Economy

Business news

photo of METRO RTA shuttle
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Akron Metro RTA is looking to make traveling to and from work easier by bringing transportation right to your door.

The transportation system was one of three winners of The Paradox Prize, a grant from the Fund for Our Economic Future, which looks to better connect people with employers.

Metro RTA will receive $75,000. It plans to use the funds to provide better transportation to jobs for workers, either from their homes or from the transit center in downtown Akron. 

Laid-Off GM Workers Face A Tough Choice: Stay Or Move

Aug 8, 2019

This spring, just before Easter, Lincoln Fegley’s family and friends gathered at his favorite BBQ restaurant for one last get-together before he started a new job in a new state.

Several unions representing workers at the state's two nuclear plants are objecting to a new bankruptcy plan by FirstEnergy Solutions, saying the energy generator's latest filing would not honor union contracts.

A photo of Joann Fabrics in Hudson, Ohio.
GOOGLE EARTH

The head of Hudson-based Joann Stores joined other business leaders to speak out about the impacts tariffs are having on their companies.

Last week, President Trump announced a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods. It’s set to take effect September 1.

In a call with reporters Wednesday, Wade Miquelon says the tariffs don’t take into account that many of these businesses have developed their supply chains over years and don’t have alternatives.

stock photo of newspaper classifieds
FLICKR

An industry analyst says more job cuts are likely at Ohio’s newspapers consolidating under Gatehouse Media. Gatehouse is purchasing Gannett Company which owns the Cincinnati Enquirer and nine smaller Ohio papers.

Newsonomics media analyst Ken Doctor said newspapers continue looking for ways to deal with declining readership and revenue.

The owner of the Columbus Dispatch is purchasing the owner of the Cincinnati Enquirer, in a merger of two of the country's largest newspaper companies. It’s the latest media deal driven by the industry's struggles with a decline of printed editions.

Professional and collegiate sports teams have begun to experiment with cryptocurrency. Some have tried it and backed away, while others have strict limits. Some even allow ticket purchases with it.

a photo of military helmets
JO INGLES / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

A University of Akron study found good news and bad news for veterans looking for jobs after leaving military service.

Veterans contribute nearly 8% of Ohio’s total income, earning nearly $5 more per hour than non-veterans, but that number shrinks as veterans pursue higher paying jobs.

Economics professor Amanda Weinstein said this disparity eventually affects all working veterans.

Former General Motors Lordstown plant
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The president of the United Auto Workers union at the General Motors Co. plant in Lordstown is among those transferring to a GM plant elsewhere.

A Youngstown TV station reported Dave Green will relocate to a plant in Bedford, Ind.

Green has been working with Mahoning Valley leaders to try to secure another product for the facility that GM shut down in March. 

But he told WKSU last week he would have to take a transfer if it was offered.

sattelite image of Randall Park Mall
GOOGLE MAPS

When Amazon opens its new fulfillment facility in Akron, it will be the third in Northeast Ohio. One in Euclid is preparing to launch, and one in North Randall opened in October 2018. All three are sited where shopping malls used to be.

In North Randall, Mayor David Smith said Amazon has exceeded the city’s expectations.

A project to stabilize the hillside at Irishtown Bend along the Cuyahoga River will get a $9 million boost from a federal grant.

The funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation will help pay for the installation of 2,600 feet of steel bulkheads, shoring up the hillside near Columbus Road and Riverbend Street designed to prevent a potential landslide. The new grant means public and private agencies have raised a total of $25.5 million for the project, which is estimated to cost $36 million.

old Rolling Acres Mall on Romig Road in Akron
GOOGLE EARTH

It’s finally official — Amazon is coming to Akron and bringing about 1,500 full-time jobs with it. 

Amazon announced early Monday that construction will soon begin on a 700,000 square-foot distribution facility on the site of the former Rolling Acres Mall.

a photo of the amazon facility near Dayton, Ohio
GOOGLE

Amazon's announcement about a new facility for Akron prompted several responses from WKSU listeners. 

Cheryl Doss said, "This is amazing for Akron!!"

