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Report: Cleveland Clinic contributes $12.6 billion to economy

By Cheryl Powell Published: April 30, 2015

The Cleveland Clinic provides more than 93,500 direct and indirect jobs statewide and contributes $12.6 billion annually to Ohio’s economy, according to a new report released Thursday.
The latest Cleveland Clinic Economic Impact Report examines the health system’s economic contributions to the region and state in 2013 through jobs, construction, spending, visitors and taxes.
That year, the Cleveland Clinic contributed 48,570 “direct” jobs, including employed doctors and other workers, on-campus hotel and parking jobs and positions in spinoff companies.
The Cleveland-based health-care giant also accounted for 44,990 “indirect” jobs, including positions created by other businesses with the support of the hospital’s spending, according to the report.
“It’s really important as a tax-exempt organization, a non-profit provider, that the community and constituates understand the value we provide to the community,” said Steven Glass, the Cleveland Clinic’s chief financial officer and treasurer.
Even though the Cleveland Clinic is tax exempt as a non-profit health-care provider, he said, the organization contributes to the tax base through income taxes, sales tax from goods and services purchased and construction.
“Those are all things that I think are very important to government agencies to understand the value of job creation,” Glass said. “If  you think about any government agency out there, they’re always looking at how do you create jobs in the community.”

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Goodyear posts profit for first quarter 2015

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 29, 2015

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. this morning reported record first quarter earnings of $224 million or 83 cents per share after posting a loss for the same time period a year ago.

The Akron-based tire company last year reported a $58 million loss for first quarter of 2014.

"Our strong first quarter provides solid momentum as we start 2015," Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer said in a press release. "We overcame significant foreign currency headwinds and delivered record earnings led by North America, which achieved its fourth consecutive quarter of segment operating income margin more than 10 percent."

"Our volume growth was driven by market demand for our award-winning high value-added products and gives us increased confidence in our outlook for the remainder of the year."

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Myers Industries of Akron loses proxy contest, GAMCO nominees elected

By Katie Byard Published: April 28, 2015

 

Shareholders of Myers Industries Inc. (NYSE: MYE) of Akron have shaken up the company's board, electing all three people nominated by GAMCO in a proxy contest.

The election of the three is a  victory for GAMCO Asset Management Inc., which nominated the three earlier this year and has criticized Myers' board and top executives.

GAMCO, which is the Akron company's largest shareholder, has said it had little confidence that Myers was taking the necessary steps to enhance shareholder value.

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FirstEnergy's Ohio Edison puts new W. Akron substation into service

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 28, 2015

A new $2.5 million substation in West Akron has been put into service by Akron-based Ohio Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp.

The substation, located on Sourek Road, was built in less than eight months using a standard design that was more cost effective and helped to expedite construction. The substation will enhance customer service reliability and help meet future demand for electricity in the area, the electric company said.

The project included using precast concrete foundations, a large transformer, switching gear, and circuit breakers. In addition, animal protection devices made out of polymer material were installed on key parts of the equipment to help reduce outages caused by squirrels and other animals.

The substation is connected to the existing electric system in the Akron area using two new underground circuits that were built as part of this project. Specialized communications equipment also was installed at the substation to remotely monitor operations. If needed, circuit breakers or other relay devices can be reset automatically to help reduce the duration of an outage.

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FirstMerit reports 6.7 percent profit for first quarter; employee numbers down, but not in Summit Co

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 28, 2015

FirstMerit Corp.'s profit rose 6.7 percent for the first quarter, the Akron-based bank reported Tuesday. 

Net income was $57.1 million, or 33 cents per share, compared to $53.5 million, or 31 cents per share, for the first quarter a year ago.

The results are the company's 64th straight quarter of profitability, the bank said.

 “In the quarter our profitable balance sheet expansion was led by increases in our originated commercial loans portfolio and core deposit growth. The new relationships we are bringing into the company are aligned with our disciplined credit philosophy which is sustaining our solid asset quality performance," Paul Greig, FirstMerit chairman, president and chief executive officer said in a press release. " As business conditions and the unemployment rates throughout our Midwest footprint improve, we continue to penetrate our existing and newer markets to win market share. We also are sticking to our strategy of building and maintaining capital levels that will keep us sound throughout the economic cycle.”

