provide us with th eopportunity to serve the banking needs of a variety of new customers throughout the region, as well as strengthen our relationships with valued existing customers."

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Myers Industries to pay dividend

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 21, 2016

Akron polymer products maker and tool distributor Myers Industries Inc. will pay a quarterly dividend of 13.5 per share on Jan. 3 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 2.

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Dominion Resources awards $42,500 in grants to Akron-area groups

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: November 21, 2016

Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion East Ohio, has awarded $42,500 in Critical Community Needs grants to eight area organizations to help feed, shelter and care for people across the communities where the company operates. The local grants are part of 36 such grants totaling $183,500 in Ohio and more than $1 million overall that Dominion is giving to 140 non-profit organizations in 13 states, through its charitable arm, the Dominion Foundation,

“While the Dominion Foundation works year-round to support worthy charitable causes, these grants are earmarked for programs that deliver basic necessities, such as shelter, nutritious meals and medical care, to people in need,” said Jeff Murphy, Dominion East Ohio vice president and general manager. “It is especially fitting during the holidays to support organizations that are improving lives and building greater stability in the places we call home.”

Area Dominion Critical Community Needs grant recipients are:

·         Opportunity Parish Ecumenical Neighborhood Ministry (OPEN M), Akron, $10,000 for its OPEN M Free Clinic.

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Ohio's unemployment rate rises

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 18, 2016

Ohio’s unemployment rate rose slightly in October.
The state’s jobless rate last month hit 4.9 percent, up from 4.8 percent in September and up from 4.7 percent a year ago.
The number of people counted as working in the state fell 2,800 to 5,496,600 from 5,499,400 in September, according to figures released Friday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The ranks of unemployed workers rose by 5,000 from September to 280,000. That’s also an increase of 15,000 unemployed people from a year ago.
The U.S. unemployment rate for October was 4.9 percent, down from 5 percent in September and 5 percent a year ago.
Rates were adjusted to take into seasonal factors. Ohio’s unadjusted unemployment rate last month was 4.6 percent; the comparable U.S. rate was 4.7 percent.
The October figures show that Ohio still has not regained jobs lost from the Great Recession and even from the start of the new century. Jobs since 2000 for the month of October peaked at 5,643,000 in 2006; that’s 194,000 more people working 10 years ago in the state. There were 112,000 more people counted as working in October 2000 – 5,561,000 – than there were last month in Ohio.

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Akron area entrepreneurs invited to event today to learn about applying for Innovation Fund money

By Katie Byard Published: November 17, 2016

The Innovation Fund, a Northeast Ohio fund for early-stage technology startups, is hoting a free informational session from 1 to 3 p.m. today at the Akron Global Business Accelerator in downtown Akron.

The session is designed as a forum for entrepreneurs to learn about the fund, get advice on applying, and understand funding requirements.

The Akron Global Business Accelerator is in the old B.F. Goodrich complex off South Main Street. It is in a building on Falor Street, off South Main, across from the GOJO Industries headquarters.The Business Accelerator's phone number is 330-375-2173. Its address is 526 S. Main St.

The Innovation Fund was founded by the Lorain County community College Foundation in 2007 and has awarded $11.38 million to 172 companies. Those companies have raised $258 million in follow-on funding and created more than 670 jobs in Northeast Ohio.

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J.M. Smucker reports sales decline; per-share adjusted earnings hit record

By Katie Byard Published: November 17, 2016

J.M. Smucker Co., the Orrville-based food company, on Thursday reported sales were weaked in part by lower sales of pet food and Folgers and Jif brands and declined 8 percent for the fiscal second quarter.

Meanwhile, adjusted earnings on a per-share basis hit a record.

The company maintained its full-year fiscal 2017 net sales, earnings, and free cash flow outlook.  Adjusted earnings per share are expected to range from $7.60 to $7.75.

Sales were $1.9 billion, compared with $2.08 billion for the year-ago second quarter.

