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BusINess » Workforce

Archives for the ‘Workforce’ Category

Local building unions make a play for PLAs with municipalities, developers

A Northwest Indiana group representing unionized building and construction trade workers has a New Year’s resolution to secure more job commitments for its members.

The Northwestern Indiana Building & Construction Trades Council will ramp up its lobbying of municipal officials and even private developers to establish project labor agreements. With construction forecasts showing stagnant activity in the new year and declining union ranks, the labor movement is attempting to gather as much work as it can to tackle significant unemployment.
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Construction hours logged rise 18 percent in ‘10

Construction workers in Northern Indiana will have logged about 18 percent more hours on job sites this year compared to 2009, according to an estimate provided by a regional industry trade organization.

Robert Anadell, executive director of the Building & Construction Resource Center Inc., said by the end of the year area workers will have spent about 19.5 million hours—3 million hours more than in 2009—on job sites. The 2010 total, however, still is down 12 percent from the more than 22 million hours worked in 2008. The work area spans the northern tier of the state from Lake County to South Bend.
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Job cuts leave remaining employees with guilt, anxiety

In July of this year, the government jobs report issued by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics reported a loss of 7.9 million jobs during the Great Recession.

Unfortunately, at the end of each calendar year, many companies determine the size of their workforce for the upcoming year. During the Great Recession of the past three years, that has resulted in many workers losing their jobs during the holiday season.
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Program points workers to careers in steel

Jon Andrew Sweeney, of Matteson, stands in front of a blast furnace Thursday at the ArcelorMittal steel mill in Burns Harbor. Sweeney was just hired by ArcelorMittal after taking classes at Prairie State College in the Steelworker for the Future program. ArcelorMittal has hired four recent graduates of Steelworker for the Future, a training partnership launched two years ago to bring more craft workers into the steel industry, said Mark Langbehn, manager of hourly employee training at ArcelorMittal USA. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Jon Andrew Sweeney, of Matteson, stands in front of a blast furnace Thursday at the ArcelorMittal steel mill in Burns Harbor. Sweeney was just hired by ArcelorMittal after taking classes at Prairie State College in the Steelworker for the Future program. ArcelorMittal has hired four recent graduates of Steelworker for the Future, a training partnership launched two years ago to bring more craft workers into the steel industry, said Mark Langbehn, manager of hourly employee training at ArcelorMittal USA. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Andrew Sweeney said it wasn’t part of his initial plan to work in the steel industry.

Hired earlier this year as an electrical maintenance technician working at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, Sweeney said his thoughts changed once he enrolled in a training program that helped him snag a job with the world’s largest steelmaker.
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Jobless rates decline in Ill., Ind.

Long lines of people form before the opening of the city of Hammond's annual job fair in March at the Jean Shepherd Community Center. In preliminary data adjusted for seasonal changes in employment, Indiana's jobless rate was 9.8 percent in November, which is down 0.1 percent from a month earlier. The unemployment rate in Indiana matched the national average last month. (Times file photo.)

Long lines of people form before the opening of the city of Hammond's annual job fair in March at the Jean Shepherd Community Center. In preliminary data adjusted for seasonal changes in employment, Indiana's jobless rate was 9.8 percent in November, which is down 0.1 percent from a month earlier. The unemployment rate in Indiana matched the national average last month. (Times file photo.)

Unemployment rates dipped in Indiana and Illinois in November, according to data released Friday by state and federal labor departments.

In preliminary data adjusted for seasonal changes in employment, Indiana’s jobless rate was 9.8 percent in November, which is down 0.1 percent from a month earlier. The unemployment rate in Indiana matched the national average last month.
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Good signs—Retail sales up, CEOs in hiring mood

A strong start to the holiday season is raising confidence that the consumer is back and that 2011 could be a better year for the U.S. economy than expected.

Retail sales are rising, boosted by the best month for department stores in two years. Inflation remains tame. Businesses are restocking their shelves in anticipation of more consumer demand. And a survey of CEOs at America’s biggest companies suggests hiring will pick up in the next six months.

High unemployment remains a concern. The Federal Reserve singled out the nation’s 9.8 percent jobless rate Tuesday when it said it plans to maintain the pace of its $600 billion Treasury bond-buying program.
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Freight could lift NWI job, economic prospects

Trucks travel on the Borman Expressway between Broadway and Interstate 65. From 4 million to 16 million more trucks per year will roll on Northwest Indiana and Chicago roadways by 2035, according to a freight study by consultant Cambridge Systematics. (Photograph by Judy Fidkowski/the Times.)

Trucks travel on the Borman Expressway between Broadway and Interstate 65. From 4 million to 16 million more trucks per year will roll on Northwest Indiana and Chicago roadways by 2035, according to a freight study by consultant Cambridge Systematics.
(Photograph by Judy Fidkowski/the Times.)

Projects from across Northwest Indiana including the proposed Illiana Expressway and an intermodal facility in Kingsbury rose to the top of the pile in a poll of transportation experts conducted at a freight workshop in Portage on Monday.

About 30 railroad representatives, real estate developers, transportation officials and others took part in the morning-long workshop at the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. NIRPC is looking for ways to support rail, truck and water-borne freight projects in its 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan.
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Annual performance review is an opportunity for employee to quantify contributions

As the year draws to an end, many companies embark on annual performance reviews for both the business and the employees.

The business performance review can be relatively straightforward-did the business make a profit? Increase sales? Improve customer performance? Grow market share?

The employee performance review is not always as easy to define. Goals that were established at the beginning of the year may be harder to tie into the business performance. Frequently, it is harder to quantify an employee’s contribution to the bottom line, especially if a business has multiple facilities worldwide.
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Stocks stumble after unemployment rises to 9.8 pct

An unexpected increase in the U.S. unemployment rate pushed stocks down Friday as investors moved money into safer assets.

The unemployment rate climbed to a seven-month high in November as employers added only 39,000 jobs. Economists had forecast a gain of 145,000.

The unemployment rate climbed to 9.8 percent from 9.6 percent.
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Ford Explorer begins rolling off line at Chicago Assembly Plant

A Ford employee installs parts on the new Explorer on Wednesday at the Chicago Assembly Plant. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

A Ford employee installs parts on the new Explorer on Wednesday at the Chicago Assembly Plant. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Ford Motor Co. opened the doors of its Chicago Assembly Plant on Wednesday to display what union and company leaders said will be the flagship SUV for the industry.

The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker has started production of the 2011 Ford Explorer in Chicago, and the plant is buzzing with activity after receiving a new vehicle to build, a multimillion-dollar infusion of equipment and a boost of about 1,200 employees.
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