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WhiteSpace Creative names creative director

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 27, 2015

Akron-based marketing and advertising firm WhiteSpace Creative has named a new creative director.

Eric Jacobs has been promoted to creative director from associate creative director. Jacobs has been in the advertising industry for more than 20 years in different capacities and has serviced several major brands including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Clinic, Sherwin-Williams and Target.

"Eric embodies our goal for company-wide collaboration, trust and accountability,” said Keeven White, president and founder of WhiteSpace Creative. “His work over the years has earned him this position, and we are confident he can take our creative vision to the next level.”

Jacobs’ new responsibilities will also include the day-to-day functions of interacting with clients, the account staff and the creative team to help bring WhiteSpace Creative’s strategic marketing plans into big ideas.

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Myers Industries shareholders continue to await outcome of proxy contest

By Katie Byard Published: April 27, 2015

Myers Industries Inc. of Akron said results of proxy voting to determine the make up of the company’s board of directors would not be released before the stock market closes at 4 p.m. Monday.
Proxy votes were still being submitted by shareholders as late as Friday morning, when the company held its annual meeting in Akron to elect board members. On Friday, Myers officials said results will not be released until Monday, giving time for a third party to tally votes.
GAMCO Asset Management Inc. of Rye,. N.Y., earlier this year said it was seeking to have shareholders of Myers stock elect three people to the Myers’ board in a proxy contest
Myers makes plastic and rubber containers and other products and distributes specialized tools.
Since 2009, GAMCO has run proxy contests every year, except last year. In 2014, Myers, in a move to avoid a proxy contest, agreed to expand its board and backed the election of a GAMCO nominee.
GAMCO was founded by activist investor Mario Gabellli. GAMCO  owns about 6.6 million shares of Myers, or nearly 21 percent of outstanding shares.
Myers Industries said in a proxy filing earlier this year that it opposes GAMCO’s nominees, saying they have no relevant experience and are not more qualified than the company’s slate.
Earlier this month, GAMCO released a scathing slide presentation, available online, that says that inaction and poor oversight by Myers’ board has hurt shareholder value.
“Time and again, shareholders have witnessed Myers’ practice of buying high and selling low,” the presentation says.
Locally, Myers owns the Akro-Mils plant in Wadsworth, where workers make plastic and steel storage products for industrial, commercial and consumer use. The company’s corporate headquarters are on South Main Street in Akron.
Check back with www.Ohio.com later.

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Myers Industries shareholders await outcome of proxy contest

By Katie Byard Published: April 24, 2015

Shareholders of Myers Industries Inc. of Akron and others won’t know until Monday whether the company’s largest shareholder succeeded in its attempt to get three people elected to the Myers' board of directors.
Myers officials said results will not be released until Monday, giving time for a third party to tally votes.
Proxy votes were still being submitted by shareholders as late as Friday morning, when the company held its annual meeting in Akron to elect board members.

GAMCO earlier this year said it was seeking to have shareholders of Myers stock elect three people to the Myers’ board in a proxy contest
Myers makes plastic and rubber containers and other products and distributes specialized tools.
Since 2009, GAMCO has run proxy contests every year, except last year. In 2014, Myers, in a move to avoid a proxy contest, agreed to expand its board and backed the election of a GAMCO nominee.
GAMCO, with offices in Rye, N.Y, was founded by activist investor Mario Gabellli. GAMCO  owns about 6.6 million shares of Myers, or nearly 21 percent of outstanding shares.

Myers Industries said in a proxy filing earlier this year that it opposes GAMCO’s nominees, saying they have no relevant experience and are not more qualified than the company’s slate.
Earlier this month, GAMCO released a scathing slide presentation, available online, that says that inaction and poor oversight by Myers’ board has hurt shareholder value.
“Time and again, shareholders have witnessed Myers’ practice of buying high and selling low,” the presentation says.
Locally, Myers owns the Akro-Mils plant in Wadsworth, where workers make plastic and steel storage products for industrial, commercial and consumer use. The company’s corporate headquarters are on South Main Street in Akron.
Check back with www.Ohio.com later for a complete story.
 

