GE to Hire 5,000 U.S. Veterans, Investing in Plants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Electric Co plans to hire 5,000 U.S. military veterans over the next five years and to invest $580 million to expand its aviation footprint in the United States this year.

The largest U.S. conglomerate unveiled the moves ahead of a four-day meeting it is convening in Washington starting on Monday to focus on boosting the U.S. economy, which has been slow to recover from a brutal 2007-2009 recession.

“We should have the confidence to act and to restore American competitiveness,” Chief Executive Jeff Immelt, a top adviser on jobs and the economy to President Barack Obama, said in a statement.

The U.S. unemployment rate — seen as the main barrier to a move vibrant recovery — fell to a near three-year low of 8.3 percent in January, helped in part by the manufacturing sector adding about 50,000 workers. Even with that improvement, 23.8 million Americans remain out of work or underemployed, which is keeping the economy a key issue heading into November’s presidential elections.

The world’s largest maker of jet engines plans this year to open three new U.S. aviation plants, in Ellisville, Mississippi; Auburn, Alabama, and Dayton, Ohio. After cutting headcount significantly during the recession — as did its major peers including United Technologies Corp and Caterpillar Inc — GE has added about 9,000 U.S. workers since 2009, and has already announced plans to hire another 4,500 people.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company, whose operations range from making loans to mid-sized businesses to manufacturing railroad locomotives, plans to discuss these moves at the Washington meeting. Boeing Co CEO James McNerney and Dow Chemical Co CEO Andrew Liveris are also scheduled to speak.

(Reporting By Scott Malone; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Walmart ‘Great for You’ Healthy Labels: Nutrition Experts Say ‘Devil in the Details’

 

BY BRIAN JOHNSON AND ENJOLI FRANCIS  –  WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2012

As Walmart announced plans today to label certain foods with a new green “Great for You” label, some diet and nutrition experts told ABC News they applauded the move, while others questioned whether a company that sells food could set objective standards for what is healthy.

Dr. Darwin Deen, a family doctor and nutrition educator, told ABC News that “an independent opinion of a food’s healthfulness is a good idea but as always, the devil is in the details.”

Walmart, the largest food retailer in United States, will put the new label on select products that meet defined criteria.in its Great Value and Marketside lines. Customers will begin to see the new label on products starting in the spring.

The company said the “Great for You” products meet the rigorous nutrition criteria established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Institute of Medicine.

“Moms are telling us they want to make healthier choices for their families but need help deciphering all the claims and information already displayed on products,” said Andrea Thomas, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. Read more of this post

FOX23 Special Report: The Made in America Movement & Made in the U.S.A.

Reported by: Adam Paluka   Published: 2/06 8:03 pm

Buy American and you help the economy. That is an old adage that is getting new life thanks to a movement to build homes across the nation using more products with the “Made in the U.S.A.” label.

If you were to drive around Tulsa, chances are you’ll pass a home built by Bill Rhees. He’s been making blueprints a reality for almost 50 years with his son, and Partner, Phil Rhees.

Together they run BMI Construction. Right now, they’re working on a $5 million home near 111th and Yale in south Tulsa.

“This house we started about three and a half years ago,” Phil told FOX23.

2008 was a time when no one was thinking about a “Made in America Movement“. It never came up with buyers.

“Never, never. They just assumed, and I’ve been amazed myself how many of the products we put in these houses come from overseas,” Bill said.

It never came up when they discussed what lumber, stones, and drywall to buy.

“We don’t know exactly where every individual product came from,” Phil explained.

Phil said last month that is changing, “We really do want to make a effort to make this happen.”

The “Made in America Movement” is simple, encourage builders across the country to use just five percent more made in American products during construction. It’s not the brain child of the feds, a housing agency, or politician, rather it began as a dream by on builder in Montana.

If every builder in the country buys in, Paul Kane with the Tulsa Home Builders Association said, “They’re going to create anywhere to 220,000 to 250,000 jobs nationwide.”

Phil is up for the challenge.

“I believe that we could easily use five percent more,” he said.

Easy because it could take just a few phone calls to get everything with a Made in the U.S.A. sticker.

“You need to spend some time on the phone with the suppliers to find out where these products are coming from,” Phil said.

Often, its overseas, but if you were to look hard enough, the movement’s believers say you’ll not only find all elements of home construction made in the U.S.A., but some made right here in Oklahoma.
Products like York HVACs systems made in Norman.

“If there’s a buy Oklahoma or buy American movement that would be exciting to everyone in this building,” Vicki Davis, who works for York’s parent company Johnson Controls, said.

Their facility is a world of machines, robots, assembly lines, and hard working Oklahomans.
Around 750 people get a paycheck at the plant.

“We offer the higher quality, and that’s what we sell our products on. It’s not that we build the cheapest, but it’s that we build the highest quality,” Davis told FOX23.