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Fairlawn-headquartered wallcoverings maker, Koroseal, purchased by subsidiary of Japanese company

By Katie Byard Published: November 16, 2016

A Fairlawn-headquartered wallcoverings maker has been sold to a Japanese company’s U.S. subsidiary.
The wallcoverings business —Koroseal Interior Products LLC  —was once part of the old B.F. Goodrich Co.
Acquiring Koroseal was Sangetsu USA Inc., a subsidiary of Sangetsu Corp. of Japan.
Koroseal had been owned since 2014 by an affiliate of private equity firm Peak Rock Capital of Austin, Texas.
Financial terms of the purchase were not revealed in a news release, which was issued this week by Peak Rock. Koroseal and Peak Rock spokespeople could not be reached for comment.
Koroseal CEO Rich Runkel said in the news release that Koroseal “is excited by the compelling strategic fit with Sangetsu as we continue to grow both domestically and abroad.”

Check back with or see Thursday's Beacon Journal for more details.

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Utilities warn consumers to be careful of scams

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: November 15, 2016

Utilities across the nation are joining together tomorrow to warn consumers against scams.

Most utility scams involve criminals posing as natural gas, electric or water employees in person, over the phone or online. They demand immediate payment via cash, credit cards or pre-paid debit cards to avoid immediate service disonnection. 

Customers who get these calls should instead contact the utility directly using a number you know. The number for Dominion East Ohio is 800-362-7557 and the number for Ohio Edison is 1-800-633-4766.


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Diebold Nixdorf shares down sharply after third quarter loss

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 15, 2016

The newly merged ATM maker Diebold Nixdorf on Tuesday said it lost more than $100 million on significantly higher revenue for its third quarter.
The Green company, which acquired German ATM maker Wincor Nixdorf in mid August and changed its name from Diebold, said it lost $101.8 million, or $1.44 per share, on revenue of $983.3 million for its third quarter ending Sept. 30.
That compares to net income of $21.7 million, or 33 cents per share, on pre-merger revenue of $589.6 million a year ago.
The company also said it expects to lose money in its fourth quarter.
Earnings beat analyst expectations, while revenue fell short.
Shares were down sharply Tuesday. Diebold Nixdorf was down $2.75, or 11.1 percent, to $22.05 as of 12:45 p.m.
“Clearly, the biggest milestone of the quarter was closing our acquisition of Wincor Nixdorf. Following this, we got off to a good start with several foundational achievements,” Andy W. Mattes, chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We initiated our operational integration plan and assigned accountability for synergy targets. We named our management team and have the right people in place throughout the organization to execute our vision. And we unified our connected commerce solutions and launched our new brand.”
Mattes said customers and partners “are responding enthusiastically” to what the larger company can now do.
Diebold Nixdorf said it expects to lose $34 million to $40 million, or 45 cents to 52 cents per share, on revenue of $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter. Adjusted earnings per share are expected to show a profit of 27 cents to 34 cents per share.

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Chapel Hill Mall owner buys Richmond Town Square Mall

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: November 14, 2016

The new owner of Chapel Hill Mall in Akron has purchased another Northeast Ohio mall.

Mike Kohan, owner of Kohan Retail Investment Group of Great Neck, N.Y.,  confirmed on Monday that he had purchased Richmond Town Square in Richmond Heights last Thursday.

Kohan purchased Chapel Hill Mall on Brittain Road in July for $8.6 million from U.S. Bank. The bank had  been looking for a buyer ever since the previous owner gave it back to avoid foreclosure.

His business specializes in buying distressed malls, sometimes with mixed results.

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A. Schulman to cut 60 jobs, primarily middle management

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 14, 2016

A. Schulman Inc. says it will cut about 60 jobs, primarily middle management, that will save it millions of dollars annually as part of a business segment reorganization.
The Fairlawn polymer company announced the changes Monday in a filing with the federal government.
According to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the segments and anticipated job totals are:
• Europe, Middle East and Africa - 42 positions
• United States and Canada - 15 positions
• Asia Pacific - 2 positions
• Latin America - 1 position
The company said its Engineered Composites segment is not part of this reorganization. A. Schulman makes resins and compounds used in numerous industries.
The job eliminations are expected to save A. Schulman Inc. between $5 million and $6 million annually. The company has about $2.5 billion in annual revenue.