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Goodyear's new tire plant to go up in Mexico, report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 23, 2015

Goodyear’s new North America tire plant will be built in Mexico, according to reports.
The Akron tire maker on Friday is expected to formally announce the building of a new $550 million tire plant, according to a Reuters news story. The Reuters story did not name sources.
Goodyear is not commenting on the report. The company has not made an announcement and is not saying if it will make an announcement this week, a Goodyear spokesman said.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced in May 2014 that it was going to build its first new tire plant in the Americas since 1990.
The Akron tire maker last year ruled out building its new tire plant in Ohio, saying it would be too expensive and leave the company at a cost disadvantage.The company previously said that the new plant will be built in the Americas. It will make tires for the North and South American markets.
The plant as initially envisioned would start up in 2017 and have the initial capability to make up to 6 million “high value added” tires a year.
 South Carolina had been mentioned as a possible location for the new Goodyear factory.

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Davey Tree of Kent makes 8th acquisition in a year

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 23, 2015

The Davey Tree Expert Co., the shrub, tree and lawn-care business headquartered in Kent, has acquired another small tree care company.
The acquisition is Davey’s 8th in the last year and the second in 2015.
This time, Davey Tree has bought a Wilmington, Del., area company, called Kerns Brothers Tree Service & Landscaping, with about 24 employees. Kerns is more than 40 years old.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Earlier this year, Davey acquired a small tree care company near Santa Cruz, Calif., called Nature First. Nature First has about a dozen employees.
Davey Tree, which employs about 7,800 people, including about 500 in Northeast Ohio, is the largest employee-owned service company in the country, according to data released last year by the National Center for Employee Ownership.
 

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Free veterans job fair set for April 28 at Kent State

By Katie Byard Published: April 21, 2015

A free job fair aimed at veterans who live in Summit and Portage counties will from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 at the Kent Student Center, 1075 Risman Drive. at Kent State University.
The fair, in Room 306 of the center, will feature employers who have job openings and are interested in hiring veterans, as well as representatives of groups with information on services available to veterans. The fair will include presentations on GI benefits, job searching, interviewing, writing a resume, networking and creating a LinkedIn profile.
KSU is teaming up with local agencies and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, along with OhioMeansJobs Portage County to organize the fair. For more information, go to www.kent.edu/hr/veterans-job-fair or call Angela Jackson or Rachel Rundo, human resources talent acquisition coordinators at Kent State, at 330-672-2100.
The university’s resource room for veterans will be open at 9 a.m. the day of the fair.
 

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Ohio food entrepreneurs can enter contest

By Katie Byard Published: April 21, 2015

Those with food product ideas that they would like to get to market are encouraged to enter the Ohio Signature Food Contest, organized by the Center for Food Innovation Technology and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federations.
The winning venture will receive technical and business development help, as well of assistance with creating an initial product for testing. The online registration deadline is May 1.
Products do not need to be fully designed or ready for market, organizers said.
To register and for a complete list of rules, go to http://ciftinnovation.org. Call 419-535-6000, Ext. 117, for more information.
The Center for Innovative Food Technology, with offices in Toledo, provides technical assistance to food production, processing, and packaging companies. The center is one of six regional participants in the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program, administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.

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Westfield chairman is new Team NEO board chair

By Katie Byard Published: April 20, 2015

Jim Clay, chairman and CEO of Westfield Group, the parent of Westfield Insurance and Westfield Bank headquartered in Medina County, is the new  board chairman of the nonprofit regional economic development group Team NEO.
He succeeds Ward J. “Tim” Timken Jr. and David T. Abbott, who served as interim co-chairs of Team NEO.
Timken is chairman, chief executive officer and president of TimkenSteel Corp., the Canton steelmaker that was spun off last year from Timken Co., now headquartered in Jackson Township. Abbott is executive director of the George Gund Foundation.
Team Northeast Ohio, with offices in Cleveland, was formed by area chambers of commerce in 2003 to help attract businesses to Northeast Ohio. Now, the group is focusing on an overall regional economic development strategy.
Both Clay and Timken will continue to serve on the board. Westfield Group said last month that Clay will retire in March 2016 from the company.
 

