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Hardide Invests $7 Million in New Virginia Plant

January 22, 2015 9:25 am | by Hardide Coatings | News | Comments

The 26,000 square foot facility in Martinsville, Henry County, is planned to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2015. The company produces a patented range of hard wearing coatings which significantly increase the life of critical metal parts operating in abrasive, erosive, corrosive and chemically aggressive environments.

Energy Companies Announce Thousands Of Layoffs

January 21, 2015 4:03 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

The continued decline in the prices of crude oil is wreaking havoc in the oilfield services sector, where three industry giants have announced thousands of job cuts in recent days. Projections for 2015 suggest the number of oil rigs operating on U.S. soil could fall dramatically as prices for crude oil remain low.

Obama: US Must Aim Higher Than Keystone on Infrastructure

January 21, 2015 10:02 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama says the U.S. should aim higher than one single pipeline as it works to modernize its infrastructure. Obama wasn't referencing the Keystone XL pipeline by name in his State of the Union address. But he alluded to it by asking Congress to look beyond just one oil pipeline.

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Skills Gap Predictions For 2015: Rising Wages And More Training

January 21, 2015 9:29 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

While the economy is in the process of recovering from the recent recession, it is essential that the manufacturing sector continues to grow stronger. Eighty-three percent of companies indicated a moderate to serious shortage of skilled production workers and 69 percent of companies expect this shortage to worsen over the next three to five years.

Arson Trial Begins For Omaha Man Over 2008 Fire at His Plant

January 21, 2015 9:16 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Prosecutors say 52-year-old Thomas Schropp was in financial trouble and hoped to gain around $4 million in insurance proceeds for the destruction of his PK Manufacturing plant. It burned down on Nov. 20, 2008. The Omaha World-Herald says the trial began Tuesday.

New Rules Could Open Cuba to Wide Range of American Trade

January 20, 2015 3:28 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

The Obama administration's new guidelines regarding relations with Cuba have taken effect, potentially opening the Caribbean nation to a wide range of American products. Analysts warn, however, that companies looking to expand into Cuba should proceed with caution after more than five decades of separation between the two countries.

Oilfield Services Giant Bolsters Presence in Russia Amid Layoffs

January 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

Just days after announcing job cuts citing uncertainty in the global oil industry, Schlumberger Ltd. announced a deal to purchase a minority stake in one of Russia's leading energy companies. Analysts largely lauded the deal, which further links companies that have worked together since 2011 and signals Schlumberger's intent to grow in the region.

Report Says TTIP Would Undermine Toxic Pesticide Regulations

January 20, 2015 10:50 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Articles | Comments

Many Europeans have voiced concerns that the new agreement will lower the EU’s standards for environmental and food safety, and a new report by the Center for International Environmental Law takes aim at just that — saying that proposals for TTIP could translate into more pesticides making their way into EU food markets.

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President Will Push For Paid Sick Leave

January 16, 2015 4:39 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Blogs | Comments

Ahead of his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama has announced that he will call on Congress to require companies to give workers up to seven days of paid sick leave a year. The initiative will be known as the Healthy Americans Act and will affect all companies with 15 or more employees.

Novartis to Close Manufacturing Plant in Puerto Rico by 2019

January 16, 2015 3:42 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Puerto Rico is still considered one of the world's leading centers for pharmaceutical manufacturing, but the sector has been shrinking. The U.S. territory has been offering incentives for manufacturing plants to expand and is pushing to diversify its manufacturing base by seeking aerospace and information technology companies.

Monsanto Gets US Approval For New GMO Seeds

January 16, 2015 9:23 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Agriculture business giant Monsanto Co. said Thursday it received approval from the Department of Agriculture for new cotton and soybean seeds designed to be used with a new herbicide formula. Monsanto's business is built on genetically modified seeds and herbicide.

The Myth Of America's Manufacturing Renaissance: Q&A With Adams Nager

January 14, 2015 5:01 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

According to Nager's January 2015 report, "It is easy to get the impression that American manufacturing has entered a new and exciting period of revival. Many in the media, along with consulting firms and economists, now tout the term 'manufacturing renaissance' to describe this so-called revival...If only that were true." 