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Timken Co. to pay dividend on Dec. 2

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 11, 2016

Jackson Township bearings maker Timken Co. will pay a 26 cents per share dividend on Dec. 2 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 22.
The dividend will be the company’s 378th consecutive quarterly dividend since joining the New York Stock Exchange in 1922.

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Fairlawn Golfsmith closing; among 59 in nation closing

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: November 11, 2016

The Fairlawn Golfsmith is closing.

The store at 3737 W. Market St. is among 59 Golfsmith locations across the country closing. Dick's Sporting Goods won the auction for the bankrupt Golfsmith in October and said it would keep about 30 stores open nationwide.

All of the Ohio Golfsmith locations will be closing, including Warrensville Heights, Beavercreek near Dayton and Columbus. The full list can be found here.

The Fairlawn Golfsmith opened in 2014 and was described as "a playground for golfers."

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Don Taylor, CEO of Welty Building Co. of Fairlawn, named to Team NEO board

By Katie Byard Published: November 9, 2016

The board of Team NEO, the regional economic development and business-attraction and retention group, has appointed Donzell (Don) S. Taylor, president and CEO of Welty Building Co. of Fairlawn, to the nonprofit organization’s board.
Taylor joined Welty 25 years as a project manager. Taylor was appointed president of Welty in 1996 and CEO in 1999.
Taylor’s civic activities include serving as chair of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
He is married to Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
Area chambers of commerce formed Team Northeast Ohio, with offices in Cleveland, in 2003.

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Dominion's SCO for natural gas goes down for November

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: November 9, 2016

The monthly natural gas price for residential customers who are on the Standard Choice Offer is going down for the month of November. 

Effective Nov. 10, Dominion East Ohio's SCO rate will be $2.71 per thousand cubic feet (mcf). That's 19 cents cents/mcf or 6.5 percent lower than the October rate of $2.90/mcf.

The rates are also 66 cents, or 32 percent, higher than the November 2015 SCO rate of $2.05/mcf.

    The SCO is a monthly rate determined by a state-approved formula.

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Omnova CEO stepping down; will be succeeded by Anne P. Noonan

By Katie Byard Published: November 7, 2016

Omnova Solutions Inc.’s CEO Kevin M. McMullen is stepping down, and he will be succeeded by Anne P. Noonan.
The changes --   revealed Monday by the company -- are effective Dec. 1, and the company said McMullen, 56, also president and chairman of Omnova is leaving the company to “pursue other interests.”
Noonan, 53, also will succeed McMullen as Omnova’s president.
Noonan also will be appointed to the company’s board of directors.
In 2013, Omnova [NYSE: OMN], maker of surfaces and laminates, relocated its headquarters to Beachwood. The company retained a manufacturing facility in Mogadore and a technology center in Akron.
The company also said Monday that the Omnova board  separated the chairman and CEO roles,  electing William R. Seelbach as the company’s independent, non-executive chairman, also effective December 1, 2016, Omnova said.
Noonan currently is president of Omnova’s performance chemicals business. Prior to joining Omova in 2014, Noonan was senior vice president and president of Chemtura Corp.’s industrial engineered products business segment with more than $1 billion in revenues.
McMullen, joined Omnova in 1996 as president of its decorative and building products unit. He took over as CEO in 2000. Prior to OMNOVA, McMullen worked for GE and McKinsey & Co.
Seelbach is a senior advisor with private equity firm Riverside Co.

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Summit Artspace gets new executive director; head of local Big Brothers Big Sisters to take over

By Katie Byard Published: November 4, 2016

Summit Artspace, the community arts center in downtown Akron, is getting a new executive director — Kamelia D. Fisher, who currently heads Big Brothers Big Sisters of Summit, Medina & Stark Counties.


Fisher “has the proven track record of strong administrative ability and visionary leadership that we have been seeking,” said Toby Ann Weber, Summit Artspace chairwoman, in a news release issued Friday.