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Akron drone maker beats out other area tech companies to win award

By Katie Byard Published: April 17, 2015

A small Akron startup that makes drones, Event 38, Unmanned Aerial Systems, beat out more than 60 northern Ohio tech companies to be named Most Promising Startup.
Event 38 received the honor Thursday at the 9th annual OHTec Best of Tech Awards at an  event space called RED in downtown Cleveland. The ceremony concluded OHTec Tech Week activities.

“Event 38 exemplifies the type of companies that are beginning to thrive in our area,” said Brad Nellis, executive director of OHTec, in prepared remaks.
OHTec is an industry-led membership group that advocates for technology companies in the region.
“Just think, from an old tire factory in Akron, Event 38 has developed innovative drone, sensor, and software technolog," Nellis said. "and in three short years, has attracted customers from all over the world. “
Event 38 is in space in the former B.F. Goodrich Tire Co. factory complex, now known as Canal Place, in downtown Akron.
Event 38 makes the miniature airplanes for small and medium-size enterprises.
It sells the E384 “starter kit” online for about $2,200.
The company employs roughly 13 full- and part-time employees.
Event 38 gets its name from a project that company founder Jeff Taylor was involved with while working at SpaceX, the Los Angeles-headquartered maker of spacecraft.
OHTec, founded in 1998, previously was known as the Northeast Ohio Software Association (NEOSA). It is affliated with the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), headquartered in Cleveland.

Separately, Event 38 said Friday that it had secured an agreement with UAV del Peru to offer Event 38 drones in Peru. UAV del Peru will offer Event 38’s flagship E384 drone and optical sensors to its agricultural, surveying, and construction clients in Peru and throughout South America.
 

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J.M. Smucker declares dividend, sets annual meeting date

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 17, 2015

Orrville-based food company, the J. M. Smucker Company, late Thursday  announced that its board of directors had declared a $0.64 per share dividend on the common shares of the company to be paid on June 1 to  shareholders of record at the close of business on M ay 15.

The company also announced that its annual meeting of shareholders will be held on Aug. 12 at 11 a.m. at  the Fisher Auditorium , Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center , 1680 Madison Avenue in  Wooster. 

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Ohio unemployment rate unchanged for fourth month in a row

By Katie Byard Published: April 17, 2015

Ohio’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1 percent in March.
Ohio’s monthly jobless rate has now been at that rate for four months in a row, according to Friday’s report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Cleveland economist George Zeller said in an email that the March unemployment report is “quite disappointing,” noting that the state gained "only" 1,500 jobs.
Ohio’s total job figure for February was revised downward by 2,100 in the report released Friday, Zeller said.
March’s unemployment rate is down from March of a year ago, when the rate was 6 percent, according to the state report.
This March's rate of 5.1 unemployment was below the U.S. unemployment rate for March of 5.5 percent. The U.S. rate in February also was 5.5 percent.
In March, Ohio manufacturing employment was unchanged.
The construction sector lost 4,500 jobs statewide during the month.
The largest loss of jobs came in the administrative support and waste services category.
The largest increase was in the finance and insurance sector, which gained 2,000 jobs during the month.

 

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Don't dawdle on your taxes if filing paper; Post offices not staying open late

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 14, 2015

If you’re mailing in your income taxes by tomorrow's April 15th deadline, don’t procrastinate.

For the second year, Ohio post offices will not offer extended hours for consumers to mail their tax returns. 

That’s because nationwide, the IRS expects that about 86 percent of returns will be filed electronically.

Of the nearly 150 million individual income tax returns that the IRS expects to receive, it projects that about 21.3 million of them will be on paper.

