Fri, March 08 2013 18:17
The unemployment rate in the United States fell from 7.9% to 7.7% in February, according to a release this morning from the US Department of Labor. This marks the lowest rate since December of 2008 and exceeded economists' estimates for the month.
A total of 236,000 jobs were added during the month, exceeding estimates of about 165,000 jobs.
The Indiana jobs report is not due out until March 29.
Mon, February 11 2013 17:07
Long-time Board member and former President of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation Joseph Eugene (Gene) Blastic passed away last Friday night after a battle with cancer. Blastic had just been honored less than a month ago as the recipient of the Henry F. Schricker Award by the Starke County Chamber of Commerce for his "service before self" attitude and community service.
Blastic served as President of the Foundation for two years and was a member of the Board for 12 years. In addition to his service with the Foundation, Blastic also was active with Starke United, the Starke County Chamber of Commerce, Starke County Right to Life, and many other organizations. He was nominated as a volunteer of the year for Starke United in 2003, and was also recognized as the Older Hoosier of the Year in 2009 by Community Services of Starke County for his service to improve the quality of life in Starke County.
Gene Blastic was a graduate of Rose Hulman Institute of Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked in Engineering & Management at Western Electric Company of the Bell System; and is a previous owner and President of a residential home construction company in the Detroit, Michigan area.
Fri, February 01 2013 17:12
The Labor Department released its jobs report for the month of January this morning. Although American employers added 157,000 jobs during the month, which was about what economists had forecast, the national unemployment rate increased from 7.8% in December to 7.9% in January. The Department also revised its December jobs number to 196,000 jobs. Nationally there still remains 12.3 million idle workers.
Mon, January 14 2013 21:07
The United States unemployment rate was reported to be 7.8% in December, the same as the revised rate for November. 155,000 jobs were added in December.
Mon, January 14 2013 20:58
Indiana's unemployment rate for November, 2012 held at 8.0%, despite a private sector loss of 9800 jobs, attributed mostly due to losses in the seasonal nature of construction jobs. Indiana continues to have the second lowest unemployment rate when compared to the states that it is contiguous to. Ohio is lowest at 6.8%, followed by Indiana, with Kentucky at 8.2%, Illinois at 8.7%, and Michigan at 8.9%.
While the state rate was unchanged, Starke County saw its rate go upwards a full percentage point to 9.9%, the same rate that was recorded in July of this year, but still lower than the 11.7% rate for January, 2012. Most counties in the state of Indiana saw large increases in their unemployment rate from that reported in October.
Mon, December 10 2012 17:12
The Starke County Economic Development Foundation played host to a “Prospectus and Achievements Night” on December 5, 2012, which event included the honoring of three companies who opened operations in Starke County during the past year (Kemin Industries, Inc., Chester, Inc., Ag Services Division, and Selected Furniture, LLC) and two companies who announced plans to expand operations in the county (American Oak Preserving Company, Inc., and Knox Fertilizer, Inc.). In addition, Charles W. Weaver, Executive Director, gave a report on the economic development highlights of 2012 and what might be expected in 2013 for Starke County. His report also detailed what is necessary to be done in the County for the Foundation’s efforts to be successful.
The night culminated with the awarding of the Robert E. Hamilton Award, named in honor of the now deceased banker widely believed to be the leading force for the creation of the Foundation. This Award was established by action of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and first announced at the 25th Anniversary of the founding of SCEDF and was awarded for the first time last November to Jack Lynch and Mathew Swanson. It is awarded to a person who has contributed a great amount of service in the field of economic development as well as the community as a whole.
This year’s recipient of the award was retiring State Representative Nancy J. Dembowski. Nancy Dembowski has established a record of public service that is second to none. After working at WKVI Radio in Knox for 25 years, Nancy made her entry into elected public service. Over the following 26 years, Nancy served as an elected official in several positions, including the Starke County Council for 7 years, Mayor of the City of Knox for 11 years, State Senator for 2 years, and State Representative for 6 years, choosing not to run again in the most recent election. She not only served the citizens of Starke County and the City of Knox admirably during that time, but her terms in office were terms of accomplishments that have stood the test of time already. While a County Councilperson and while running for Mayor for her first term, Nancy made the motion to enact the County Economic Development Tax, which has been instrumental in bringing jobs to Starke County, as well as helping fund needed economic development activities as well. In making that vote, Nancy commented that while it might not help her win her race for Mayor, it was the right thing to do for the County.
While Mayor, Nancy was instrumental in seeing to the construction of a community center which was just recently renamed by the City of Knox as the “Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center” as a tribute to her leadership on that project. Its use over the years to host many events of every kind has proven to be a wise and visionary decision. Nancy served admirably in the Indiana Legislature as well, always spending time with her constituents wherever they might be located and however they might be helped. She topped off her final year in office as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention this past summer.