Should the buy American dream become a reality Davis would be excited.

“If we pick up five or ten percent (new orders), then we’re going to add anywhere from 150 to 200 jobs here in the Norman plant.”

Cost could be a factor, if made in America means your wallet takes a beating this might not work.

“A lot of it has to do with price. We have to be price conscious for our clients,” Phil said,

If the price increase to buy American made is slight, BMI Construction is ready to get on board

“It is going to happen, once we start getting the word out. It’s going to happen, just watch it,” Bill Rhees said.

Now, it’s all about getting the word out.

“If we were unaware as builders, just think what the general public is going to be thinking. They’re going to say, ‘My gosh, I never realized this.’”

Supporters of the movement tell me the Americans build 1.4 million homes each year. They say if builders reallocate 5% of their construction spending to American made products, this would add roughly $10 billion to America’s Gross Domestic Product.

Join the Made in America Movement, sponsored in part by Made in USA Certified.

Copyright 2012 Newport Television LLC All rights reserved.

RAILEAN® American Handcrafted Rum and Agave Sprits Undergoes a New Brand

 

Railean Rum - The only Made in USA Certified Rum Distiller in the United States

Railean Rum - The only Made in USA Certified Rum Distiller in the United States

RAILEAN®, The Only USA Certified Handcrafted Rum and Agave Distiller, Unveils a Bold New Image, a Redesigned Website, and Innovative Spirits in 2012. 

San Leon, Texas (PRWEB) February 07, 2012

Motivated by its widespread success in Texas, where the margarita is practically the state drink, the American rum and agave distiller RAILEAN has rejuvenated its website and enhanced its product line for 2012. The enhancements are part of an overall branding effort led by Houston-based Woodlands Ad Agency, which designs custom websites, builds brands, and leads many online marketing campaigns.

The new website design features detailed information about the RAILEAN product line, which currently includes four rum labels and two agave labels. Visitors can access informative articles about the American rum industry and delectable food and drink recipes, from the fresh and fruity to those best suited for celebrating an incoming hurricane. While RAILEAN cannot sell its alcohol products online due to liquor laws, a variety of RAILEAN pirate merchandise, including t-shirts, shot glasses, and branded materials are available for purchase.

In contrast to the mass-produced, imported products from the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, U.S.Virgin Islands, and Mexico that currently dominate the market, each RAILEAN bottle is made in America using domestically produced sugarcane molasses from the Gulf Coast. Leading the first woman-owned, USA-certified rum and agave distillery, Kelly Railean is revolutionizing the American market. Since 2005, she has introduced the refreshingly tropical Texas White, the rich Reserve XO and the perfectly balanced Spiced Rum, all of which are bottled by hand. Railean also offers the earthy Small Cask Reserve, a handcrafted rum that rates in the upper 90s.

In 2010, the rapidly growing business expanded to include the high quality El Perico Silver. This smooth liquor, which is made from 100% blue agave nectar cultivated in Jalisco, rivals the best top-shelf tequila brands produced in Mexico. A smooth Reposado American agave spirit is scheduled for release in Spring 2012.

“We are thrilled with the new direction RAILEAN is heading in,” says Kelly Railean, proprietor and master distiller. “In 2011, RAILEAN became the only distiller of rum and agave to achieve the stringent Made in the USA® Certified designation by the Federal Trade Commission. Our new website and product offerings are the jumpstart we need to establish Railean American rum and American agave spirits as this nation’s preeminent all American brand.”

About Railean Distillers® http://www.railean.com 

Exclusively fermented, distilled and bottled by RAILEAN Distillers, LLC, at the Eagle Point Distillery in San Leon, Texas, RAILEAN handcrafts the only Made in the USA Certified® rum and agave spirits. This artisan distiller produces everything from scratch using domestic raw materials. Educational and tasting tours are available to the public.


Paramount Sleep licenses bedding brands to Cannon Sleep Products

Paramount Sleep

Paramount Sleep

Tuesday, February 07, 2012 
By: Furniture World Magazine 
Paramount Sleep announced that Fresno, Calif., bedding manufacturer Cannon Sleep Products has licensed its bedding brands.

Cannon is licensed to manufacture and distribute the products in California, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. Cannon also has signed a license with Paramount to manufacture and sell A.H. Beard, an Australian luxury line that Paramount holds exclusive rights to in the United States.

“In Cannon, we partnered with a family and a company with many shared values—integrity, hard work and a shared growth vision for the future,” said Jamie Diamonstein, president of Paramount Sleep.

Like Paramount, Cannon Sleep Products is a third-generation, family-owned mattress producer. Founded in 1959, the company manufactures high-quality mattresses, box springs, futon mattresses, and futon covers.

