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Medical Mutual re-enters Medicare market

By Katie Byard Published: September 30, 2015

Medical Mutual, the oldest Ohio-headquartered health insurer, said Wednesday that it has re-entered the Ohio market.

Medical Mutual said it will begin marketing the new Medicare Advantage plans on Oct. 1 for the Medicare annual open enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 though Dec. 7.

Medicare Advantage managed-care plans  provide help paying for doctor visits, hospital stays and other medical services.

Medical Mutual has 1.5 million Ohio customers.

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Summa Akron City earns "Baby-Friendly" designation for program to encourage breastfeeding

By Katie Byard Published: September 30, 2015

Summa Akron City said Wednesday it is the first hospital in the Akron-Canton area to earn a “Baby-Friendly” designation through a worldwide program that encourages breastfeeding.
The designation, from Baby Friendly USA, means that the hospital follows ten established guidelines, include telling pregnant women about the benefits of breastfeeding and helping mothers begin breastfeeding soon after birth.
Other guidelines include not giving pacifiers or bottles to breastfeeding babies and having hospitals practice “rooming in,” by allowing mothers and babies to say together in the hospital room.
City Hospital, joins eight other hospitals in Ohio that have the “Baby-Friendly” designation. Baby-Friendly USA is part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.
“The pediatricians and post-partum nurses, in particular, were critical” to Akron City getting the designation, Dr. Vivian von Gruenigen, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Summa Health System, the parent of City Hospital, said in a news release. “And, of course,” she said. “We thank all the moms who understand that breastfeeding at birth —and as the baby grows — is vitally important for the health of their child.”
The other Baby-Friendly hospitals in Ohio are: The Cleveland Clinic’s Fairview Hospital in Cleveland and Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights; Lakewood Hospital in Lakewood; Mercy Health’s Anderson and Fairfield hospitals, outside Cincinnati; Southview Medical Center, outside Dayton; University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital in Cleveland; and University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati.
For more information on the Baby-Friendly program, go to www.babyfriendlyusa.org.

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FirstMerit announces two appointments

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 30, 2015

Akron-based FirstMerit Corp. has announced two appointments.


They are:

-- Carrie L. Russell, vice president and manager of outbound sales.  Previously, she was the FirstMerit Wadsworth Crossings branch manager.

Carrie resides in Homerville.

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Green online marketing company acquires North Canton IT business

By Katie Byard Published: September 29, 2015

The Karcher Group, a company in Green that offers online advertising, website development and other services, has acquired Ossa Technology Solutions LLC of North Canton, a company that provides  IT services to clients.
The acquisition was completed earlier this month. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Karcher Group’s purchase means the company will expand services to its “current client base in an area they already look to us for help,” said Geoff Karcher, president of Karcher Group, in a news release.
Geoff Karcher founded the Karcher Group in 1997.
Sherlock Ossa started Ossa Technology Solutions in 2006.
 

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Smucker pet brands division could create 400 jobs in Orrville with expansion project

By Katie Byard Published: September 28, 2015
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J.M. Smucker’s acquisition of Big Heart Pet Brands, the California company whose brands include Meow Mix and Milk-Bone, could result in the creation of 400 full-time jobs Orrville.

On Monday, the state’s five-member Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 75-percent 14-year state tax credit for a proposed expansion project that would generate $40 million in additional annual payroll.

Smucker, the food company headquartered in Orrville, acquired Big Heart Pet Brands earlier this year. The $5.6 billion purchase was Smucker’s largest acquisition in its history. Big Heart Pet Brands’ products include Milk Bone and 9 Lives.

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Ohio's minimum wage to remain at $8.10 an hour in 2016

By Katie Byard Published: September 25, 2015

Ohio’s minimum wage is scheduled to remain unchanged for 2016 at $8.10 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.05 per hour for tipped employees.  The minimum wage will apply to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $297,000 per year.

The constitutional amendment passed by Ohio voters in November 2006 states that Ohio’s minimum wage shall increase on Jan. 1 of each year by the rate of inflation. A decrease in the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers for the 12-month period prior to September means the state’s minimum wage will remain as in the previous year.

For employees at smaller companies with annual gross receipts of $297,000 or less per year after Jan. 1, 2016 and for 14- and 15-year-olds, the state minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.  For these employees, the state wage is tied to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

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Summit Mall to host job fair Oct. 3

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 25, 2015

Summit Mall will hold a job fair on Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will connect community members with more than 15 retailers looking for qualified candidates.

Each retailer will have a table set up outside of their location with information about current openings and application details. The fair is open to the public. Attendees can apply for part-time, seasonal and management positions with mall retailers.

Participating employers include: Aeropostale; Ann Taylor; Aveda Experience Center; Brookstone; Christopher & Banks; Gap; Justice; Moochie & Co.; Motherhood Maternity; New York & Co.; Pandora; Pink; Spencer Gifts; Things Remembered; Versona; Victoria Secret; and Vision Works.

“Job seekers often visit the mall to find interview attire, but our job fair will give them the opportunity to connect with our retailers who are looking for qualified candidates,” said Heather Taylor, director of marketing and business development, Summit Mall. “Prospective employers are looking to fill a number of positions at various levels of experience. Attending the job fair will be a great way to see open positions and find the right fit for you.”

For more information about retailers and events at Summit Mall, visit Facebook.com/SummitMall or @SummitMall on Twitter.  

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FirstEnergy Corp. promotes Tallmadge man, Doylestown woman

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 25, 2015

A Tallmadge man and Doylestown woman have received promotions at Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp.

Greg Hussing has been promoted to director of Customer Contact, overseeing FirstEnergy's contact centers in Akron; Toledo; Reading, Pa. and Fairmont, W. Va.

Rebecca Spach has been promoted to director of Vegetation Management.

