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BusINess » Business

Archives for the ‘Business’ Category

All-too-common mistakes can sink the best job search techniques

Last week’s JobsSunday feature focused on what job candidates could do to re-energize and re-focus their attitude through their job search techniques.

This week the focus is on the opposite—what job candidates should make sure they avoid as they look for work.

The phrase “shoot yourself in the foot” didn’t create itself. Although it didn’t originate with job seekers, it might as well have.
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Million dollar storm

Snow melts last week in the Walmart parking lot in Highland. Warming temperatures helped gradually melt the 20 inches dumped on the region at the beginning of the month. (Photograph by Jonathan Miano/The Times.)

Snow melts last week in the Walmart parking lot in Highland. Warming temperatures helped gradually melt the 20 inches dumped on the region at the beginning of the month. (Photograph by Jonathan Miano/The Times.)

Two weeks after the Blizzard of 2011, many communities were just finishing cleaning up, with a little help from higher temperatures that caused most of the snow to melt gradually, preventing flooding.

Lake and Porter counties were hit with more than 20 inches of snow, high winds and bitter cold over several days starting Feb. 1. The estimated cleanup tab is at least $1,334,249.
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Jobs key to everyone’s recovery

Century 21 Executive Realty owner Bill McCabe speaks at The Times Board of Economists meeting Feb. 9 at the Radisson in Merrillville. "Right now we just don't have that spark that is creating jobs," McCabe said. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Century 21 Executive Realty owner Bill McCabe speaks at The Times Board of Economists meeting Feb. 9 at the Radisson in Merrillville. “Right now we just don't have that spark that is creating jobs,” McCabe said. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Weak job creation is hindering the recovery of industries across the board in Northwest Indiana, according to the Times Board of Economists.

Tim Roper, owner of Smith Auto Group, said when serious job creation finally starts, buyers will return to auto showrooms.

“The huge fundamental for our industry is jobs,” Roper said.
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This week’s BusINess newsletter out now!

Check out BusINess’ weekly newsletter online or click here to subscribe and get the latest NWI business news delivered weekly, straight to your inbox.

Region’s business leaders agree that crucial ingredient—jobs—still needed to power recovery; two electric cars, one made in Elkhart, make NWI debut; new advertising blitz aims to woo Illinois employers across the border. Hobart Borders store to close due to company’s bankruptcy, as Strack & Van Til puts its mark on acquired stores and unions organize to defeat proposed “right-to-work” law in Indianapolis. Applications for jobless benefits rise unexpectedly to 410,000; as NASDAQ nears record highs, some investors get nervous; and new Xbox 360 Juarez video game could be banned by Mexican authorities.—Pat Colander, Editor and Associate Publisher, BusINess magazine, serving Northwest Indiana & Chicagoland
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Region business leaders say jobs still missing jolt from recovery

Tim Roper, of Smith Auto Group, speaks at The Times Board of Economists luncheon Feb. 9 at the Radisson in Merrillville. Roper said when serious job creation finally starts, buyers will return to auto showrooms. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Tim Roper, of Smith Auto Group, speaks at The Times Board of Economists luncheon Feb. 9 at the Radisson in Merrillville. Roper said when serious job creation finally starts, buyers will return to auto showrooms. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Northwest Indiana business executives are seeing the signs of a sustained—yet slow—economic recovery in the region this year.

But the 22-member Times Board of Economists is split on how quickly challenges such as elevated unemployment will be resolved to provide a boost for sectors such as manufacturing, entertainment and real estate.
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Cool Ranch: The one-story home makes a real estate comeback

Ranch-style houses, sometimes referred to as ramblers or ranchers, are considered a native architectural genre.

Originally constructed in the 1920s, they gained more fans in the post-war years as suburbs burgeoned and the format could be affordably constructed. They were easy to live in, furnish and maintain with fairly open, modern yet modest layouts.