“For more than 50 years my family has proudly manufactured the highest quality bedding,” said Cannon Vice President Rion Morgenstern. “The more we work with the Diamonstein family and see the perseverance and innovation that has become the hallmark of Paramount Sleep, the more excited we become about our new alliance.”

Cannon will produce Paramount mattress lines including Nature’s Spa, Heavy Duty (HD), Back Performance, Sleep For Success, and Boutique Hotel, as well as A.H. Beard. Last April, Paramount entered into a strategic alliance with Omaha Bedding to manufacture, service and support the full line of Paramount’s mattresses.

About Paramount Sleep: Paramount Sleep is truly a company of bedding people, dedicated to carrying on its legacy of integrity, innovation and American made craftsmanship for more than 80 years. It is the only national mattress company to be Made in USA Certified®. The company’s mattress lines include: A.H. Beard, Back Performance, Boutique Hotel, GoodNiteKids, Heavy Duty, Nature’s Spa, Quilt O PEDIC, and Sleep for Success.

About Cannon Sleep Products: Cannon Sleep Products is the number one independent mattress manufacturer in northern California. Founded in 1959, it is a third-generation, family-owned company with a vision to be the leading bedding producer on the west coast. Cannon operates out of a 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility currently shipping nearly 200,000 units each year across the west coast.

Furniture World Magazine


‘Made in China’ Is Starting to Get Too Expensive


By Brian Stoffel for the The Motley Fool  

American workers are far, far more productive than their Chinese counterparts.

Seem like an overly bold statement to make? Consider a recent study published by the Boston Consulting Group entitled Made in America, Again. The study makes just that assertion. And what happens when you combine lower productivity with the rising wages that Chinese laborers now demand? We might be looking at the perfect recipe for the rebirth of American manufacturing. Read more of this post

Made in USA: 30 Day Journey

"We're willing to DIE for our country, but are we willing to BUY for it?"

"We're willing to DIE for our country, but are we willing to BUY for it?"

Josh Miller of ‘Made in USA: 30 Day Journey‘ is asking us one simple question.

“We’re willing to DIE for our country, but are we willing to BUY for it?”

Josh and his film crew will set out on a journey in which he will live off USA made products for 30 days. During his travels, he will speak and interview business-owners, homeowners, politicians, economists and American consumers to find out, among other things, what ‘Made in America’ means to them.  We will help Josh and his crew verify the made in USA claim with the help and support of Made in USA Certified.

Their goal is to raise $5,000 for the film during this campaign.  A $10 donation will get your name in the rolling credits of the film under “Minutemen”.  How cool will that be!

We believe Josh and his crew are a part of the Made In America Movement.  This film will help gain more exposure for this Movement.  This is why we are asking for your support.

Diane Sawyer & David Muir of World News with Diane Sawyer made everyone across the nation aware of this Movement last year with their ‘Made in America’ segments on ABC News, asking you all if you are “IN”.  Now we are asking you, are you in?

Let’s help Josh Miller on his journey.  Go to the link below. Donate your $10 (or more!) and let them know you are a proud supporter of the Made in America Movement.  Your support and donations really do matter!

Made in USA: 30 day Journey donation page I’M IN!

In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad

An explosion last May at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China, killed four people and injured 18. It built iPads.

An explosion last May at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China, killed four people and injured 18. It built iPads. (Color China Photo, via Associated Press)

By NYT   and   Published: January 25, 2012

The explosion ripped through Building A5 on a Friday evening last May, an eruption of fire and noise that twisted metal pipes as if they were discarded straws.

When workers in the cafeteria ran outside, they saw black smoke pouring from shattered windows. It came from the area where employees polished thousands of iPad cases a day.

Two people were killed immediately, and over a dozen others hurt. As the injured were rushed into ambulances, one in particular stood out. His features had been smeared by the blast, scrubbed by heat and violence until a mat of red and black had replaced his mouth and nose.

“Are you Lai Xiaodong’s father?” a caller asked when the phone rang at Mr. Lai’s childhood home. Six months earlier, the 22-year-old had moved to Chengdu, in southwest China, to become one of the millions of human cogs powering the largest, fastest and most sophisticated manufacturing system on earth. That system has made it possible for Apple and hundreds of other companies to build devices almost as quickly as they can be dreamed up.

“He’s in trouble,” the caller told Mr. Lai’s father. “Get to the hospital as soon as possible.” Read more of this post

In The Era of Big Boxes, a Day For The Little Guy

Rob Schwind shovels the sidewalk in front of the Chagrin Hardware in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Rob Schwind shovels the sidewalk in front of the Chagrin Hardware in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Associated Press  By AMY SANCETTA  – Wed, Jan 25, 2012 7:33 AM EST

CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio (AP) — It began quietly, as an email to 40 friends.