Here's the press release in its entirety:

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Morgan Foundation awards nearly $800,000; Camp Invention, JA and other programs get money

By Katie Byard Published: September 25, 2015

Trustees of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation in Hudson this month approved grants totaling nearly $800,000, including $339,400 in support to area organizations that provide youth entrepreneurship programming.
Youth organizations receiving grants this funding cycle are Invent Now and four Junior Achievement affiliates. Invent Now, which operates the Camp Invention  summer programs for young people, is the nonprofit agency in North Canton formerly called the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. The  Morgan Foundation is a longtime supporter of Camp Invention.
Deborah Hoover, foundation president and CEO, entrepreneur Burton Morgan, who established the foundation in 1967, had a vision that it “should be a pioneer -- seeding and growing programs to inspire young entrepreneurs.”
Decades later, she said, Northeast Ohio offers a “wealth of opportunities for young people to experience the life of an entrepreneur and begin to connect threads from their classroom studies to their plans for the future.”
Burton Morgan died in 2003. He founded Morgan Adhesives, later known as MACtac in Stow in 1959.
Grants approved by the Morgan foundation’s trustees in September include:
-- Ashland University -- $134,000 to develop and integrate academic units on entrepreneurship into courses, enhance faculty learning on the instruction of entrepreneurship, and to support student entrepreneurship programming over a two-year period
-- Economic Growth Foundation -- $50,000 to serve minority business enterprises and minority entrepreneurs through the creation of Northeast Ohio minority business enterprise support organization collaboration
-- Friends of New Orleans -- $25,000 to support year two of the Forward Cities learning collaborative
-- Hudson Community Foundation -- $35,000 to provide ongoing support for the Hudson Independence Day fireworks display in 2016 ($5,000) and increased support to celebrate the Hudson Community Foundation’s 50th anniversary in 2017 ($30,000)
-- The organization known as ideastream, which operates WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN --  $40,000 to sponsor Nightly Business Report
-- Invent Now -- $114,400 to support five Camp Invention sites
-- Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio - $40,000 to support youth entrepreneurship programming
-- Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland - $50,000 to support youth entrepreneurship programming
-- Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley - $50,000 to support youth entrepreneurship education programming
-- Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio - $85,000 to support youth entrepreneurship programming
-- Music from the Western Reserve – $25,000 for endowment support and $7,500 for operations
-- Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation - $40,000 to support and expand training, credit counseling, and microloan programs for entrepreneurs
Since June, the Morgan Foundation also approved a number of small grants to support youth, collegiate, and adult entrepreneurship programs, as well as community initiatives.  Among the recipients were:  Case Western Reserve University for the Innovation Summit ($15,000); Downtown Akron Partnership for the Akron Art Prize event ($10,000); Effective Leadership Academy for the LEAD Chamber program ($3,200); The Foundation Center for operating support ($7,500); Girl Scouts of North East Ohio for the Girl Executive Officer program ($10,000); Hudson Community Service Association for the Helping Hands Assistance Fund ($4,000); 89.7 WKSU for sponsorship of Exploradio ($8,500); Launch League for program support for startup founders ($2,500); Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) for the ProtoTech product pitch competition ($5,000); and The Oberlin Project for SEED Ventures ($10,000).
A complete list of grants awarded can be found at www.bdmorganf.

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Local minority nonprofit leadership training program relaunched

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 24, 2015

A local training program to train more minority leaders to serve on nonprofit boards is being relaunched.

The former Project Blueprint program run by the United Way of Summit County has been redesigned in a partnership between the organization and Leadership Akron. The new program, Diversity on Board, will launch in January in a pilot program.

The program and a discussion among 44 Akron-area leaders was launched Wednesday night on a special train ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in an event sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Knight Foundation has rented the specialty train car for three discussions surrounding leadership, spurred on by the Beacon Journal's "Who Will Lead" series on leadership. A train ride of young professionals occurred in August and a train ride discussing women's roles in leadership is scheduled for next week.

See tomorrow's Beacon Journal and ohio.com for more information.

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Welty Building Co. to move offices to Cleveland's Flats

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 23, 2015

Welty Building Co. Ltd. will redevelop and move into the former Sammy’s Building in Cleveland’s Flats district.

The building will be renamed Settler’s Point, near Settler’s Landing, where city namesake Moses Cleaveland arrived in July 1796.

Welty said it needs to move because it is outgrowing its space at 515 Euclid Ave. in the city.

The company expects to move into the new office at 1410 West 10th St. the first quarter of 2016. 

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Akron union gets federal funding for worker safety training at nuclear weapons complex

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 23, 2015

The federal government will give $906,511 to the Akron International Chemical Workers Union for worker education and training at the nation’s nuclear weapons complex.
The union will develop programs to train and educate workers involved in training hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment, transportation and emergency response within the Department of Energy Nuclear Weapons Complex.
The money comes from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, U.S. Rep Tim Ryan (D-Niles) announced.

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Local companies looking for advice on international partners can attend seminar

By Katie Byard Published: September 23, 2015

Companies can get advice on how to select international business partners at an 8:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 6 forum hosted by the nonprofit Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium (NEOTEC), in conjunction with the Kreller Group Inc. of Cincinnati and Jon P. Yormick Co. LPA in Cleveland.
The half-day seminar will focus on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and International Due Diligence practices.
The forum will be at Corporate College East at 4400 Richmond Road in Warrensville Heights. To register for the seminar, go to www.neotec.org and click on the “Upcoming Events” tab. Cost is $40. Registration deadline is Oct. 1. For more information, call Marilyn Morgan, 330-672-4080 or email mmorgan@neotec.org.
NEOTEC, a multi-county economic development group, oversees two Northeast Ohio trade zones where companies can defer, reduce or avoid customs duties.
 

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Twinsburg development and job scene focus of forum

By Katie Byard Published: September 23, 2015

Economic development and job creation in Twinsburg will be the focus of a forum, open to the public, from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 6 at the main Twinsburg Public Library, 10050 Ravenna Road.
The event, hosted by the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce and Summit County Executive Russ Pry, is dubbed Sharing Resources to Better Economic Development.
The panel will include: Pry, Twinsburg Mayor Katherine Procop; State Rep. Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson; Summit County Council President Ilene Shapiro; Summit County Councilman Nick Kostandaras; Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Abby Schroll-Fechter; Summit County Director of Community and Economic Development Connie Krauss; Summit County Ohio Means Job center Deputy Director Christine Marshall; Summit County Land Bank Executive Director Patrick Bravo and Summit Workforce Solutions President Sue Lacy
For more information or to make a reservation, call 330-643-2609 or email jtortora@summitoh.net by Oct. 2.
 

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Akron-Canton area companies can apply for state grants to help market products internationally

By Katie Byard Published: September 23, 2015

Businesses interested in exporting their products into international markets can apply for state grants that provide a 50 percent reimbursement to offset costs of international marketing efforts, including trade shows and missions, marketing materials, website translation and export education programs.
In the first two years of the program, 208 grants have been awarded through the initiative, called the Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) program, resulting in more than $127 million in expected global sales.
“By offsetting high marketing costs, small businesses can reach international customers and grow their business beyond Ohio’s borders,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, in a news release.
The 2016 IMAGE program will run through Sept. 29, 2016. Companies can apply online at: www.IMAGE.development.ohio.gov.

