Economy

Business news

photo of Abbe Turner
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

A new book profiles farmers in Ohio – specifically, dairy farmers who are women.

photo of Jon Husted
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Google broke ground on a new $600 million data center in central Ohio.

The new facility in New Albany was spurred, in part, by different local and state tax breaks. 

The new Google data center is expected to generate about 50 jobs within the next few years.

The tech giant received a 15-year, property tax abatement from New Albany and a 15-year sales tax exemption from the state that's estimated to be about a $43.5 million break.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the benefits will far outweigh the tax breaks.

The wind is sharp while a yoga class does downward dog in Washington Park. The people working out are mostly white, although the neighborhood is nearly 90% black, according to census data.

Manufacturing
WIKIMEDIA / WIKIMEDIA

A report from the Commerce Department finds manufacturing’s share of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) has shrunk to its lowest level in 72 years. Manufacturing made up 11% of GDP in the second quarter. It hasn’t been that small since 1947 and rose to a quarter of the overall economy in the 1960s.   

But an industry advocacy organization says manufacturing remains a central driver of Ohio’s economy. Matthew Fieldman is the vice president of external affairs for the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) and says the sector is thriving here.   

a photo of several groups at tables
JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

An initiative kicked off Tuesday in Cleveland to develop a new vision for the city’s future.

The Cleveland Rising Summit is a three day event that draws together a large group of citizens to brainstorm.

The process is led, in part, by Case Western Reserve University professor David Cooperrider, developer of a technique to facilitate innovation in businesses and community groups.

photo of smoke stacks
JAMES KELLEY / SHUTTERSTOCK

Murray Energy, one of the nation's largest producers of coal, has filed for bankruptcy. The Ohio-based coal mining company also announced that its high-profile CEO, Bob Murray, will be replaced.

Murray Energy, based in St. Clairsville, has filed for Chapter 11 in bankruptcy court and is looking to restructure under a different name, Murray NewCo. Under that new entity, Bob Murray will no longer be CEO or president but he will continue to hold the title of board chairman.

Cleveland skyline
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Small to mid-size businesses in Northeast Ohio will soon have access to expertise that can help them grow.

The London Stock Exchange Group’s Elite Initiative has chosen Cleveland for its first North American headquarters.

It’s not the company’s first foray into Ohio. They worked with the city of Athens and nine Southeast Ohio companies last year in their first U.S. venture.  

Deb Janik is senior vice president of Real Estate and Business Development at Greater Cleveland Partnership.

A proposal repealing Ohio's sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products is headed to the governor.

Nick, a former GM employee, stands with fellow strikers in front of the main truck gate at the Lordstown GM assembly plant, Lordstown, Ohio. Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019.
CARTER ADAMS / WKSU

The contract agreement reached between the UAW and General Motors that may end the month-long strike does not include a new product for the shuttered Lordstown plant in Trumbull County.

The deal meets many demands that sent 49,000 workers to the picket line. Those include a better healthcare plan, gradual wage increases and a path for temporary workers to be hired on full time. 

However the agreement maintains the closure of three of four facilities GM shut down earlier this year, including the assembly facility in Lordstown where the Chevy Cruze was made. 

photo of graduation
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

More than half of Northeast Ohio graduates leave the area once they get their degrees. That’s according to research from Team NEO. But that number can be deceiving.

Fewer than 47 percent of graduates stay in the region. While that may seem like a low number, Team NEO’s research chief Jacob Duritsky says it’s comparable to other large metropolitan areas. The problem is in the actual population.

David Johnson, United Auto Workers Union member for 46 years, poses for a portrait with a UAW ON STRIKE picket sign outside of the General Motors Metal Fabrication Facility, where he has worked for the last six years. Parma, Ohio Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.
CARTER ADAMS / WKSU

United Auto Workers (UAW) at General Motors (GM) are expected to vote this weekend on a tentative deal negotiators have reached with the company. UAW workers who lost their jobs when GM Lordstown shut down in March had hoped the national agreement would include a future for their plant. Sen. Rob Portman said it’s disappointing that it doesn’t.

RTA Refocusing On Low- to Mid-Income Riders, New CEO Says

Oct 17, 2019

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) will refocus on serving lower-income riders first, while better integrating with other forms of transportation such as electric scooters and car-sharing services, according to India Birdsong, the agency's new CEO.

Birdsong outlined a rough agenda for the agency during a speech Oct. 17 at the city's annual sustainability summit. It was her first public address to Northeast Ohioans since taking office in September.