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RPM buys another UK company, Firetherm, a specialist in fire protection coatings

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 14, 2015

RPM International Inc. has announced the second purchase of a United Kingdom-based company this week.
Medina-based RPM on Tuesday said its tremco illbruck Group has acquired Firetherm Intumescent & Insulation Supplies Ltd.
Terms were not disclosed. Firetherm has annual net sales of approximately $10 million.
Firetherm, in Kent near London, makes fire-stopping products, coatings, sealants and fiber boards for the construction industry. Products are sold primarily to specialist fire-stopping contractors.
“The acquisition expands tremco illbruck’s product range and capabilities for fire-stopping products and propels it to the leading position for passive fire protection in the UK,” Frank C. Sullivan, RPM chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
RPM on Monday announced it bought Morrells Woodfinishes Ltd., the largest maker of high-performance wood finishes in the United Kingdom.

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Goodyear to start online tire sales this week, CEO Kramer says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 13, 2015

Goodyear will start rolling out its online tire sales program this week.
Chief Executive Officer Rich Kramer made the announcement Monday afternoon at the Akron tire maker’s annual shareholders meeting.
“As you likely heard, Goodyear will become the first tire manufacturer in the U.S. to start selling consumer replacement tires online,” he said. “In fact, we will launch the first phase of our roll-out this week. This new buying option will allow consumers to purchase tires online and have them installed by authorized dealers.”
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. earlier this year announced it will start selling tires online.
“The preference for buying goods and services online, often through mobile devices, is being driven by a new generation of customers,” Kramer said. “In the U.S. alone, 80 million millennials with a trillion [dollars] in buying power are entering the market.”
He did not provide specific details on the online sales program. Thousands of dealers have agreed to join the authorized Goodyear online network, a spokesman said.

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Goodyear declares dividend

By Katie Byard Published: April 13, 2015

Directors of Akron-headquartered Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.  [NASDAQ: GT] on Monday declared a quarterly dividend of 6 cents per share of common stock. The dividend will be payable June 1 to shareholders of record May 1. The payout represents an annual rate of 24 cents per share.

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RPM International buys largest wood finish maker in United Kingdom

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 13, 2015

The largest manufacturer of high-performance wood finishes in the United Kingdom, Morrells Woodfinishes Ltd., is now part of Medina-based RPM International Inc.
Terms were not disclosed. Morrells is located outside of Manchester. It has annual net sales of approximately $33 million and nearly 150 employees.
Morrells will remain as a stand-alone operation within RPM2’s Wood Finishes Group.

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Akron RubberDucks get new public address announcer; Akron native makes debut Thursday

By Katie Byard Published: April 8, 2015

Akron native Scott Foster beat out roughly 50 other candidates to become the new public address announcer for the Akron RubberDucks.
Foster will make his Canal Park debut Thursday evening, when the RubberDucks host the Binghamton Mets in the first game of the 2015 season.
He will begin with announcing pre-game ceremonies shortly after the gates to the downtown Akron ballpark open at 5 p.m. Game time is 6:35 p.m.
Foster said in a news release that his new gig is “something I’ve always wanted to do... I figured it was now or never, so I took a shot.”
He replaces Leonard Grabowski, who had worked the home games of the Double-A affiliate of the Indians as public address announcer since 2010.
RubberDucks spokesman Adam Liberman said earlier that Grabowski’s schedule for this summer did not mesh well with the team’s. Grabowski does freelance voice work.
Foster, a resident of Akron, is a wedding and party disc jockey. He said he works as a disc jockey for about 40 to 50 weddings each year.
He is a graduate of Hoban High School in Akron and Ashland University.
About 50 people auditioned for the announcer spot in March after the team put out the word about the opening. The team pays on a per-game basis.
 

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Hudson-based Aris acquires Tennessee radiology firm

By Cheryl Powell Published: April 8, 2015

Hudson-based Aris Radiology announced this week that it has acquired Optimal Radiology, a Tennessee company that also provides radiology services to hospitals nationwide.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The merged company has more than 160 board-certified radiologists, who provide radiology services to more than 130 health-care organizations, according to a news release. The doctors interpret about 1.5 million exams annually for hospitals nationwide.

Akron-based Summa Health System is the majority owner of Aris, which launched with area radiologists about eight years ago. Great Point Partners, a private equity firm, also has a stake in Aris.