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Akron SCORE offers business workshops through October

By Katie Byard Published: September 23, 2015

Akron SCORE, the no-cost mentoring program for new and existing businesses. said Wednesday that it will offer seven workshops in October

Akron SCORE said the workshops offer practical lessons to help new businesses get started, and existing businesses improve their operations and profitability.
All workshops are free, and are conducted by counselors certified by SCORE, the non-profit Small Business Administration-affiliated organization.
Here is the October schedule:
-- Starting Your Own Business,  8:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 1 and 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 8, both at the University of Akron’s Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing,  225 S. Main St.; and 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Wayne County Public Library, 220 W Liberty St., Wooster; and 6-9 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Maplewood Career Center, 7075 state Route 88, Ravenna.
-- Marketing Techniques for Success, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the University of Akron’s Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing.
 -- Introduction to Intellectual Property, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the main Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 S. High St., Akron.
-- Fundamentals of Writing a Business Plan, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the University of Akron’s Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing and at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster.
--  Introduction to Patents and Patent Searching, 10:15 a.m.-noon Oct. 24 at the main Akron-Summit County Public Library.
-- Fundamentals of Financial Management, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the University of Akron’s Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing.
-- Social Media Time Savers, 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 28 at the University of Akron’s Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing.
To register and for more information, go to www.akron.score.org or call 330-379-3163.

Akron SCORE serves Medina, Portage, Summit and Wayne counties. Offices are at 175 S. Main St., Suite 204, Akron.



 

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FirstMerit's vice chairman, Sandy Pierce, named among most powerful women in banking

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 23, 2015
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Sandy Pierce, vice chairman of Akron-based FirstMerit Corp. and chairman and CEO of FirstMerit Michigan, has been named one of the Most Powerful Women in Banking for 2015 by American Banker magazine.

This is the second year in a row Pierce has been named to this list in her positions at FirstMerit.

Here is more from the press release about Pierce's honor:

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Firestone Park IGA to close

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 23, 2015

The Firestone IGA will be closing by the end of October.

The store at 1028 Hammel St. will close before the end of October so it can vacate before the end of its lease term.

"It is sadly true. The four local owners of Ellet IGA tried to reopen what was May's IGA in 2007 to service the densely populated neighborhood. After building the business for three years, the economy and vacant houses started a downturn that we couldn't pull out of," said Jeffrey LeBlanc, one of the owners, in an email. "Increasing competition from discount food stores, expanded larger grocery stores, and chain drug store grocery sections gave shoppers many opportunities to buy only the lowest priced items.  Further, our commitment to provide jobs with health and pension benefits meant that our costs were harder to sustain than our cut-rate competitors."

The store expects to pay employees and cover benefits through the end of the tenure, said LeBlanc, who bought the Ellet store in 2006 with his partners. 

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Local unemployment rates down, but fewer people working

By Katie Byard Published: September 22, 2015

Summit County’s unemployment rate declined a bit, part of a statewide trend.
Meanwhile, figures show that Summit County still has not gained jobs lost since the Great Recession — and the number of people counted as employed also remains significantly below levels from August 2000.
The August unemployment —or jobless — rate in Summit County dropped to 4.3 percent last month, down from 5.7 percent a year ago, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Tuesday.
Unemployment rates dropped in the county’s two largest cities as well.
Akron’s rate declined to 4.9 percent in August, down from 6.5 percent a year ago.
Cuyahoga Falls had a jobless rate of 3.9 percent last month, down from 5.1 percent in August 2014.
Meanwhile, there were 258,500 people counted as working in Summit County last month. That is 24,900 fewer than 283,400 counted as working in August 2007 — the peak for the month of August since 2000. The unemployment rate in August 2007 was 5.2  percent compared to 4.3 percent last month even though Summit County had significantly more people with jobs eight years ago.
How can the jobless rate drop if the number of jobs doesn’t increase?
Easy, say the experts who track economic statistics.
The explanation lies in the way the numbers are calculated. Contrary to what many people think, the unemployment rate doesn’t count the number of people without jobs — only the number of people who are looking for jobs but can’t find one.
That means the jobless rate can go down if unemployed workers get discouraged and drop out of the job market.
Last month, the number of people in the labor force — the sum of people working and looking for work —  totaled 270,100 in Summit. That’s the lowest figure for the month of August since at least 2000. Some people leave the labor force because they retire or for some other reason.
There were 267,300 people counted as working in Summit County in August 2000, which was 8,800 more than last month.
The number of people working in Summit in August was up from a low for the month since 2000, which was 252,300 in August 2013.
 The comparable unemployment rate overall for Ohio was 4.3 percent; the seasonally adjusted rate also was 4.7 percent.
Ohio still has yet to regain 42,800 jobs lost in the 2007-2009 Great Recession, said George Zeller, Cleveland-based economic analyst. The latest monthly figures overestimate Ohio employment, he said.
The comparable U.S. unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, with the seasonally adjusted rate at 5.1 percent.
 

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Local home sales increase while U.S. home sales slide

By Katie Byard Published: September 21, 2015

U.S. home sales slid in August by the most since January as tight supplies and rising prices discouraged potential buyers, according to the Associated Press.

Locally, however, home sales rose 10.8 percent from the same period a year ago and prices climbed 4.2 percent.
Across the state, sales adjusted for seasonal variations were up 13.6 percent from the number sold a year ago. The increase was the Ohio market’s 12th consecutive monthly year-over-year gain, the Ohio Association of Realtors said Monday.
In Summit County, 757 homes sold last month, up 10.8 percent from the 683 that sold in August of 2014, according to the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors.
Unlike national and state data, Summit County figures are not adjusted for seasonal variations.
In Summit, the average number of days a home was on the market before selling was 81, down nearly 9 percent from the 89 days in August of 2014 and down more than 12 percent from the 92 days in August of 2013.
Locally, prices increased 4.2 percent last month, with the Summit County median at $127,000. The median sales price in August of 2014 was $121,900, and the median was $118,000 in August of 2013, the figures from the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors show.
Looking at a bigger area of Northeast Ohio — a 15-county region that includes Summit, Stark and Portage -— August’s sales of new and existing houses totaled 4,286 units. That’s up 16.3 percent from 3,685 units in August 2014, according to the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service.
The average sale price in the 15-county region last month was $149,448, down 2.5 percent from $153,292 for August 2014. The Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service does not provide a median price.
Statewide, sales adjusted for seasonal variations in August totaled 146,577, a 13.6 percent increase from the 129,005 level posted in August 2014, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors.
Statewide, August’s average home price of $161,145 reflects a slight 0.4 percent increase from the $160,582 mark posted during the month last year, the Ohio association said.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes fell 4.8 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million, the lowest level since April. That’s down from 5.58 million in July, which was the highest in more than eight years.
 

