Biz Buzz
By Jim Martin, Doug Oathout Erie Times-News staff bloggers
Welcome to Biz Buzz, our daily blog on all things business. Turn here for breaking news on the economy, local industry and area people engaged in the region's companies.   Read more about this blog.
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Posted: July 24th, 2014

A crew of 600 GE Transportation employees and 15 local suppliers are getting ready to work this afternoon.

But the GE employees won’t be building locomotives. They’ll be volunteering today and Friday as part of a community service initiative as part of GE Community Day in Erie.

Volunteers, who will begin work at 2 p.m. today, will be working at three different locations.

  At Central High School, more than 450 volunteers will paint classrooms, replace ceiling tile, refurbish the library and science lab and repair gym bleachers and a field house.

  At Boys & Girls Club of Erie, about 65 volunteers will paint and make repairs, and complete landscaping on the athletic fields.

  At Community Health Net, a group of 80 volunteers will prep and paint the facility.

Fifteen different GE Transportation suppliers are also participating by proving labor, materials or in-kind services.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 23rd, 2014

There’s a new food choice coming to the Millcreek Mall.

Bob Evans Farms Inc., and AVI Food Systems Inc. have announced plans for a Bob Evans Express that would be located in the mall’s food court.

Bob Evans Express is a new concept for the Ohio-based Bob Evans. The nontraditional restaurant concept is designed for workplace cafes, universities, airports, malls, service plazas and hospitals. Only two exist so far, and one of those is located in the company’s headquarters.

The Bob Evans Express will feature a limited menu to include, chicken salad, sausage gravy and biscuits, turkey, biscuit sandwiches and something the company calls a Walking Waffle.

The new 850-square-foot location, which will be operated by Warren-based AVI, is expected to open later this year.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 21st, 2014

A new survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education ranks Edinboro University as one of the nation’s best colleges to work for.

The results were released today in the Chronicle’s seventh annual report on the academic workplace, which is based on a survey of more than 43,000 employees at 278 colleges and universities.

Edinboro was one of 92 institutions schools to earn the “Great College to Work For” designation, earning recognition in the compensation and benefits category.

“Excellence in all we do is a core value of Edinboro University,” President Julie E. Wollman said in a statement. “The ‘Great Colleges to Work For’ results affirm a key area where we excel, and even more importantly, participating in the survey also helps us learn where we can improve workplace satisfaction.”

The survey results are based on both an institutional audit and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 18th, 2014

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent in June, the lowest rate since September 2008. The commonwealth’s rate was five-tenths of a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 6.1 percent, which was down two-tenths of a point from May. The state rate was down 1.9 percentage points from June 2013.
Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — was down 28,000 in June to 6,403,000 due to declines in both employment and unemployment. Resident employment, down 22,000, was down for the second month while unemployment declined for the 11th straight month. Total nonfarm jobs increased by 1,800 in June to 5,789,700, the highest level since September 2008. The majority of the gain was within the private sector, which added 5,600 jobs to a record high of 5,079,400.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 16th, 2014

Lisa Stubbe is thankful today. When she heard that Erie Forge & Steel was demolishing part of its old plant at 1341 W. 16th St., she went to take a look.
The company is taking down the old structures along Greengarden Road, just south of the CSX railroad tracks.
Stubbe’s father, Donald Sutley, worked in those buildings for 32 years, most of them as a crane operator. That was when the place was called National Forge. He retired from the job in 1986 and died in 1987, but the forge has remained a part of the family.
Stubbe told this story to the guys taking down the building a couple weeks ago, and they gave her a gift she says she will treasure – three small pieces of the building, including part of the beam that once held up the crane her father operated.
“I can’t tell you how special this is,” she said.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 16th, 2014

For seven years in a row, Ward Group has named Erie Insurance Group to its Ward’s 50 list of top performing property and casualty companies. Erie Family Life Insurance was also named to this year’s Life/Health list, marking the second time the company has earned a spot on the list.
The Ward Group analyzes the financial performance of 3,000 property-casualty and life/health insurers before naming the top performers in safety, consistency and financial performance over a five-year period.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 14th, 2014

Odis 12 Bar & Grille, currently located at 664 W. 26th St., is moving to a new location in Millcreek. The popular restaurant and wing joint will be moving to 3702 W. 12th St. The new location will be open Aug. 1.
Odis 12 posted this message on its Facebook page on Friday: “We are very (excited) to say that we will be relocating Odis 12 to West 12th street in Millcreek on August 1st. It will be a bigger and better location with a lot more parking. I want to thank all my patrons for the support the last 10 years and I hope you will follow us on our journey.”

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 11th, 2014

Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, which has numerous locations in Erie and Crawford counties, has launched what it’s calling the most generous  free blood pressure medication program in the nation.

Giant Eagle, which operates 215 pharmacy locations in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia, says it will begin filling for free prescriptions for Lisinopril or Lisinopril HCT, both common blood pressure medications, for up to 90 days at a time.

The company also offers free prenatal vitamins as well as a number of free generic antibiotics.

Giant Eagle cites statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reports that 67 million Americans have hypertension or high blood pressure. Fewer than half of those have it under control, according to the CDC.

Giant Eagle also announced the launch, effective today, of its new Giant Eagle pharmacy mobile app, which is designed to simplify adherence to medication regimens.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 10th, 2014

Mohawk, which identifies itself as North America’s largest privately owned maker of commercial papers and envelopes, expects to be doing business in Ashtabula, Ohio, for years to come.

The company has announced an extension through 2022 of a lease on a 1 million-square-foot converting and warehouse facility in Ashtabula. The lease had been set to expire in 2017.

The company said the decision “reflects Mohawk’s commitment to expanding its envelope converting operations and, further, demonstrates its confidence in the assembled workforce.”

The company has hired nearly 100 new employees and invested more than $2 million since January to expand its envelope manufacturing operation.

Mohawk plans to hire another 20 to 30 employees this year.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 9th, 2014

Erie Indemnity Company, which trades on the NASDAQ as ERIE, will host an audio webcast with the financial community to discuss financial results for the second quarter 2014 at 10 a.m. Aug. 1. Erie Indemnity will issue a news release reporting its results after the close of the market on Thursday, July 31.

Posted in: Uncategorized

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