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Posts Tagged ‘Bowdeya Tweh’

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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Cloud over construction breaking, but slowly

Workers use a back hoe and hand shovel to dig foundations for jail cells at what will be a new government complex, police and fire station set to open in 2011 in Lake Station. At a conference for North American steel industry executives, customers and suppliers in Chicago last month, presenters gave outlooks for the construction sector that ranged from gloomy to slightly less gloomy. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Workers use a back hoe and hand shovel to dig foundations for jail cells at what will be a new government complex, police and fire station set to open in 2011 in Lake Station. At a conference for North American steel industry executives, customers and suppliers in Chicago last month, presenters gave outlooks for the construction sector that ranged from gloomy to slightly less gloomy. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Good and bad signs are forecast for the construction sector in 2011, but industry watchers agreed that it appears the ugly business conditions seen in recent years may be over.

At a conference for North American steel industry executives, customers and suppliers in Chicago last month, presenters gave outlooks for the construction sector that ranged from gloomy to slightly less gloomy. CRU, a London-based research and consulting firm, sponsored the three-day conference.
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Retailers seek reform on alcohol sales laws

Changing Indiana’s “antiquated” rules on alcohol sales could provide a boost in state revenue and a shot in the arm for businesses, a Northwest Indiana business executive and representatives from lobbying groups said Thursday.

In a meeting at The Times, Luke Oil President Tom Collins and leaders from two Indianapolis-based groups said they are lobbying for legislation allowing retailers to sell carryout alcohol on Sundays, allowing all licensed retailers the right to sell cold beer and making other changes for sales rules.
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Whiting Refinery chief says $3.8 billion project unbowed by challenges

A worker prepares a segment of the $3.8 billion modernization of the BP Whiting Refinery. The project, which will allow the plant to process more heavy crude oil extracted from Canadian tar sands, is on track for completion in 2012. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

A worker prepares a segment of the $3.8 billion modernization of the BP Whiting Refinery. The project, which will allow the plant to process more heavy crude oil extracted from Canadian tar sands, is on track for completion in 2012.
(Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Most executives might call it a year to forget.

Since Nick Spencer began working at BP in October 2009, the company has had to shake the impact of the recession and fuel-price crash. Months later, the company faced a storm of negative public opinion and rising costs as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP also shuffled its management ranks, with Bob Dudley succeeding Tony Hayward as the London-based company’s chief executive.
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Online tool available for Hoosier taxpayers

Are you still waiting for a federal tax refund payment?

The Internal Revenue Service wants to send it and has tools to help taxpayers find money owed to them.

If a refund check is returned to the IRS as undelivered, taxpayers can update their mailing addresses with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on irs.gov. The tool also enables taxpayers to check the status of their refunds.
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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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Labor Department: Unemployment benefits boost economic activity

Economic activity increases by $2 for every dollar spent on unemployment insurance, according to a study the U.S. Department of Labor released Tuesday.

The federal agency said the multiyear study used economic models to analyze the impact of the unemployment insurance program. The Department of Labor said the benefits at the macroeconomic level and individual families outweigh the payroll costs to employers.

In a summary of the report, benefits to unemployed workers were called an “economic stabilizer” and the payments helped boost gross domestic product by $315 billion from the start of the recession through the second quarter of this year.
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Auto industry’s return to ‘normal’ boosts steel

A Chicago Assembly Plant employee works on the assembly line. A bevy of challenges remain in the auto and steel industries as lower operating rates, high unemployment and reduced levels of consumer demand are expected to temper short-term performance expectations. (Photograph by The Times.)

A Chicago Assembly Plant employee works on the assembly line. A bevy of challenges remain in the auto and steel industries as lower operating rates, high unemployment and reduced levels of consumer demand are expected to temper short-term performance expectations. (Photograph by The Times.)

Improvements in the domestic auto industry will be a key driver to the economic recovery for steel production, analysts and company executives said.

However, a bevy of challenges remain in both industries as lower operating rates, high unemployment and reduced levels of consumer demand are expected to temper short-term performance expectations.

At a steel conference in Chicago earlier this month, Kim Korth, president of auto research firm IRN, said the recent recession seemed worse than prior ones because the automotive industry sustained a lot of damage in a short time. The 43 percent drop in overall light-duty vehicle production between 2007 and 2009 happened in half the time than the last precipitous decline in the late 1970s and early 1980s, according to IRN’s data.
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Uncertainty casts shadow on local economy

Numbers show economic conditions didn’t crumble as bad in Northwest Indiana during the recession as they did about 30 years ago.

But the resulting recovery over the next year will be slow and filled with uncertainty as the region, state and nation cope with stagnant growth in employment and gross domestic product, said speakers from Indiana University and Purdue University on Friday during their annual economic forecast.

Timothy Slaper, director of economic analysis at the Indiana Business Research Center at IU’s Kelley School of Business, said the recession has been “diabolically consistent” in the pain it has dealt. The economic cycle spanning December 2007 to June 2009 and the subsequent recovery have been the worst since the Great Depression, Slaper said.
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