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Buehler's owner plans to open ACE store in Cleveland

By Katie Byard Published: September 21, 2015

The company that owns and operates Buehler’s grocery stores is continuing to expand its Ace Hardware division, with plans to open its first ACE store in Cleveland.
The store will be at 3780 Rocky River Dr., the site of a former Fashion Bug shop, in the Kamm’s Corners area on Cleveland's west side.

The Buehler's and ACE Hardware owner and operator, E&H Family Group of Wooster, said Monday that details on the store's opening would be revealed later.

The ACE Hardware will include a gift department as well as a garden center, which will offer such items and mulch, outdoor plants, Stihl power equipment and Crafsman lawn mowers.
The store’s paint department will include Benjamin Moore and Valspar brands. The tool area will feature Craftsman, Dewalt, Makita and other brands.
E&H Family Group, a family-owned company headquartered in Wooster, owns and operates 15 ACE Hardware stores, including locations in Medina, Portage and Stark counties.
Since 2011, the number of E&H’s ACE stores has more than doubled.
E&H owns and operates 15 Buehler’s Fresh Foods, including groceries in Summit, Medina and Stark counties.
 

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Akron-based FirstMerit looking at naming rights to Cleveland Convention Center

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 21, 2015

Here's the link to the updated story: 

http://www.ohio.com/business/lin-fisher/akron-based-firstmerit-expected-to-acquire-naming-rights-to-cleveland-convention-center-1.625966

Akron-based FirstMerit Bank may have its name on a building in Cuyahoga County soon.

The bank is holding a press conference in Cleveland now to discuss legislation that Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish has submitted to Cuyahoga County Council for naming rights for the Cleveland Convention Center.

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TimkenSteel wastewater treatment gets top state environmental awards

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 18, 2015

TimkenSteel Corp. won two top awards for its water treatment program from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Ohio EPA recognized the Canton steelmaker with gold and silver awards for using a new compound that reduces chemical use by 90 percent. That saves the company 777,000 pounds per year, reduces solids by more than 2 million pounds annually and also saves $30,000 annually.
TimkenSteel’s water treatment plant receives wastewater from the company’s Harrison, Gambrinus and Faircrest plants in Canton. The water is cleaned and reused by the steel plants.
The state Encouraging Environmental Excellence Awards recognize organizations that reduce waste, improve efficiency and work to continuously improve as environmental stewards. The gold award recognizes businesses and others that exceed regulatory compliance obligations and commit long-term to reduce waste, lower emissions and improve environmental performance.

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Ohio jobless rate falls below 5 percent

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 18, 2015

Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent in August from 5 percent in July, the state reported Friday.
The number of people counted as working rose 14,600 from July to 5,411,100 in August.
The state’s unemployment rate a year ago was 5.4 percent. Ohio also had a lower jobless rate than the U.S. average – the nation’s unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in August, down from 5.3 percent in July and down from 6.1 percent a year ago.
The state and U.S. rates were adjusted to take into account seasonal factors.
Jobs in Ohio’s goods-producing industries grew by 300 to  887,900 in August. Construction added 2,700 jobs. Manufacturing jobs fell 2,300 while jobs in mining and logging dropped by 100.
Ohio’s service sector added 16,500 jobs to 3,748,100 in August.  Professional and business services added 5,700 jobs; trade, transportation, and utilities added 5,300;  leisure and hospitality added 2,900; financial activities grew by 1,700; other services added 1,000; and educational and health services added 200. Information jobs fell by 300.
Government employment fell by 2,200 to 775,100 in the state. Local government jobs fell by 1,600; federal jobs fell by 300; and state government shed 300 jobs.
Ohio still has yet to regain 42,800 jobs lost in the 2007-2009 Great Recession, said George Zeller, Cleveland-based economic analyst. The latest monthly figures overestimate Ohio employment, he said.

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Data storage company Involta expanding in Akron

By Katie Byard Published: September 17, 2015

Involta, the owner of a data storage facility facility in Akron that holds troves of computerized data for customers, plans to expand, roughly doubling the size of its complex on Miller Avenue in South Akron.
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, company earlier added data storage capacity in Akron. This is the first new construction at the facility, which opened in June 2012.
The company expects to break ground on the building addition sometime  this month. With the addition, Involta said, the company’s capital investment in Akron will total nearly $27 million.
In Ohio, Involta operates with data centers in Akron, Columbus and Youngstown. 
In June, the company purchased Data Recovery Services LLC of Youngstown, which offers information technology consulting and “managed services,” This means customers outsource their IT infrastructure to DRS.
Involta has nearly 200 employees, the majority of whom work in Ohio.
 

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Akron's new Launch League hosts spacey event aimed at startups

By Katie Byard Published: September 17, 2015

The six-month old nonprofit Launch League of Akron will host a reception to highlight the area’s startup community from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday on the 16th floor of the PNC building, One Cascade Plaza in downtown Akron.
Launch League formed this past spring to bring together startup founders, as well as employees at early-stage companies, investors and startup support groups. On Saturday, Launch League will announce upcoming programs, including informational events and networking get-togethers.
The reception, featuring DJ Roger Riddle of Akron, will follow SpaceWalk, a tour of available space downtown. SpaceWalk organizers are Launch League, Downtown Akron Partnership and Akron2Akron. The tour is sold out, but tickets are still available for the reception. Tour organizers are encouraging participants to dress up in space-theme outfits.
For tickets go to www.launchleague.org/spacewalk2015.
Launch League is sponsored by United Way of Summit County, Burton D. Morgan Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
 

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Hudson starts up high-speed gigabit internet service

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 16, 2015

Hudson has started connecting businesses to its new high-speed fiber optic Internet network and is now officially a “Gigabit City.”
Hudson’s city owned and operated Velocity Broadband as of Tuesday started offering internet connections up to a gigabit per second – 1,000 megabits per second.
The city expects to make the high-speed fiber optic service available city-wide, including to residents, as it rolls out the network over the next couple of years. The high speed service initially is intended as a business recruitment and retention economic development tool.
Mayor William A. Currin issued a proclamation making Hudson an official “Gigabit City.”