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ExxonMobil Chemical closings its Akron offices

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 8, 2015

ExxonMobil Chemical Co. anticipates closing its Akron offices on South Main Street by the end of the year, with fewer than 50 people to lose their jobs.
The company said in a filing with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services  that “many” Akron employees chose to relocate to a newly expanded campus in Houston, Texas. The company did not release specific figures.
The company announced the expansion of the Houston campus in 2012 and said that people would begin moving there in phases starting in 2014. The company said in its 2012 announcement that it would be closing down its Akron operations this year.
ExxonMobile Chemical, previously Advanced Elastomer Systems, had 110 employees at its 388 South Main St. operations as of June 2012.
Akron relocations started in February and are expected to end in May, the company said in its state filing.

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Omnova Solutions shows quarterly loss

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 8, 2015

Polymer company Omnova Solutions Inc. reported a first quarter loss.
The Beachwood company, formerly headquartered in Fairlawn, on Wednesday said it lost $3.2 million, or 7 cents per share, on revenue of $206.9 million. That compares to a profit of $1.2 million, or 3 cents per share, on revenue of $225.9 million a year ago.
The company said results were in line with expectations given during Omnova’s fourth quarter earnings call. Omnova said its outlook for the year remains unchanged.
Shares of Omnova were down 32 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $8.09 as of 2:45 p.m.

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Dominion SCO to go down to $2.61 for April

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 8, 2015

RPM International reports loss on one-time charge

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 8, 2015

RPM International Inc. reported a $57.3 million loss for its third quarter, citing a one-time non-cash charge related to taxes and overseas earnings tied to settled asbestos-related charges involving a subsidiary.
The Medina-based holding company, which specializes in sealings and coatings, said on Wednesdasy that excluding the one-time charge, it had a profit of $26.2 million, or 20 cents per share. The $57.3 million loss works out to 44 cents per share; a year ago the company had net income of $16.2 million, or 12 cents per share.
RPM had revenue of $946.4 million, up 9.6 percent from $863.4 million a year ago.
RPM said it expects full-year adjusted earnings will come in on the upper end of previous guidance of $2.25 to $2.30 per share.
Shares of RPM were down 54 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $47.71 as of 2:27 p.m.

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Dominion accepting applications for educational grants

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 8, 2015

The Higher Educational Partnershipgrants are for programsin business, skilled craft, energy, engineering, environmental and technical studies and for student-led conservation programs in colleges, community colleges and post-secondary training schools. Grants up to $50,000 each will be awarded for exceptional programs, based in part on having immediate benefits for students, the campus and the community. Information is available online at https://www.dom.com

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BFG Federal Credit Union consolidating two N. Summit branches

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 8, 2015

The credit union said the consolidation “allows the credit union to take advantage of future expansion opportunities in the growing communities of Summit County where they currently have no presence.”

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A. Schulman to expand production into Turkey

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 7, 2015

A. Schulman Inc. will open up a major production facility in Turkey that will make 40 million pounds of its masterbatch products a year.
The Fairlawn polymer company, which makes plastic compounds, powders and resins, said Tuesday the new Turkey plant will produce products for the growing food and industrial packaging industries in Turkey and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
The plant is expected to be running by the end of the company’s fiscal 2016 year.
A. Schulman said it will lease and convert existing facilities in the greater Istanbul area. Cost is expected to be between $4.6 million and $6.5 million, based on current foreign currency valuations.

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A. Schulman reports second-quarter loss

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 7, 2015

A. Schulman Inc. reported an $888,000 loss on $542.3 million in revenue for its second quarter, ending Feb. 28.

The loss works out to 3 cents per share, the Fairlawn polymer company reported Monday after the stock market closed.

A year ago, A. Schulman showed a profit of $6.9 million on revenue of $588.5 million.

For the full story, go here.

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Akron software boot camp to expand nationally under new ownership

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 7, 2015

The Software Craftsmanship Guild, the Akron-based “boot camp” that teaches software coding skills, will take its curriculum national as part of an agreement to be bought by Louisville, Ky.-based the Learning House Inc.

The deal was announced Monday, with final paperwork expected to be finished over the next several weeks. Terms were not disclosed.