But when a steady stream of customers began coming through the door before the family-owned Chagrin Hardware had even opened for the day on Saturday, it was clear that it had turned into much more than that.

The idea started with Jim Black, a resident of Chagrin Falls, a close-knit village in Cleveland’s eastern suburbs that is part artist colony and part bedroom community. Black posted the email to a group of his friends. “Let’s show our support for one of our local businesses,” he wrote. “I challenge everyone to spend AT LEAST $20 at the hardware on the 21st.”

Although his email referred to the idea of a “Cash Mob” or the notion to “Occupy CF Hardware,” he really had no political agenda. And it wasn’t meant as a protest against the big-box stores that have created an ever-tightening circle around the community.

It was just a way to thank Chagrin Hardware’s owners for a beloved shop that has been a fixture in the village since 1857.

“These are good people who needed our support,” Black said. “It’s just that simple.”

The store, overlooking meandering Riverside Park and the Chagrin River in the middle of town, has been run by the Shutts family for the last 72 years. It passed from uncle to father to older brothers Rob and Kenny and the three youngest, Steve, Susie and Jack, who run the store today.

Black’s note was forwarded and forwarded and forwarded again. Calls started coming in from folks out of state who wanted to make a purchase over the phone.

And when the day came, so did the shoppers — one by one, with dogs on leashes and children in tow, hour after hour until the hardware was teeming with customers.

“This is small-town America,” said resident Martine Scheuermann, a bag of pet-safe ice melt in her arms and her Springer Spaniels tapping their toes on the worn wooden floor at her feet. “This is a special family business in a town where everybody knows you.”

The store has seen its share of tough times. Road construction on Main Street at the store’s front door some years back crippled business for a time. More recently, the weakened economy and the big boxes have stolen away customers.

On this day, though, those storylines were forgotten.

By 10 a.m. the place was jammed. By 1:30 p.m., the credit card machine was overloaded and had to be reset. “This is so cool,” said Steve Shutts, a mix of joy, wonder and happy exhaustion spread across his face. “I’ve seen people today I haven’t seen in years.”

The line at the checkout stretched in two directions as people with snow shovels and light bulbs and fireplace grates and vintage movie posters and horse shoe caulk — yes, horse shoe caulk — waited to pay.

Chad Schron, 38, came with his 8-year-old son Robert. “We didn’t have anything we had to get, but we found things we had to get,” he said. As he spoke, Robert clutched an Ohio State desk lamp and two flying monkey toys to his chest.

“When I was a kid, my Mom would send me down here with a note to let me buy BB’s,” Schron recalled. “Lots of kids did that back then. The notes still are in a drawer over there,” he said as he pointed past the register to a wall of wooden drawers containing everything from old springs to screws. In the drawer still labeled “BBs” were stacks of crumpled notes dating to the ’50s, from mothers just like Schron’s

When the final customer had finally left well after closing time with her fuzzy dice and floodlights, Schwind and Steve Shutts tallied the day’s receipts. Shutts shook his head at the wild and unexpected ride.

He wouldn’t say how much the store made that day, but was clearly pleased with the outcome.

“Thanks to Jimmy Black,” he said. “Thanks to everyone. Thanks to Chagrin Falls.

“What a place to live.”

Come On, China, Buy Our Stuff!

A Gap Inc. store in Shanghai, China.

A Gap Inc. store in Shanghai, China.

By NYT ADAM DAVIDSON    Published: January 25, 2012

The first time I visited China, in 2005, an American businessman living there told me that the country was so huge and was changing so fast that everything you heard about it was true, and so was the opposite. That still seems to be the case. China is the fastest-growing consumer market in the world, and American companies have made billions there. At the same time, Chinese consumers aren’t spending nearly as much as American companies had hoped. China has simultaneously become the greatest boon and the biggest disappointment.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In 2000, the United States forged its current economic relationship with China by permanently granting it most-favored-nation trade status and, eventually, helping the country enter the World Trade Organization. The unspoken deal, though, went something like this: China could make a lot of cheap goods, which would benefit U.S. consumers, even if it cost the country countless low-end manufacturing jobs. And rather than, say, fight for an extra bit of market share in Chicago, American multinationals could offset any losses because of competition by entering a country with more than a billion people — including the fastest-growing middle class in history — just about to buy their first refrigerators, TVs and cars. It was as if the United States added a magical 51st state, one that was bigger and grew faster than all the others. We would all be better off.

More than a decade later, many are waiting for the payoff. Certainly, lots of American companies have made money, but many actual workers have paid a real price. What went wrong? In part, American businesses assumed that a wealthier China would look like, well, America, says Paul French, a longtime Shanghai-based analyst with Access Asia-Mintel. He notes that Chinese consumers have spent far less than expected, and the money they do spend is less likely to be spent on American goods. Read more of this post

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