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RPM International buys U.K. foam tape maker

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 3, 2016

RPM International Inc. is sticking to its acquisition strategy and expanding its European presence.
The Medina company, whose subsidiaries make coatings, adhesives and related products, now has a foam tape maker from Great Britain in its portfolio.
RPM has acquired Adhere Industrial Tapes Ltd. to be part of its tremco illbruck business group.
Adhere, based in Colchester, U.K., makes single- and double-sided foam tapes used in construction and industrial applications. The company has annual net sales of approximately $6 million.
Sale terms were not disclosed.
“Our tremco illbruck business has an extensive sales force and marketing resources that will help Adhere expand within the U.K. construction and industrial sectors and into other European markets as well,” Frank C. Sullivan, RPM chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

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B&W earnings rise while revenue drops; shares fall

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 3, 2016

Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises reported higher earnings but lower revenue for its third quarter.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based company, which has significant operations in Barberton, also reduced its revenue outlook for the year while saying that its earnings guidance is unchanged.
B&W had net income of $11.1 million, or 18 cents per share, on revenue of $411 for the quarter ending Sept. 30. That compares to net income of $9.6 million, or 11 cents per share, on revenue of $420 million for the third quarter in 2015.
B&W said it had adjusted earnings of 24 cents per share, compared to 25 cents per share a year ago.
Shares were down 97 cents, or 6.2 percent, to $14.64 as of 3:05 p.m.
“We remain on track to achieve our forecasted results in 2016 despite some reluctance on the part of our power customers to invest, and continue to expect strength moving into 2017 as we remain focused on revenue diversification, margin improvement and excellence in project execution,” E. James Ferland, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Revenue from B&W’s power segment, which makes up the bulk of the work in Barberton, fell 29 percent from $294.2 million a year ago to $209.8 million. Gross profit rose to $48.9 million from $47.6 million a year ago.
The revenue decline was largely because of lower oil sands work in Canada and lower power plant retrofit activity.
The company said it now expects to have annual revenue of $1.7 billion compared to previous guidance of $1.8 billion. B&W reaffirmed adjusted earnings per share for fiscal 2016 of 63 cents to 83 cents.

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Greater Akron Chamber to host National Retail Federation economist for Economic Outlook forum

By Katie Byard Published: November 3, 2016

Chief Economist for the National Retail Federation Jack Kleinhenz will speak Nov. 18 at the Greater Akron Chamber’s Economic Outlook 2016 program.

Kleinhenz, formerly with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, will present Solving for 2017:  Prospects and Perspectives, providing an overview of key economic indicators, a review of spending trends and thoughts on where the economy is headed.

The event will be at the Firestone Country Club, 452 E. Warner Road. in Akron.
Registration and networking begin at 7:30 a.m., with a plated breakfast served at 7:45 a.m., followed by the program from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.  To make a reservation, call 330-376-5550 or register online at Cost is $35 per member; $50 per non-member.

Corporate tables of eight are available for $300 and include tabletop and program recognition. RSVP by noon Nov. 16.

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Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau's promotional efforts capture six awards

By Katie Byard Published: November 3, 2016

The business of promoting the Akron area has garnered the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau six industry awards for 2016 efforts.

The bureau said Thursday it has received two awards from the Ohio Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus: a first place Middy Award for the brochure called Akron Outside The Box; and a second place Middy Award for the summer marketing campaign, You May Have Heard A Few Things About Greater Akron.

Meanwhile, the bureau said, it received three first place Ruby awards from the Ohio Travel Associaton. They were for the bureau’s website; the marketing campaign, You Had Me At Akron; and for the social media campaign, 330PokeGo.

The bureau also received a Citation of Excellence from the Ohio Travel Association for the brochure, You Had Me At Akron.