It will be “business as usual” for the Software Craftsmanship Guild “but even bigger,” said Eric Wise, co-founder and chief academic officer. The initial goal is to offer the guild’s 12-week curriculum at three or four institutions of higher learning in six to 10 months and increase the total to as many as nine in a year or two, Wise said.

For the full story, go here.

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Akron Roundtable holds #AkronLeader discussion

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: April 7, 2015

Free Internet startup conference this Thursday in Akron

By Katie Byard Published: April 6, 2015

Entrepreneurs interested in launching a start-up company or those looking for ways to grow an existing business can attend a free, open-to-the-public conference Thursday evening at the University of Akron's Quaker Station.

The University of Akron School of Law is hosting the first-time event, dubbed NEXTOhio, an Internet Startup Conference from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will feature a series of "rapid-fire" talks, organizers say, about various aspects of starting an internet company. Legal issues associated with startups willl be one of many topics, organizers say. A pitch-night event, where a local startup will win thousands of dollars.

A networking event will follow the conference and run about 10:30 p.m. Free pizza and a cash bar will be available. Law firm Thompson Hine LLP is the event's sponsor.

Quaker Station is at 130 E. Mill Street in downtown Akron. It is just east of the university's Quaker Square residence hall complext that fronts Broadway.

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Kentucky business to buy Akron-based Software Craftsmanship Guild bootcamp

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 6, 2015

Software Craftsmanship Guild, the Akron-based “bootcamp” that teaches software coding skills, has agreed to be bought by Louisville, Ky.-based The Learning House Inc.
The deal was announced Monday. Terms were not disclosed.
Privately owned Learning House is a cloud-based technology business that helps colleges and universities manage online courses and programs.
The Software Craftsmanship Guild was founded in 2013.

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Akron-area February indicators show some improvement

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 2, 2015

Two key economic indicators – home and auto sales – show a gradually improving economy for the greater Akron area. All figures are the latest available as of February.
 Summit County home sales in February totaled 393. That’s up from 336 in February 2014 and up from 289 in February 2013.
The average home sale price for the last three Februaries:
• $121,637
• $126,323
• $126,692
The median Summit County home sales price for the last three Februaries:
• 2015: $95,000
• 2014: $98,500
• 2013: $95,000
New car and light truck sales in February were 13,791 for a 21-county region of Northeast Ohio.
Sales were 13,608 in February 2014 and 13,332 in February 2013.
Used vehicle sales in Summit County were 2,772. Sales were 2,794 in February 2014 and 2,637 in February 2013.

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RPM International declares dividend

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 2, 2015

RPM International Inc. on Thursday declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of 26 cents per share, payable on April 30 to stockholders of record as of April 13.
Medina-based RPM increased its dividend by 8.3 percent in October.
 At a share price of $48, RPM’s dividend yield would be 2.2 percent.

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A. Schulman Inc. declares dividend

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 1, 2015

Fairlawn polymer company A. Schulman Inc. on Wednesday declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of 20.5 cents per share. The dividend is payable May 1 to shareholders of record on April 20.

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FirstMerit offering money transfer ability with other institutions

By Jim Mackinnon Published: April 1, 2015

FirstMerit Corp. now lets customers transfer money electronically between their FirstMerit accounts and up to five accounts at other financial institutions.
The new external transfer service is available through FirstMerit’s online banking and mobile banking iPhone and Android apps.
The Akron financial institution said the new ability lets customers manage finances with increased control and flexibility. Transfers can be set up as recurring or as one-time only.
Customers can start making transfers once accounts at other financial institutions are set-up and confirmed via online banking.
For more information, go to firstmerit.com/transfermoney

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Giant Eagle recalls subs sold at GetGo stations because of undeclared egg allergen

By Katie Byard Published: April 1, 2015

Giant Eagle GetGo gas stations are recalling select individually wrapped Grab-and-Go subs because they contain an egg allergen that is not listed on the products’ labels.

The affected subs were sold from Grab-and-Go/Fresh-to-Go display cases inside GetGo locations.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to egg  run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The product is safe for consumption by those who do not have egg allergies.

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