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Goodyear to invest $49 million in South Africa tire factory

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 16, 2015

Goodyear South Africa will invest $49 million to boost production of high-value-added consumer tires at its Uitenhage manufacturing plant by no later than early 2017.
Goodyear said it will introduce state-of-the-art manufacturing technology at the plant to build more fuel-saving low rolling resistance tires as well as tires for SUVs.
The investment is needed to meet strong and growing market demand for high-value-added consumer tires in  South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa, the company said. The tire market in that region is expected to have double-digit growth through 2020.
As part of the upgrade, Goodyear also is seeking  to relocate production of some other truck tires from the South Africa factory to plants in the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

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Goodyear seeks heroic truck drivers for award

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 16, 2015

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. once again is looking for a heroic truck driver.
The Akron tire maker is accepting nominations through Nov. 29 for the 33rd Highway Hero Award.
A nominee must:
• Be a full-time truck driver
• Live in the United States or Canada
• Have done the heroic incident in either the U.S. or Canada
• Have been on the job in a truck with 12 wheels or more at the time of the heroic incident.
The incident must have taken place between Nov. 16, 2014, and Nov. 16, 2015.
To nominate someone, go to http://www.goodyeartrucktires.com/newsroom/highway-heroes/hero-overview.aspx
The winner will be announced in March 2016.

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Akron seminar looks to update small business owners on Affordable Care Act

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 16, 2015

A small business seminar on the implications of the Affordable Care Act is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Akron Global Business Accelerator, 526 S. Main St., Akron.
The program is being put on by Small Business Majority and will cover federal and state provisions. The goal is to help small businesses understand how they will be impacted by the law.
The presentation will cover:
• Small business tax credits
• Marketplace update
• Shared responsibility
• Cost containment
• Tools and resources
To register for the event, go to http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-affordable-care-act-and-your-ohio-small-business-tickets-18573015389

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Roetzel & Andress law firm re-elects chairman and CEO, names new board

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 16, 2015

Law firm Roetzel & Andress LPA says Jeffrey J. Casto has been re-elected as chairman and chief executive officer.
Other firm partners were elected to a newly-constituted board of directors that will govern the firm’s direction and continued growth in its offices in Ohio, Florida, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.
New directors include:
• Lewis W. Adkins, Jr., partner,  Cleveland
• David P. Barker, partner, Orlando, Fla.
• Lori Heyer-Bednar, partner-in-charge, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
• W. Glenn Jensen, partner, Orlando, Fla.
•Brian J. Moore, partner, Akron
• Mark J. Price, administrative partner, Naples, Fla.
• Douglas E. Spiker, partner, Cleveland

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Canton call center looks to hire 100 this month; offering $500 bonus

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 16, 2015

VXI Global Solutions’ downtown Canton call center is hiring 100 people by the end of September.  The company intends to hire 50 new employees every month until the end of the year.
Minimum hiring requirements are: Six months customer care experience; and a high school diploma or GED. The company said it also wants people with “a great personality” and a “drive for excellence”.
The company is offering a $500 sign-on bonus for people who join the inaugural training classes on Sept. 28.
Job fairs, including on-the-spot interviews and hiring:
• Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., VXI Global Solutions, 401 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton; Ohio Means Jobs, 822 30th St. NW, Canton, noon to 3 pm.
•Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., VXI Global Solutions, 401 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton.
People can also apply at VXI Global Solutions Canton officers or online at www.vxi.com.

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Leadership Akron names Brian Moore as winner of Lieberth Community Vision Award

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 15, 2015

Brian Moore is this year’s winner of the Lieberth Community Vision Award by Leadership Akron.
Moore, a lawyer with Roetzel and Andress, won because of his deep involvement with nonprofits and leadership roles in the organizations.
He has had leadership roles with the PGA World Golf Championship/NEC Invitational (now the Bridgestone Invitational), United Way of Summit County, Northern Ohio Golf Charities, American Red Cross, Downtown Akron Partnership, Greenleaf Family Center, Portage Country Club and Leadership Akron Alumni Association.
Moore also was named Lawyer of the Year for real estate in Akron in 2009 and 2014, and Lawyer of the Year for banking and finance in 2012 in Akron.
Moore is a 1994 graduate of Leadership Akron.
The award, established in 2012, is named for David Lieberth, retired deputy Akron deputy mayor, to recognize his community service.

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Delta Air Lines CEO to speak at Walsh University in North Canton

By Katie Byard Published: September 15, 2015


Delta Air Lines Inc. CEO Richard Anderson will talk about “Why Culture Matters: Driving Results and Keeping the Lead” at Walsh University in North Canton on Oct. 16.
Anderson’s talk will be the keynote address at the university’s 49th annual DeVille School of Business Scholarship luncheon, scheduled for noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Walsh Barrette Business and Community Center.
Anderson’s appearance is hosted by Walsh University students organizations and the Akron-Canton Airport in Green.
Anderson, a native of Galveston, Texas, became Delta’s CEO in 2007. Last year named one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s magazine. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and a law degree from South Texas College of Law.
Tickets are $35 per person. To register, go to walsh.edu/businessluncheon.
Event sponsorship packages are available and include a table of eight and recognition during the event. For more information, call Andrea Singarella at asingarella@walsh.edu or 330-490-7567.
The annual Business Club Scholarship will be awarded at the luncheon. The scholarship, funded through proceeds from the luncheon, is awarded to a Walsh student.
 

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Leadership team changes at United Way of Summit County

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 14, 2015

United Way of Summit County is revamping its leadership team under Jim Mullen, its recently hired president and chief executive officer:
• Ann Manby was named chief operating officer in addition retaining her job, since 2012, as chief financial officer. Her new responsibilities include information technology, human resources and facilities.
• Beth Boggins retains her position as vice president, marketing and brand management. She will lead communications, marketing and brand management.
• Nichole Booker was promoted to the new position of vice president, strategy and public policy. She will lead strategic planning and advocacy efforts. She previously was senior director of collective impact.
• Brian Duchon was named vice president, collective impact. He previously was president and CEO of United Way of Portage County.
• Sarah Catherine Teixeira was named vice president, resource development. She previously was assistant director, workplace engagement, at United Way of Greater Nashville in Tennessee. She will succeed Katie Rennard, who is retiring at the end of the year after 25 years with the organization.
Mullen, a Lakewood native, was named the head of United Way of Summit County in May. He moved back to Northeast Ohio from the Nashville area, where he was director of workplace engagement for United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. Mullen succeeded Bob Kulinski, who retired after working for United Way of Summit County for nearly four decades.
This year’s campaign goal is to raise $13.25 million. The 2014 campaign raised $12.7 million, which in turn beat the 2013 record by $550,000.

