LOCAL BUSINESS

Ohio.com launches sites

Barberton.Ohio.com and Wadsworth.Ohio.com — the ninth and 10th in a series of Ohio.com community websites — launch today.

The websites are designed to be the source for community news and information for Barberton and Wadsworth as reported by residents, community officials, correspondents and reporters at the Akron Beacon Journal and Ohio.com. The site is powered by Ohio.com and backed by the Beacon Journal newsroom.

The community sites feature a news blog from Ohio.com correspondents and a UPublish system that allows residents to submit news and information. Community members are encouraged to submit stories and photos, said Deanna Stevens Ulrich, Ohio.com content publisher. Submissions will be reviewed before being published.

Readers can find updates from Barberton.Ohio.com and Wadsworth.Ohio.com by using the “like” function on Facebook and follow the site on Twitter @Barberton_odc and @Wadsworth_odc.

Long-term unemployment forum

A local group — including Summit County Job and Family Services and the University of Akron — is evaluating the feasibility of starting a jobs program for those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

Joe Carbone will speak today to area civic leaders and employers about a program for the long-term unemployed that he created in Stamford, Conn.

Carbone’s effort — called Platform to Employment — was featured earlier this year on 60 Minutes on CBS. Platform to Employment includes paid internships that allow prospective employers to hire workers for up to eight weeks at no cost to the employer. This program is funded through philanthropic groups in the Stamford area.

Carbone will speak this morning at the Job Center, 1040 E. Tallmadge Ave. Registration is at 8 a.m. and the program is from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Carbone’s appearance is part of the Summit Workforce Solutions Brain Buster Breakfast Series.

Team NEO awards

Three area economic development initiatives were honored at Team NEO’s sixth Plus Awards event in Westlake.

The Canton Community Improvement Corp., city of Canton, the Employment Source, Canton Regional Chamber and Stark Development Board won in the business attraction category (more than 300 employees) with the attraction of VXI Global Solutions to Canton.

Akron city, Summit County, Springfield Township, NEOTEC, FirstEnergy and the Greater Akron Chamber won in the foreign investment category for the attraction of Röchling Automotive to Springfield Township.

The University of Akron, Lorain County Community College and Stark State College won in the Regionalism & Cross-Border Collaboration category for the creation of the Innovation Alliance.

Team NEO — the region’s business attraction nonprofit — coordinated the awards, which were presented by PNC.

At the event, Team NEO honored Jeanette Grasselli Brown and Glenn R. Brown with the

H. Peter Burg Regional Vision Award. Burg is the late chairman of Akron’s FirstEnergy Corp. and was the founding chairman of Team NEO.

PNC settles overdraft issue

PNC Bank has reached a $90 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit over excessive overdraft fees. The agreement was filed Tuesday in Miami federal court. It must be approved by Senior U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King, who is overseeing similar lawsuits that were consolidated against about 30 banks. Lawyers say details in the PNC deal will be filed within 45 days.

JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, TD Bank and others have reached similar agreements.

The lawsuit claims banks improperly processed debit card transactions to maximize overdraft fees. The PNC settlement says the Pittsburgh-based bank is not admitting liability.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Data show car prices drop

New vehicle prices have dropped $500 in the past year, mainly because Japanese automakers have restocked dealers after car shortages in 2011. The Kelley Blue Book auto pricing service says models from Japanese automakers such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Accord have seen the biggest declines, while Detroit’s models haven’t dropped quite as much. Toyota, Honda and smaller Japanese automakers ran short of cars after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March 2011. The shortages weren’t fully resolved until a few months ago. With few cars to sell last summer, Toyota and Honda dealers had little reason to offer discounts.

Compiled from staff and wire reports