Economy

Business news

Christopher Alan
Tim Rudell / WKSU

A California company has dropped its plan to buy the old Packard Electric plant in Warren.  However Autoparkit, which builds robotic parking garage systems, is still planning to set up operations in the city. 

West  Coost entrepreneur Christopher Alan grew up in Warren. When he decided the old Packard plant back home would be a good place to make his automation he tried to buy it. Last month the deal fell through.

Propublica
PROPUBLICA

Stories in this week’s New Yorker from ProPublica, the non-profit investigative journalism group, raise questions about whether a northeast Ohio  poultry company  has racked up one of the worst safety records in the industry, in part by recruiting undocumented immigrants.  I spoke with the writer, Michael Grabell, about Case Farms.

photo of Akron North Hill neighborhood
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Huntington Bank is the latest company to contribute to a $4.5 million loan fund for projects in distressed Akron neighborhoods.

The bank has given a quarter-million dollars to the Akron Community Revitalization Loan Fund. The group says it will concentrate on loaning money for projects from $500,000 all the way up to $2 million in places like North Hill and East Akron, with interest rates hovering below 2.75 percent.

photo of pledge card
THE CENTERS FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

A new hiring program in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood is aiming to encourage local businesses to hire local residents.

HOF Ground Breaking
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Construction continues around the clock in Canton to turn the Pro Football Hall of Fame into what is being dubbed the Disneyland of Football. Tuesday two project milestones, a completion and a kick off, were celebrated at once.

The wind made it a little bit hard to hear, but the choice of the hill above the Hall of Fame for the dual ceremony had to do with seeing: the last beam dropped into place for the new Tom Benson Stadium; and the first shovel turned for the four-star hotel to be on this high ground of the Hall of Fame Village.

photo of Ryan Smith
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

House Republicans have offered their own budget plan after seeing tax revenues come up short month after month. The changes include taking out nearly all of Gov. John Kasich’s tax reform proposals.

In his last two budgets Gov. John Kasich has proposed a plan that makes reductions to the income tax, saying he wants to shift the state away from relying on income taxes.

Picture of a dredging operation in Cleveland's shipping channel
PORT OF CLEVELAND

The Cuyahoga River is being dredged by the Army Corps of Engineers once again, and as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, the Port of Cleveland says communication will be key to keeping the shipping channel clear in the future.

WKSU

Downtown Cleveland has about 300 restaurants and cafes to serve the area’s growing population and tourism trade. Downtown officials are not concerned that more eateries will over-saturate that market.

photo of the Columbus YMCA
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A collection of community service groups is hoping they can get a tax break from the state with the help of a new bill. The measure would boost gyms like the YMCA.

The whirring of treadmills and the sounds of swimming might first come to mind when you think of gyms like those at the YMCA and Jewish Community Centers.

But Beth Tsvetkoff with the Ohio Alliance of YMCA says they do so much more, such as early childhood education and diabetes prevention.

photo of Tim Keen
OHIO OFFICE OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT

For the fourth time in five months, the state has fallen short of predicted revenue. 

March’s personal income tax collections were down $203 million from what was expected. And overall income tax revenue for the year is off by more than half a billion dollars –  $615 million.

photo of Chris Burnham
SUMMIT DFA / SUMMIT DFA

Summit County is considering an investment strategy that could boost economic development programs in the area.

Summit County usually has about $300 million on hand as revenue comes in that isn’t due to be paid out. It invests that to earn interest. But it wants to leverage more value from the money by putting a couple of million dollars of in a “loan reserve” for the Summit Development Finance Authority.

Rep. Kirk Schuring
Karen Kasler / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Talks are continuing on a bill to overhaul the fund set up to pay unemployment benefits to laid off workers. 

Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring of Canton says meetings between business and labor groups on shoring up the unemployment fund have been going on since January, and have been "harmonious. " He says they’ve hired an actuary to answer some key questions.

“The purpose of this exercise is to put a dollar amount on all the proposals,” Schuring says. 

C-130 prepares for takeoff
Tech Sgt Jim Brock / 910th Air Lift Wing website

The U.S. Air Force Reserve Command is turning down the offer of a free building at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport. 

Picture of a Cleveland RTA bus
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Ohio’s newly approved transportation budget includes a 33 percent boost in funding for public transit, but that’s not as much as the agencies could lose in the future.

The new budget increases the funding by $10 million, which is down from the $30 million boost that was originally proposed by the state Senate. The state is also losing the $34 million in Medicaid sales tax revenue that would go to public transit in 2019. And at the federal level, President Trump’s proposed budget would cut the Department of Transportation’s funding by 13 percent.

Picture of a Cleveland RTA bus
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has sold naming rights for its W. 25th Street bus route in Cleveland.

MetroHealth will pay about $4 million over the next 25 years for the route, which ties together all of its campuses, including the main campus on W. 25th. RTA spokeswoman Linda Krecic says the funds will go toward new signs and new 40-foot, clean diesel buses this fall. The money will also go toward more efficiencies in the future.

photo of Cuyahoga Falls yarn bomb
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Cuyahoga Falls City Council will vote tonight on whether to proceed with the $10 million makeover of the city’s mostly empty pedestrian mall.

The plan to redevelop Front Street has been percolating for three years; Mayor Don Walters usually jokes that the street was closed to automobiles in 1978, and they began regretting the decision in 1979.

photo of Philip Cole
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A coalition of advocates for the poor have a new report on poverty in Ohio. They're using it to call on Congress to save multiple programs that would help low-income Ohioans.
 

KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Representatives from education, manufacturing and economic development in Summit County gathered in Akron yesterday to discuss efforts to better train workers to fill local jobs.  The “Align” conference was an opportunity for the approximately 50 groups to strengthen the links between themselves.

photo of UBER's OTTO autonomous truck
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The trucking industry says there’s been a driver shortage for two decades – and that there could be 175,000 unfilled trucker jobs in the next seven years. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports a bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed a package of bills that seeks to put the brakes on that.

KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Ohio Sen.Sherrod Brown has rolled out an infrastructure rebuilding blueprint he and other senators call a guide for President Donald Trump.

On the bank of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Brown talked about the 10-year infrastructure plan which includes billions for roads, bridges, sewer and water systems and public housing and transportation.

photo of Kaptur letter
REP. MARCY KAPTUR

Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur has invited President Donald Trump to visit Lorain and help prevent the closure of some of the city's steel operations.

U.S. Steel plans to permanently close one of its tubular operations in June, after idling it in 2015. That part of the plant makes smaller pipes; Kaptur says there’s been less demand for those pipes with the downturn in the natural gas industry. She says Trump could start by placing a tariff on foreign steel.

Manufacturing
WIKIMEDIA / WIKIMEDIA

Economists say the increase of manufacturing jobs in February’s national jobs report is good news for Ohio. More than 28,000 manufacturing jobs were added nationally, according to the report.

stock photo of newspaper classifieds
FLICKR

Last year was a hard one in a category that nearly every politician talks about and nearly every election hinges on: the economy. And specifically, it was a tough year for job growth in Ohio.

photo of Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state’s jobless rate was 5 percent for January, which is unchanged from December.

Jon Keeling with the Department of Job and Family Services says the number of Ohioans in the labor force and looking for work ticked up quite a bit last month.

“And usually when that happens, where that many more people are looking for work, that means the unemployment rate will usually go up. But since the rate stayed the same, that means a lot of those people that were looking for work got work.”

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