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TimkenSteel expects third quarter loss on steep drop in industrial demand

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 11, 2015

TimkenSteel said it expects to post a loss of $30 million to $40 million for its third quarter because of a steeper-than-expected drop in industrial demand.
The company updated its guidance after the stock market closed Friday. Depressed commodity prices are driving down industrial demand, the Canton steelmaker said.
“We anticipated a difficult third quarter due to continued weakness in energy and some industrial end markets, but the impact is deeper than expected,” Ward J. Timken, Jr., chairman, CEO and president, said in a statement.  “We’re holding our share of these markets, but overall demand has dropped.  Lower demand in industrial markets accompanied by higher manufacturing costs associated with melt utilization of 40 percent will result in a greater loss than we had in the second quarter."
TimkenSteel remains on pace with a $25 million cost control program “and will take additional actions to address the shortfall,” Timken said.
TimkenSteel will announce third-quarter earnings on Oct. 29.

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Cleveland Lighting opens store in Fairlawn

By Katie Byard Published: September 11, 2015

Lighting retailer Cleveland Lighting has opened its second store -- in Fairlawn.

The Fairlawn store, at 2930 W. Market St. is a 7,000 square-foot shop featuring a light-fixture showroom designed for builders, interior decorators, consumers.and architects.

Area developer Todd Ederer constructed the West Market Street building east of Miller Road in 2013, even though he had no tenant for the space at the time.

Ederer said in 2013 that he built the structure, with a distinctive cylindrical entrance, for an investor who owns the land.

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Truck, SUV sales cause August new vehicle sales gains in Northeast Ohio

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 11, 2015

SUV and light trucks continue to prop up new vehicle sales in Northeast Ohio.
August new vehicle sales totaled 23,011, a 6.6 percent increase over 21,583 a year ago, the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association reported. Sales are for franchised new vehicle dealers in a 21-county area.
Truck and SUV sales hit 7,669 vehicles, up more than 22 percent compared with 6,261 in August 2014.
New car sales were essentially flat, with 13,342 cars sold in August, up 20 from August 2014.
Since Jan. 1, new vehicle sales total 168,570, up 1.2 percent over the same eight month period in 2014.
“The outlook for 2015 remains positive as dealers continue to see traffic throughout the dealership,” Lou Vitantonio, president of the dealers association, said in a statement.
Ford remained the best-selling brand in Ohio in August with 3,777 vehicles. Chevrolet was a strong second with 3,565 vehicles. Honda was the third best-selling brand, followed by Toyota.
Summit County new vehicle sales for August were up less than 1 percent compared to a year ago, according to figures from the Northeast Ohio Automobile Dealers Association.
County sales totaled 2,249, up 15, or 0.7 percent, from 2,234 in August 2014. Sales since January total 17,042, up 115, or 0.7 percent, from 16,927 for the same eight month period in 2014.
Summit County used vehicle sales totaled 3,105, up 20, or 0.6 percent, from 3,085 in August 2014. Since January 1, used vehicle sales in the county total 25,045, up 3.1 percent from 24,296 for the same eight month period a year ago.

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Akron General to open first walk-in practice

By Cheryl Powell Published: September 10, 2015

Akron General is opening a new practice Monday in Cuyahoga Falls for walk-in patients with minor illnesses and injuries.
Akron General Express Care will provide treatment, no appointment needed, for minor common health problems, including colds and flu, pink eye, ear and throat infections, seasonal allergies, skin rashes, sinus infections and simple strains.
The Express Care, located at 739 Graham Road, is Akron General’s first walk-in clinic. The clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Consumers also can opt to become established patients of the practice.
Express Care is designed to treat patients with less serious illnesses than Akron General’s emergency departments or urgent care centers, which offer on-site diagnostics, according to an Akron General spokeswoman.

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Paper released on young entrepreneurs

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 10, 2015

A consortium of Northeast Ohio school districts, career and technical centers, higher education institutions and business and community partners  -- which includes the University of Akron, Kent State and several local school districts including Green and Orrville announced the release of a paper looking at "building a pipeline of young entrepreneurs in Ohio."

Here's the release in its entirety:

The Young Entrepreneurs Constortium today announced the release of a paper, "The Material Out of Which Countries Are Made," on the topic of building a pipeline of young entrepreneurs in Ohio.

 

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The Game restaurant at Canal Park stadium closes for the off-season

By Katie Byard Published: September 10, 2015

The Game Bar + Grill at Canal Park stadium in downtown Akron  is now a game-day only restaurant and is closed for the off-season.

The restaurant revealed the change -- effective Thursday -- on its Facebook site.

The restaurant will reopen April 14, 2016, opening day at the stadium for the Akron RubberDucks minor league baseball team.

The team's 2015 season ended Monday.

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XPO Logistics buys trucking company Con-Way

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 10, 2015

XPO Logistics Inc. of Greenwich, Conn., is buying Michigan-based trucking company Con-Way Inc., which has a service center in Green, in a multi-billion dollar deal.
The deal is expected to expand the reach of both transportation and logistics companies.
The deal is valued at $2.72 billion, or $3 billion when including $200 million in debt. Con-Way, headquartered in Ann Arbor, will merge with a subsidiary of XPO and become a fully owned subsidiary of XPO.

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The future of PVC subject of VinylTec conference next month in Fairlawn

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 9, 2015

Akron, the vinyl frontier.
The future of vinyl, also known as PVC, is the subject of a conference next month at the Hilton Akron-Fairlawn.
The Akron section of the Society of Plastics Engineers is hosting the multi-day conference, VinylTec 2015.
The “Enabling Technologies for the Future of the PVC Industry,” runs Oct. 14 and 15. A one-day pre-conference, “PVC Compounding Technology and Materials” will be presented Oct. 13 by the Vinyl Plastics Division of the society. The hotel is at 3180 W. Market St. in Fairlawn.
Akron, in particular the B.F. Goodrich Co., played a significant role in the development of PVC, according to the local SPE chapter.
For more information, pricing and updates, go to www.akronspe.org or www.4spe.org. There are deadlines to get reduced registration costs.