In addition to her record as an elected official, Nancy has also been instrumental in serving with a number of different organizations, and continues to this date to do that. When she sees a need, she is one of the first to volunteer her time and efforts to make her community a better place. Among the groups she has served on are Starke United, Starke County Junior Achievement, and the Chamber of Commerce. Nancy has also served on the Knox High School Improvement Plan Committee, the Harvest Festival Committee, and the Starke County WorkOne Advisory Board. She also founded the Candy Cane Committee, and served as a member of the Starke County Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, where she helped plan for the building of the Phoenix House.
The founders of the Foundation saw fit to extend Nancy an invitation to be a member of that Board way back in 1986, one year after the formal birth of the Foundation. Nancy has remained as a member of that Board continuously and now holds the record for the most years served as a Board member. She has served as Vice President of the Foundation as well as numerous committees, and even though she was busy in the legislature for many of those years, she faithfully filled her time on the board as an active member. She has been instrumental on more than one occasion in helping guide needed economic development legislation through that process, and has always kept the Foundation well-advised of legislation that might affect economic development efforts.
Mon, December 10 2012 17:07
A higher than expected additional 146,000 jobs were added in the United States during November, leading to a decline in the national unemployment rate from 7.9% to 7.7%. However, it should be noted that many of these new jobs are thought to be seasonal, and there was also a large decline in the number of persons still actively seeking employment, a prerequisite to being counted when the determination of the unemployment rate is made.
Tue, November 27 2012 19:45
Starke County's largest industrial company with over 300 employees has new ownership with the announcement yesterday that the assets of that company have been acquired by Monomoy Capital Partners, a private equity fund located in New York. Monomoy already owns two other Indiana companies, Compass Automotive in Franklin and Gearbox Group in Crawfordsville, and also owns well-known companies like Oneida and Anchor Hocking. A copy of the company announcement follows:
Monomoy Capital Partners, a New York private equity fund focused on value investing and business improvement, announced today that it has acquired the assets of MPI, LLC (“MPI”) from Revstone Industries, LLC. Monomoy acquired MPI through its second fund vehicle, Monomoy Capital Partners II, L.P. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
MPI is North America’s leading manufacturer of high-precision, fineblanked metal components for powertrain systems, hydraulic systems and other safety-critical automotive and industrial applications. Fineblanking is a dual-press stamping process for cutting, shaping and machining of highly engineered metal components that produces parts with uniform flatness, unparalleled dimensional accuracy, and near-net finish. The process is ideal for manufacturing geometrically-complex powertrain and transmission components.
“MPI’s fineblanked product offering and experienced management team create an unmatched foundation for capitalizing on positive trends in automotive transmission components,” said Monomoy Partner Daniel Collin. “We are thrilled to add MPI to the Monomoy portfolio of companies.”
Headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, MPI is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of automatic transmission products, supplying automotive original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) with clutch plates, separator plates, and backing plates. The company’s automotive customers include several large car makers and a wide array of Tier I automotive suppliers. MPI also manufactures safety-critical and hydraulic components for heavy duty vehicles and general industrial customers. The Company employs over 700 team members at four North American manufacturing facilities and its corporate headquarters in Michigan.
“This transaction represents an exciting next step in MPI’s evolution as the premier fineblanked component supplier in North America,” said Mark Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of MPI. “Monomoy’s operational expertise and strategic guidance will provide MPI with the necessary resources and capital to expand and improve our operations both domestically and abroad. We look forward to the opportunities ahead.”
Garry Jaunal and Stacey Kern from Baker & McKenzie, LLP provided Monomoy with legal counsel and Ernst and Young LLP provided financial and accounting diligence. Wells Fargo provided acquisition financing for the transaction.
About Monomoy Capital Partners
Monomoy Capital Partners is a private equity firm with $700 million in committed capital under management that makes control equity investments in middle market businesses in the manufacturing, distribution, consumer product and food service industries. Over the past five years, Monomoy has closed over 30 middle market acquisitions, and its companies currently produce over $1.1 billion in combined sales and employ more than 4,500 people across four continents, from North America to Asia. Monomoy implements customized business improvement programs in all portfolio companies that reduce operating expenses, increase profitability and encourage profitable growth.
Tue, November 20 2012 19:51
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released its October unemployment report this morning. The State of Indiana experienced a slight drop of .1% from September at 8.0%. Since October of 2011, that rate has fallen from 9.1% to the current level of 8.0%. The State added 7,700 private sector jobs and since last October, has added a total of 67,000 private sector jobs.
Starke County's rate remained unchanged from September at 8.9%, and since October of 2011, that rate has fallen from 10.3%.
Ohio leads all neighboring states at 6.9%, while Kentucky is at 8.4%, Illinois is at 8.8%, and Michigan is at 9.1%.
Fri, November 02 2012 18:14
The Department of Labor delivered its October jobs report this morning which showed that a net 171,000 jobs were created in the month, beating estimates by a considerable margin. The average number of new jobs created over the past 4 months is 173,000 per month, as compared to the previous three months of April to June, which only saw an average increase of 67,000 new jobs per month.
Despite the increase over estimates, the national unemployment rate actually increased from 7.8% in September to 7.9% in October. Analysts attribute the increase in rate to the fact that more people are looking for work than before, as the government counts someone as being unemployed only if that person is actively searching for a job.