Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

Just outside of West Virginia's capital city, Charleston, on the banks of the Kanawha River, sits the Institute Industrial Park. Chemical plants have operated here continuously since World War II, when the local factories cranked out synthetic rubber. Today there are industrial pipes, tanks and buildings stretching in just about every direction.

Soon, there could be more.

A new initiative through the Region Four Workforce Board aims at connecting manufacturers and skilled workers.

It’s called “Advancing Manufacturing: We Have Jobs Here, We Have Training Here.” Besides listing open positions at companies in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties, it offers free training for job seekers.

Region 4 CEO Roger Feldhaus says the effort is in response to employers who have expressed concerns about the quality of the current labor pool.

The $26 billion deal Thursday reached by the federal government, most states and the nation's largest banks to compensate homeowners for abusive foreclosure practices was hailed as a landmark agreement. But it's unlikely to end the mortgage mess that has depressed property values and left millions of homeowners owing more than their homes are worth, analysts say.

Wabash National has profitable 4th Quarter

Feb 8, 2012

Wabash National is reporting net income of $7.5 million dollars for the 4th quarter of 2011.

That compares with net income of a little less than $5 million for October through December of 2010.

President and C-E-O Dick Giromini  says this is the ninth consecutive quarter of noteworthy year-over-year improvement in Wabash National’s operating results.

The Lafayette truck-trailer manufacturer sold more than 47,000 units in 2011.

That nearly doubled total sales from 2010.

Retirees and families with young children have a mostly favorable impression of Greater Lafayette.  Young professionals say there is much to be desired.

Those are some of the findings in a survey by the Chamber of Commerce and Next Generation Consulting.

It shows the area compares favorably in cost, safety, and diversity to similar cities, but lags behind when it comes to socializing after work, healthy living, and transit options.

Chamber council member Mike Piggott hopes the report can spark some positive change locally.

What happens next now that Heather Peters has won her case? She's the California woman who took Honda to small claims court because her hybrid Civic wasn't getting as the 50 miles per gallon she'd been promised.

Lafayette-based company acquires competitor

Feb 2, 2012

A Lafayette company that manufactures planners for hundreds of schools across the country has acquired one of its competitors.

School Datebooks has purchased the Denver-based company The Student Planner.

School Datebooks currently employs 65 people full-time.

President Tim Powers expects more jobs to come to the Lafayette facility in the future because of the acquisition, in the areas of sales and manufacturing.

He says the Denver facility, which has 27 full-time workers, will remain open, with Lafayette serving as the company’s headquarters.

Below is Adam Davidson's latest New York Times Magazine column, "It Is Safe To Resume Ignoring The Prophets Of Doom...Right?" Read all of Davidson's Times Magazine columns here.

In his latest New York Times Magazine column, Adam Davidson argues that the U.S. should take a stronger stance against China's currency. To continue the discussion, we asked two economists on different sides of the debate to weigh in on the following question:

Should the U.S. take a harder stance on China's currency policy?

In his latest New York Times Magazine column, Adam Davidson argues that the U.S. should take a stronger stance against China's currency. To continue the discussion, we asked two economists on different sides of the debate to weigh in on the following question:

Should the U.S. take a harder stance on China's currency policy?

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