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Construction consulting firm moves to larger headquarters

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 2, 2016

Construction Support Solutions, which has an office in Akron and is working on several  projects in the city, has moved from a home office into a 2,000-square-foot headquarters in Avon Lake.
The company, also called CSS and owned by Anna Klee, provides construction management, consulting and subconsulting services, with projects in seven states. CSS has nine full-time employees, two contract employees and plans to hire at least one more staff member within the next year. Klee founded the business in 2008 in Avon Lake, with key markets including government, higher education, transportation, public assemblies and correctional facilities.
Akron projects include the University of Akron Law Library in conjunction with Ruhlin Co.; consulting services for the Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel; and partnering on services involving the Middlebury Area Sewer Separation project. CSS also was involved in the recently completed $47.9 million Center for Architectural and Environmental Design at Kent State University.

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Goodyear to spend $485 million on China tire plant expansion

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 2, 2016

Goodyear is spending $485 million to expand its tire factory in Pulandian, China, that it opened just four years ago.
The expansion, when complete in 2020, will allow the plant to make 5 million more tires annually at the site.
Goodyear said the expansion will help it meet strong and growing market demand for premium, large-rim-diameter consumer tires in China and the Asia Pacific region.
Goodyear expects tires with rim diameters of 17 inches or greater to account for nearly 60 percent of its replacement tire sales volume in China.
“This investment in our Pulandian factory speaks to our long-term strategy of pursuing sustainable growth in the Asia Pacific region and increasing Goodyear’s presence in high-value segments of the global tire market that are growing at rates above the total industry where we can capture the value of our brand,” Rich Kramer, Goodyear’s chairman, chief executive officer and president, said in a statement. Kramer took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at the plant for the expansion.
Goodyear in 1994 first invested in a tire manufacturing plant in the Chinese city of Dalian, then moved production to the nearby Pulandian factory in 2012. It opened its China Development Center on the Pulandian campus in 2015.

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Timken eyes food, beverage industry with latest acquisition

By Jim Mackinnon Published: November 2, 2016

Here’s food for thought: Bearings maker Timken Co. is diversifying into eating and drinking – in a roundabout way.
The Jackson Township manufacturer has bought EDT Corp., a maker of polymer housed units and stainless steel ball bearings used by the food and beverage industry. EDT is based in Vancouver, Washington, with annual revenue of less than $10 million.
Terms were not disclosed.
“We market a broad range of bearing housed units and are pleased to add the EDT line to our portfolio,” Chris Coughlin, group president for Timken, said in a statement. “We see this acquisition as an excellent strategic fit, allowing Timken to simultaneously build on the inherent strengths of the EDT team and leverage our expanded marketplace offering, thereby increasing our presence in the food and beverage segment.”
EDT’s customer base is primarily through North American distributors with whom Timken has long-standing relationships, Timken said in a release.
Besides bearings, Timken makes gear drives, belts, chain, couplings and related products, and powertrain rebuild and repair services.

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E-HEAP program now open for utility assistance

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: November 1, 2016

The Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (E-HEAP) at Akron Summit Community Action, Inc., has opened for the winter season. The program serves income-eligible households in Summit County who are at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guideline.

Through E-HEAP, which runs from Nov. 1 through MArch 31, eligible households will receive a one-time payment of $175 toward a utility bill if service is in thread of disconnection, is terminated, is new service, or if the service is being transferred. Clients who use bulk fuel may be eligible for up to $750 to fill the tank if there is less than a 25 percent supply of bulk fuel.

Eligibility is by size of household. For instance, a family of four would need a three-month household income of $10,631.25 or a 12-month income of $42,525.


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NOPEC releases FAQs for customers after electricity deal cancellation

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: November 1, 2016

NOPEC, or the community aggregation group serving 500,000 customers in Northeast Ohio, has released a Frequently Asked Question document after its customers recently found out their electricity contract with FirstEnergy Solutions would be abruptly ending.

FirstEnergy Solutions last Friday told the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) that it was canceling its nine-year contract three years early, effective Jan. 1.

Both sides are now locked in a legal battle. 

But both parties have also been clear that customers will not lose electricity during the changeover. NOPEC officials said they are in the process of gettting a new provider, but it may mean some customers revert back to the utility until a new deal is struck.

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