General Motors and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative agreement to end the strike that began one month ago, the labor union announced Wednesday. The UAW GM National Council will vote on the deal Thursday.

When the national council reviews the deal's terms, it will also decide whether nearly 50,000 workers should remain on strike or whether they should go back to work before the full membership ratifies the agreement.

GM CEO Barra Joins Talks; Deal to End Strike May Be Near

Oct 15, 2019
Tony Browning (left) poses for a portrait with his wife, Sherry Browning, as they hold the picket line in front of the South Gate of the GM Metal Fabrication Division, Parma, Ohio Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.   Tony is a third generation United Auto Workers un
CARTER ADAMS / WKSU

General Motors CEO Mary Barra joined negotiators at the bargaining table, an indication that a deal may be near to end a monthlong strike by the United Auto Workers union that has paralyzed the company's factories.

METRO RTA

Riders of Akron Metro RTA Buses no longer have to worry about bringing along cash to pay for their ticket. The agency has launched an app that allows riders to pay their fare directly from their smartphones.

Metro RTA Spokesperson Halee Gerenday says the EZfare app will enhance the customer experience.

 

Ohio’s childcare workers rank among the state’s most economically vulnerable employees, according to a factsheet released Friday by Groundwork Ohio, which lobbies for childcare workers. 

The profession employs more than 53,000, and most are women. Half of those workers rely on some kind of public assistance.

That’s because wages are rock bottom: the average Ohio childcare worker makes roughly $20,000 a year – even though they are likely to have credentials beyond a diploma.

The state's average wage is $54,000 annually.

Ohio continues to give the green light to businesses that want to help pioneer the development of self-driving vehicles. Just last week at a COSI conference, Lt. Governor Jon Husted was wooing Toyota, Waymo, Ford, the American Trucking Associations, AAA and others.

With the UAW strike against General Motors in its fourth week, the automaker is losing millions of dollars. So are the businesses that supply GM. Many of their workers have also been out of work for four weeks, but unlike the striking UAW workers, their plight is much less visible.

Lansing, Mich., has nine regional GM suppliers. These are companies that do everything from producing ads to making parts for GM's cars and trucks. Altogether, that's more than 6,000 jobs. Supplier jobs in Lansing outnumber GM jobs.

Cranberry producers in Massachusetts, and around the country, are slowly drowning in surplus fruit.

For years, harvests in the three major cranberry-producing countries — the United States, Canada and Chile — have swelled, while many consumers have turned away from sugary beverages like cranberry juice. As a result, the global supply of cranberries has outgrown demand, and many Bay State growers have been pushed to the brink of failure.

The "corckscrew" rollercoaster at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio.
DAVE A. / Creative Commons

Theme park operator Six Flags has approached Cedar Fair, owner of the Cedar Point amusement park, with a potential merger, according to a story released by Reuters.

Dennis Speigel, president of the consulting firm International Theme Park Services, says a merger would be momentous.

After less than a year and a handful of transactions, the website that was allowing Ohioans to pay taxes in bitcoin has been shut down by state treasurer Robert Sprague.

a photo of a technical worker
CREATIVE COMMONS

Small businesses in Ohio are struggling to find workers according to the National Federation of Independent Business. They surveyed small businesses and found that nationally a quarter of them are having trouble finding skilled workers who can pass drug tests.

In Ohio, three quarters of the business owners who responded said they were having trouble finding workers. NFIB Director Roger Geiger says Ohio is facing a crisis.

 

Cleveland To Offer Free Help For Families Facing Eviction

Oct 1, 2019

Cleveland City Council on Monday unanimously approved legislation that will provide access to free legal help for low-income families facing eviction.

The United Way of Greater Cleveland will lead the program, contracting with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland to provide services, according to the city.

“United Way is going to serve as the lead partner,” said Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley. “We can work through their infrastructure. They can do the training of attorneys, they can do the back office, they can do the billing.”

For GM Workers, Hope Of Returning To Shuttered Lordstown Plant Fades

Sep 28, 2019

In the months since General Motors signaled the closing of its huge car plant in Lordstown, Ohio, Tammy Hurst put off setting a wedding date and watched her fiance, two sisters, a brother and a nephew leave their hometowns for new jobs.

A photo of the Cleveland Orchestra
/ THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA

Music is big business in Northeast Ohio. The Cleveland Orchestra commissioned a study to determine just how big.

It found the orchestra’s activities at Severance Hall and concerts at Blossom Music Center – which it owns – generated more than $135 million in spending in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

The orchestra’s President and CEO Andre Gremillet says he wants to increase that impact in the coming years.

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