Manufacturing Job Growth up in 2014

January 12, 2015 10:01 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

Manufacturing job growth increased dramatically in 2014 compared to the previous year, according to numbers from the federal Labor Department released Friday. The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the manufacturing sector added an average of 16,000 jobs per month last year, compared to gains of 7,000 jobs per month for 2013.

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The Next Housing Solution: 3-D Print Your Home

January 12, 2015 9:50 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Videos | Comments

One day, could gathering supplies to build a home be as simple as hitting "Print" on your computer? Alastair Parvin and his colleagues at WikiHouse Foundation hope so. They say building homes from 3-D printed contruction materials isn't just innovative for its technology — it could be a cutting-edge solution for a coming "global housing crisis."

Oil Bust Will Hurt Housing in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana

January 9, 2015 12:29 pm | by JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The oil boom that lifted home prices in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana is coming to an end. Crude oil prices have crashed since June, falling by more than 54 percent to less than $50 a barrel. That swift drop has started to cripple job growth in oil country, creating a slow wave that in the years ahead may devastate what has been a thriving real estate market.

Activist Investor Intensifies Fight Over DuPont's Future

January 9, 2015 9:47 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A fight for control of DuPont Co. is intensifying after the hedge fund led by activist investor Nelson Peltz announced plans to nominate its own slate of four directors to the industry titan's board. Its shares edged higher in premarket trading.

How Lower Oil Prices Could Fuel More Hiring In The U.S.

January 8, 2015 4:43 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | Articles | Comments

In June, when oil cost $107 a barrel, U.S. employers added a healthy number of jobs — 267,000. Now, with oil below $50,  hopes are rising that hiring in the United States is poised to intensify. Goldman Sachs forecasts that if oil stays near its current price, the economy will add 300,000 more jobs this year than if the price had remained at its June level.

MeadWestvaco Plans to Spin Off Specialty Chemicals Business

January 8, 2015 9:20 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

"The separation of specialty chemicals will establish two strong companies that are better positioned to compete and profitably grow in their targeted markets," Chairman and CEO John A. Luke Jr. said in a statement on Thursday.

Shell, Villagers Agree to $83.5 Million For Huge Oil Spill

January 7, 2015 10:26 am | by MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press | News | Comments

Oil giant Shell has agreed to pay a Nigerian fishing community 55 million pounds (about $83.5 million) for the worst oil spill in Nigeria, an unprecedented settlement that experts say could open a floodgate of litigation there and abroad.

Monsanto Earnings Fall 34 Percent on Lower Corn Seed Sales

January 7, 2015 10:12 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Monsanto said Wednesday that its earnings fell 34 percent in its first fiscal quarter as South American farmers cut back on planting corn, reducing demand for the company's biotech-enhanced seeds.U.S. farmers harvested record crops of soybeans and corn last year, sending prices on those food staples to their lowest levels in years.

Chem.Info's Top Stories of 2014—And What Happened Next

January 6, 2015 4:49 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Articles | Comments

For chemical manufacturers, 2014 was a year of upbeat economic times — but this year wasn’t without its downbeat news, as accidents, recalls and even a murder mystery were thrown into the mix. Before we wave goodbye to 2014 forever, let’s revisit Chem.info’s most-clicked-on articles of the year and find out where the stories are now.

US Home Prices Coasting Upward

January 6, 2015 10:35 am | by JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. home values rose at a measured pace in November, a sign that demand remains weak as many buyers have been priced out of the market. The housing market faces an affordability crunch. Many potential buyers were sidelined by double-digit home price gains in 2013, which eclipsed average wage growth of roughly 2 percent.

ISM: Manufacturing Remains Strong Going Into 2015

January 6, 2015 10:23 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the 19th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 67th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. Manufacturing expanded in December as the PMI...

Regulators Weigh Proposal to Close Part of New Mexico Plant

January 5, 2015 5:58 pm | by SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press | News | Comments

New Mexico regulators began taking testimony Monday on a plan that calls for shutting down part of an aging coal-fired power plant that provides electricity to more than 2 million people in the Southwest. Dozens braved frigid temperatures to talk about asthma, cancer and other health concerns.

US Oil Falls Below $50 For 1st Time Since 2009

January 5, 2015 5:50 pm | by JONATHAN FAHEY, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

The price of oil plunged again Monday and fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since April 2009 as evidence mounted that the world will be oversupplied with oil this year. The Energy Department estimates the drop in gasoline prices will save U.S. households $550 this year.

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