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Ameridial seeks to hire hundreds for Canton-area call centers

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 8, 2015

Privately held call center company Ameridial is hiring for its healthcare and commercial divisions in the greater Canton area.
Ameridial said it is looking to hire more than 300 customer service representatives.
Healthcare division employees start at $10.25 an hour plus performance pay increases every six months for answering customer service calls. No selling is involved, the company said.
Commercial division employees answer sales calls for products advertised on TV and radio. Base pay is between $12 and $13.50 an hour. Pay is higher for evening and weekend work.
Ameridial’s.Healthcare Solutions office is at 4877 Higbee Ave. NW, second floor of the Gabrail Cancer Center building in Canton. The Commercial Services offices are at 4535 Strausser St. NW, North Canton; 4304 E. Lincoln Way, Massillon; and 521 West High St., New Philadelphia.
To apply, go to one of the local offices or online at www.ameridial.com/application.

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Dominion East Ohio cracks down on natural gas theft

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 8, 2015

Dominion East Ohio on Tuesday issued a press release that it was cracking down on theft of natural gas resources.

Here's the release in its entirety:

 

Dominion East Ohio thoroughly investigates reports of meter tampering, unauthorized tap-ins to company mains and service lines and other forms of theft of natural gas service, and prosecutes those who engage in such dangerous criminal behavior.

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Local chapter of Federal Bar Association hosts event next week

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 8, 2015

The Northern District of Ohio Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will host a luncheon next week. Here's details from a press release:

The Northern District of Ohio Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will hold its tenth annual “State of the Court” luncheon at 12 noon Wednesday, Sept. 16, at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, 24 Public Square in downtown Cleveland. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

The Honorable Solomon Oliver, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, and the Honorable Pat E. Morgenstern-Clarren, Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Ohio, will report on matters of interest to attorneys who practice before the federal courts. Cost to attend the luncheon is $55 for individuals and $35 for government employees.

Immediately preceding the luncheon, the Chapter will sponsor a seminar, “The Barbarians are at the Gate: Defending Your Firm from Cyber Attacks,” featuring a panel of international experts including:

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Akron's Brennan, Manna & Diamond furthers expansion in China

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 4, 2015

Akron-based law firm Brennan, Manna & Diamond has further expanded its China presence with a new affiliation.

The firm, which has offices in Jacksonville and Bonita Springs in Florida, Akron and Columbus in Ohio and Shanghai, China, announced its new affiliation with Jade & Fountain, a Chinese law firm with multiple offices throughout the country. 

The firm said it would "allow an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to work with the firm to expand their operations to China."

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Goodyear creates throwback tires for NASCAR's Labor Day weekend races

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 3, 2015

To use Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s current marketing campaign, the upcoming Labor Day weekend NASCAR races will be a throw/back.
The Akron tire maker is supplying special “throwback” versions of its race tires for this weekend’s races at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. The yellow “Goodyear Eagle” lettering on the tire sidewalls will be replaced with a white Goodyear logo imitating the design of NASCAR tires used in the 1970s.
 The tires will be part of a broader “throwback” initiative at Darlington designed to honor the track’s history with NASCAR racing. Many NASCAR teams and sponsors are participating by running vintage-inspired paint schemes.
 Goodyear conducted its first official NASCAR tire tests at Darlington in 1954.
The tires will run during the NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 on Sept. 5, and during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Sept. 6.

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Kent Displays gets $722,000 in NSF funding

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 3, 2015

The National Science Foundation has awarded $722,044 to Kent Displays Inc. in Kent to develop its eWriter devices for classroom use.
Kent Displays is looking at using its eWriters to replace paper usage and as a tool to help students and teachers interact. Students can handwrite on the devices instead of using paper and wirelessly upload their work to teachers and to virtual whiteboards.
Kent Display’s eWriters provide a paper-like writing experience. They also capture, store, and transfer handwritten text and images.
“I congratulate Kent Displays Inc. on receiving this award and their commitment to our community by developing this cutting edge technology right here in Portage County,” U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, said in a statement.

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Dominion Standard Choice Offer price goes down 25 cents, 8.6 percent for September

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 3, 2015

The monthly natural gas price for residential customers who are on the Standard Choice Offer (SCO) is going down for September.

Effective Sept. 11, Dominion East Ohio's identical SCO/SSO rate will be $2.66 per thousand cubic feet (mcf). That's 25 cents or 8.6 percent lower than the August rate of $2.91/mcf. The September rates are $1.73/mcf or 39.4 percent lower than the price a year ago of $4.39/mcf.

     Under the company’s filing, the average SCO/SSO residential customer’s bill for the month of September would be $33.25, down $3.85, or 10.4 percent, from $37.10 a year ago. 

    All Dominion East Ohio residential customers also pay a total monthly charge of $24.83 for such costs as pipeline infrastructure replacement and automated meter reading. 

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Goodyear employee killed in Virginia tire plant is identified

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 2, 2015

The Goodyear employee who died Monday night at the tire company’s factory in Danville, Va., was identified as Jeanie Lynne Strader, 56, of Chatham, Va.
She was a 15-year employee at the plant, where she was a windup operator and roll changer, according to her obituary in a local newspaper. The Danville plant makes truck, bus and airplane tires.
The incident that killed Stader is being investigated by Danville police and OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said it also is investigating.
OSHA declined to comment on the investigation.
The Akron tire maker late Tuesday released the following statement from John Romero, manufacturing director:
“We are deeply saddened to report that Jeanie Strader, a fifteen year associate at Goodyear, died last night as the result of injuries sustained in a manufacturing accident in the Goodyear-Danville plant at approximately 9:30 p.m. Monday.
“Our immediate priority is to provide support and assistance to Jeanie’s family as well as the entire team of associates in the Danville plant as we cope with the grief of losing a teammate.  My thoughts and prayers are with Jeanie’s family, friends and co-workers.”