But like many other housing styles, they fell out of favor when homeowners sought traditional, two-story homes and, later, McMansions. Now, they’re the comeback kid for multiple reasons.
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Rail summit to highlight freight, high-speed, commuter

The United States’ top transportation official is coming to Chesterton to boost freight, passenger and high-speed rail as the solution to rebuilding the U.S. economy.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will be the keynote speaker at the Rail Delivers Jobs summit on Thursday at Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton.

“It’s unusual that a U.S. cabinet secretary comes to Northwest Indiana,” said Rex Richards, executive director of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce. “And it’s very significant that he is coming to talk about the key issue of rail, which is an important part of our total economic development program.”
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Strack & Van Til puts its mark on acquired stores

Ron Mize, left, buys groceries at the Strack & Van Til grocery store in Lowell. David Wilkinson, Strack & Van Til president and CEO, said the company is investing more than $2 million in the Lowell store. (Photograph by Kristin Elkins/The Times.)

Ron Mize, left, buys groceries at the Strack & Van Til grocery store in Lowell. David Wilkinson, Strack & Van Til president and CEO, said the company is investing more than $2 million in the Lowell store. (Photograph by Kristin Elkins/The Times.)

By the end of March, Strack & Van Til officials hope to have completed extensive remodeling of the former Wilco County Market that will bring it in line with the company’s other stores.

David Wilkinson, Strack & Van Til president and CEO, said the company is investing more than $2 million in the Lowell store alone, which it bought from Wilco last year.

“Whether a recession or not, we have to make sure it has the look and feel of a Strack & Van Til store,” he said.
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Clothing prices to rise 10 percent starting in spring

Customer Brian Begay looks at a pair of Levi Strauss & Co. jeans at a store in Hayward, Calif. Cotton has more than doubled in price over the past year, and the price of other synthetic fabrics has jumped almost just as much as demand for alternatives and blends has risen. Clothing prices are expected to rise by 10 percent in the coming months. (Photograph by Paul Sakuma/The Associated Press.)

Customer Brian Begay looks at a pair of Levi Strauss & Co. jeans at a store in Hayward, Calif. Cotton has more than doubled in price over the past year, and the price of other synthetic fabrics has jumped almost just as much as demand for alternatives and blends has risen. Clothing prices are expected to rise by 10 percent in the coming months.
(Photograph by Paul Sakuma/The Associated Press.)

The era of falling clothing prices is ending.

Clothing prices have dropped for a decade as tame inflation and cheap overseas labor helped hold down costs. Retailers and clothing makers cut frills and experimented with fabric blends to cut prices during the recession.

But as the world economy recovers and demand for goods rises, a surge in labor and raw materials costs is squeezing retailers and manufacturers who have run out of ways to pare costs.
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Steelworkers urge lawmakers to defeat bills limiting unions

Hundreds of steelworkers, who packed the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Tuesday to ask legislators to vote down several so-called right-to-work proposals, gather for a group picture. (Photograph by AJ Mast/The Times.)

Hundreds of steelworkers, who packed the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Tuesday to ask legislators to vote down several so-called right-to-work proposals, gather for a group picture.
(Photograph by AJ Mast/The Times.)

More than 600 steelworkers packed the marble halls of the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday asking legislators to vote down several so-called right-to-work proposals.

“We realize it’s a Republican-controlled House and Senate, but we’re hoping enough Republicans see the light and stop this,” said Jim Furan, of LaPorte, a heater at ArcelorMittal’s Burns Harbor plant.

At least five different proposals pending in legislative committees would take away some collective bargaining rights from union workers or prohibit non-union employees from having to contribute a fair share toward union-represented services.

“Eventually, you won’t have a union to fight for your benefit packages,” said Calvin Caldwell, of Valparaiso, a mechanic at ArcelorMittal’s Burns Harbor plant.

Pete Trinidad, of Portage, vice president of United Steel Workers Local 6787, said that’s exactly what Republicans want.

“They are just freewheeling attacking labor, which was a big problem for them in the last election,” Trinidad said.

But labor clearly is not giving up without a fight.

Trinidad said Tuesday was steel’s biggest lobbying day at the Statehouse in years, and steelworkers wearing blue USW ballcaps were easily spotted throughout the rotunda, hallways and galleries of the Statehouse.
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