"I think it’s wonderful and it will help people without current jobs and their families!" said Denise Pistek.

"Excited beyond belief," said Elizabeth Bartz. "1,500 jobs don't usually land in our backyard. Mayor Horrigan worked hard to bring Amazon to Akron."

a photo of Kenmore Boulevard businesses
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

The announcement that Amazon is building a new fulfillment center and bringing 1,500 jobs to the former Rolling Acres Mall site in Akron, has businesses in neighboring Kenmore seeing opportunity.  

The Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance is cautiously optimistic about the impact the world's largest retailer could have. 

How would you feel about a robot interviewing you for a job? Swedish company Tengai is working on an English version of its robot which it claims will ask you questions without biases. Other companies, like HireVue and Humantic, formerly DeepSense, dig for personality traits based on digital interviews and social media accounts.

photo of Rolling Acres Mall
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Amazon has made it official. It will build a distribution warehouse on the site where Rolling Acres Mall used to be in Akron. The facility is expected to create 1,500 jobs.

photo of someone on a job website
rawpixel / SHUTTERSTOCK

Ohio’s unemployment rate was down slightly in June. It was an even 4% last month compared to 4.1 percent in May. 

Some companies in Ohio have jobs that are going unfilled right now.

The number of unemployed Ohioans decreased by 31,000 during the past year. In fact, Keith Lake with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce said it’s now to the point that some businesses are having difficulty finding people to hire.

a photo of Mandy Jenkins
DOUGLAS ZIMMERMAN / ZIMPIX.COM

When The (Youngstown) Vindicator announced it would stop publishing next month, it came at a time when Google Inc. and the McClatchy Co. were preparing to launch an experimental project in the local news space. 

They’re bringing that local news laboratory to Youngstown. 

a photo of computer servers
PROGGIE / CREATIVE COMMONS

Northeast Ohio is facing a labor shortage. That’s according to a report from Team NEO analyzing supply and demand in Northeast Ohio’s labor Market.

Team NEO’s Vice President of Strategy and Research Jacob Duritsky said the demand for health care, nursing and manufacturing jobs outweighs the number of qualified people entering the workforce.

“In those key sectors of the economy, we aren’t pushing enough students out of our programs into those fields where really good opportunity exists,” Duritsky said.

A northwestern Pennsylvania steel mill laid off between 80 and 100 employees this month, a move the company blames on President Donald Trump’s increased tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

The Tall Ships Festival returns to Cleveland this weekend for the first time since 2013 and is expected to bring 60,000 people to the shores of Lake Erie.

Cleveland is the second port of call for the 11 replica and restored vessels from around the world participating in "The Great Lakes 2019 Race."

Erin Short with the Tall Ships Challenge says events like this promote the waterfront, which in many cities, is underutilized.

A photo of Walborn Reservoir
GOOGLE EARTH

Stark Parks is seeking a property tax increase to expand trails and facilities. The park district’s current levy of 1-mill expires at the end of next year and they’re looking to generate more funding.

The director of Stark County Park District, Bob Fonte, said they conducted a survey along with updating the five-year plan for the parks. He said the increase would help fund the things park goers have asked for.

a photo of housing development in Akron
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

A state labor market study finds unemployment increasing in northeast Ohio, but in Akron there’s one bright spot in the data. The value of new home construction has risen nearly 47 percent in the last year.

The report from Ohio Bureau of Labor Market Information looked at eight metropolitan areas. It found unemployment claims in Akron rose 3.3 percent, and in Cleveland nearly six percent. Both cities also saw a decline in manufacturing hours worked, down nearly five percent in Cleveland.

A photo of a flooded farm field
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state is giving farmers another opportunity to apply for loans as they deal with severe weather and flooding that has kept many farmers from planting their crops.

The Ohio Treasurer’s Office is reopening its Ag-LINK program which can grant farmers up to $150,000 in loans.

The program usually operates between January and March, but Treasurer Robert Sprague said this can help those struggling with flooding.

East Liberty's Transportation Research Center celebrated the opening of a new $45 million SMARTCenter to test automated cars in real-world environments.

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