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Cleveland Fed still sees slightly expanding economy in Ohio

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 2, 2015

The economy in Ohio and parts of neighboring states expanded slightly the last six weeks, according to the latest Beige Book report released Wednesday from the Federal Reserve.
The Beige Book, released eight times a year, is based on anecdotal information on current economic conditions in each Federal Reserve bank district.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland reported that in its district:
• Factory output was stable. Suppliers to the motor vehicle, construction, construction equipment, and defense industries saw strong or strengthening demand. Steel shipments fell.
• The housing market improved, with higher sales and prices. Nonresidential building contractors said backlogs were strong or strengthening.
• Retailers reported flat revenues. Store traffic declined while online shopping increased. New-car sales, driven by SUV and light trucks, rose slightly.
• Exploration in the Marcellus and Utica shales declined as companies trimmed exploration and production plans. Mid-stream infrastructure projects moved forward. Natural gas production through the first half of 2015 was at a higher rate than the first half of 2014.
• Freight volume contracted slightly.
• The demand for business and consumer credit continued to move slowly higher.
• Payrolls expanded slightly. Newly created positions typically require higher-level skill sets than in the past. Staffing firms reported a pickup in job openings in healthcare and manufacturing; however, the number of placements did not keep pace. Wage pressures intensified in the construction, retail, and transportation sectors.

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Summit County to host Fuel Fund Assistance Day

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 1, 2015

Summit County will be hosting a Fuel Fund Assistance Day for eligible customers. Here's the information:

 

Summit County Executive Russ Pry’s Department of Community and Economic Development will be hosting a fuel fund assistance day for all income qualified FirstEnergy/Ohio Edison customers at Ohio Means Jobs Summit County, formerly known as the Job Center (1040 E. Tallmadge Avenue, Akron, Ohio) beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday, September 10, 2015. Applicants will be given a number upon arrival. Only 200 numbers will be distributed on the date of intake. If you arrive after 12 p.m.or after 200 numbers have been distributed or would like additional information, please call our fuel fund information line at 330.643.2068.

 

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Barberton rubber company expanding its Mexico plant

By Katie Byard Published: September 1, 2015

Preferred Compounding, a longtime Barberton rubber company, has expanded its plant in Mexico and is hiring hourly and salaried employees for the facility.
The company opened the facility in San Luis Potosi in early 2013. It’s the company’s first facility south of the border, and primarily supplies Mexican operations of U.S., Asian and European auto and appliance parts manufacturers.
Preferred Compounding, with 125 employees at its Barberton plant and offices, offers custom-mixed rubber compounds to a variety of industries.
Scott Lieberman, who is general manager for Preferred Compounding de Mexico and vice president of strategic initiatives for Preferred Compounding, said total employment in Mexico will be nearly 100 people by the beginning of winter. That’s up from 80 workers currently and the 20 employees at the start of Preferred Compounding’s operation of the plant.
Preferred purchased the 66,000 square foot facility from Spanish company Iacp Jevsa, which has main offices near Barcelona, Spain, and began investing in it. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Preferred Compounding makes black compounds in facilities in Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, as well as at the Mexico plant, and color compounds in Ohio and Georgia.
It’s Barberton offices and plant are tucked in an industrial area behind the old Reiter Dairy at Wooster and Waterloo roads.
The company expanded through acquisition in 2006 when it purchased Associated Rubber Co. of Georgia. That transaction included compounding plants in Tallapoosa, Ga., Fruithurst, Ala., and Huntingdon, Tenn.
 

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Akron utility consulting company acquires 200-employee Detroit business

By Katie Byard Published: September 1, 2015

ACRT Inc. of Akron, which helps utilities manage the vegetation near power lines, said Tuesday it has acquired Bermex Inc., a meter reading and field services company headquartered in Detroit and with more than 200 employees.
The move gives ACRT more services to offer to customers, and also will allow Bermex to grow its market, ACRT President Mike Weidner said in a statement.
Terms of the acquisition were not released.
“The synergies between the two companies are impressive,” Weidner said. “We have similar cultures, service models and employee focus. Most importantly, we share a similar customer base, and while we both provide services to utility companies, these services do not overlap.”
Bermex serves gas, electric and water utility companies, providing meter reading, changing of meters and line and leak detection, as well as other services, The company has customers in Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Georgia and Florida.
ACRT, an employee-owned company, provides utility vegetation management consulting to power companies nationwide. In 2013, it had about 500 staffers across the country.
Weidner said that Bermax will keep its name and become a wholly owned subsidiary of ACRT. Bermex president Henry Mello will retain his leadership position.
 

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Worker dies Monday night at Goodyear tire plant in Danville, Va.

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 1, 2015

A worker at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s Danville, Va., tire plant died Monday night, the company said.
Details were not available. One local media outlet in the Danville area said an unidentified female employee was killed in an industrial accident that happened about 9:30 p.m. Danville police were among the agencies investigating.
Goodyear released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened to report that at approximately 9:30 pm Monday night, a fatality occurred in the Goodyear-Danville facility.
“Goodyear’s on-site emergency response team, as well as local emergency personnel responded immediately, and all parties are cooperating in the investigation into the root cause of the incident.
“Goodyear has reported the incident to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and will fully cooperate with the organization.
“Our hearts go out to the family, friends and co-workers of the employee during this very difficult time.”
The Danville plant makes truck, bus and airplane tires.

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Kent Adhesives Products hires new president

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 1, 2015

Kent Adhesive Products Co. has a new president, Elie Merheb.
 Merheb will be responsible for all facets of the corporation, including sales, finance, technical, and operations. Kent Adhesive Products, founded in 1974 in Kent, Ohio,and also known as KAPCO, is a custom coater and converter of flexible pressure-sensitive materials.
Merheb previously worked for several Fortune 500 companies. His experience includes material development in leadership roles, including an assignment in Japan; quality management and product development of graphics and industrial tape divisions; and commercial leadership roles, including global account management, product management, and leading a global thermoplastic polyurethane film division.
He has a bachelor’s degree chemical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in engineering from North Carolina State University, and an MBA from John Carroll University.
  “I believe he has the skills, knowledge and experience to take KAPCO to the next level,” Ed Small, chief executive officer, said in a statement.

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Timken's Calstar purchase diversifies company

By Jim Mackinnon Published: September 1, 2015

Bearings maker Timken Co. has completed its $220 million purchase of Carlstar Belts from American Industrial Partners.
Carlstar, based in Springfield, Mo., makes industrial, commercial and consumer power transmission belts at its two U.S. factories. Through the 12 months ending June 30, Carlstar had sales of about $140 million. The company has about 750 employees.
Carlstar’s products will diversify Jackson Township-based Timken beyond bearings and its other products and services.

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Fairlawn-based Welty expands to Houston

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: September 1, 2015

 

4:36 p.m. update. Here's a link to the updated story: http://www.ohio.com/business/lin-fisher/fairlawn-based-welty-building-co-expands-to-texas-with-first-acquisition-1.620706

 

 

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