Export program set
Area companies looking to export products, or those wanting to expand their exporting or companies in need of help with compliance regulations are being offered a new program by the nonprofit Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium (NEOTEC).
The short-term assistance program is dubbed the International Counseling Program. “It’s like we become an extension of their staff, but on a temporary basis,” said Ron DeBarr, head of NEOTEC, which is headquartered in Kent.
Already, NEOTEC offers companies longer-term help with exporting through its Global Trade Group division, which began in 2012.
With the International Counseling Program, DeBarr said, companies “have no long-term commitment or contract.” Rather, DeBarr said, the company simply buys a minimum of 10 hours worth of consulting services and can use the services on an as-needed basis. The cost is $750.
NEOTEC will provide the consulting services in person, via telephone or email.
This compares with NEOTEC’s Dedicated Executive Program, begun in 2012, in which NEOTEC places a senior executive at a company who helps to develop what NEOTEC calls a “customized international trade program.”
NEOTEC, a multi-county economic development group, oversees two Northeast Ohio trade zones where companies can defer, reduce or avoid customs duties. NEOTEC works on behalf of Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit and Trumbull counties.
For information, go online to NEOTEC’s website at www.neotec.org.
— Katie Byard
B&W gets funds
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $2.5 million to Barberton-based Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc. to do the second phase of development for new carbon capture technology in coal-fired power plants.
Researchers with B&W PGG and Ohio State University are developing what is called “Coal Direct Chemical Looping” technology that they hope has lower costs than other carbon dioxide capture technologies.
The technology, which creates a concentrated stream of recoverable carbon dioxide gas, was developed and successfully tested at OSU’s labs in Columbus, officials said. Research and testing are ongoing at the B&W Research Center in Barberton and at OSU’s labs.
Engineer leaves GM
Jim Federico, who most recently headed safety, vehicle performance and testing labs, is retiring after almost 36 years with General Motors. GM said he’s leaving on his own to work outside the auto industry. Federico was GM’s highest-ranking executive with safety in his title in February, when the company began recalling 2.6 million older-model small cars to replace the defective ignition switches. He was also the chief engineer for global small cars in 2010, and was involved in an internal investigation into the faulty switches.
PepsiCo has joined Coca-Cola in saying it’s working to remove a controversial ingredient from all its drinks, including Mountain Dew. The company had announced last year that it was removing the ingredient from Gatorade. Then on Monday, Coca-Cola said it is dropping the ingredient from all its drinks, including Powerade.
Brominated vegetable oil was the target of petitions by a Mississippi teenager who wanted it out of Gatorade and Powerade. The petition noted that the ingredient has been patented as a flame retardant and isn’t approved for use in Japan and the European Union.
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have stood by the safety of the ingredient, which is used to distribute flavors more evenly in fruit-flavored drinks. But their decisions reflect the pressure companies are facing over the ingredients they use.
Service sector grows
Service industries expanded in April at the fastest pace in eight months, a sign the biggest part of the U.S. economy will bolster growth this quarter. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index rose to 55.2, higher than projected, from the prior month’s 53.1, the Tempe, Ariz.-based group’s report showed. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. The gain, combined with the strongest pace of manufacturing in four months, indicates growth is rebounding after a weak first quarter.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.