Business

Connecticut Business Briefs
2:02 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Connecticut Lawmakers to Retailers: Hands Off Thanksgiving!

Steven Depolo Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers say they want to make another effort to save Thanksgiving. In the face of widespread store openings, Representative Matt Lesser said he’ll once again introduce a bill that would make stores pay their employees 2.5 times their normal rate on Thanksgiving. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
1:44 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

State Adds Jobs; Unemployment Rate Remains Steady

Credit Wavebreak Media / Thinkstock

Connecticut employers added 3,600 jobs in October, with the biggest gains coming in the retail sector. The state’s unemployment rate, which is based on a separate survey, remained steady from September at 6.4 percent. In the first ten months of the year, Connecticut has added 18,300 jobs, up from 13,700 in the same period of 2013.

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Insurance Capital
12:33 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Resigns

Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi.
Credit State of Connecticut

Connecticut's insurance commissioner is moving on for a job in the financial services industry. Thomas Leonardi will leave the agency in December.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:54 am
Wed November 19, 2014

State Seeks Input on Public Retirement Plan

Credit iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut officials are seeking public input on a proposal to create a state-administered retirement plan for private sector workers. 

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Cost of Obesity
8:35 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Obese Workers Costing Connecticut Millions in Lost Productivity

iStock Thinkstock

Absenteeism among obese workers is costing the nation billions in lost productivity, according to a new study.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:20 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Gov. Malloy: Expanded Gaming Up to Connecticut Legislature

hareshd5000 Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy said he’s not among those who are calling for expanded gaming in Connecticut to counter new competition from Massachusetts. The governor told reporters that the decision whether to allow more gambling facilities is a legislative matter, and he won’t be playing a lead role.

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Media
9:18 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Uber Exec In Hot Water After Suggesting A Journalist Smear Campaign

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 9:39 am

The popular ride-service company Uber is in damage control mode after a senior vice president expressed interest in unveiling details about the private lives of journalists in retaliation for unflattering coverage of Uber's business practices.

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Energy
8:06 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Connecticut OKs Higher Electric Generating Rates

Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary / Thinkstock

Connecticut regulators have approved higher rates to generate electricity for residential and business customers of two utilities. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:12 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Pfizer, Merck in Cancer Drug Partnership

Cancer cells in a 3D rendering. Merck and Pfizer will initially target lung and ovarian cancer.
Credit iStock / Thinkstock

Pfizer has signed a major cancer drug deal with German firm Merck. The news dampens speculation that Pfizer is still interested in a renewed bid for British drug maker AstraZeneca. 

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Automobiles
4:29 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

For Best-Selling Truck, Ford Bets Big On Aluminum

A 2015 F-150 rolls off the assembly line at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich. The aluminum-sided F-150 could set a new industry standard — or cost the company its pickup truck crown.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 5:30 pm

The first 2015 Ford F-150 rolled off the assembly line this week, and it is no normal truck. The new F-150 pickup is the first with an aluminum body, making it hundreds of pounds lighter than its predecessors.

Ford isn't taking this gamble on just any truck — the F-150 is the company's most important vehicle. Morgan Stanley estimates the F-Series truck line and SUV derivatives represent 90 percent of Ford's global profits.

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Business
5:43 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

As Casinos Fold, Stakes Are High For Atlantic City Transformation

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian stands in front of an outdoor goods store under construction. The state's Casino Reinvestment Development Authority contributed land and $12 million for the project.
Rob Szypko NPR

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 6:46 pm

In gambling, they say, the house always wins. But that hasn't been the case in Atlantic City this year. By year's end, the city that once had an East Coast monopoly on gaming may lose its fifth casino.

The city is reeling from the closures. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday that the first order of business is to "stop the bleeding." So city and state officials are trying to reposition Atlantic City by literally building it up.

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Business
12:53 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Gender Wage Gap in Connecticut Exceeds National Average

Phil Whitehouse Creative Commons

Women’s position in the workplace in Connecticut has improved significantly over the last 15 years, according to a new report. But the study, commissioned by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, says too many disparities still remain, particularly for women of color. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 13, 2014

The Young and Restless in Connecticut

Downtown Hartford on the Connecticut River.
Ricky Aponte Creative Commons

More young people are moving to the heart of cities, according to a report from think tank City Observatory. This includes cities that we usually think of as “economically troubled,” like Buffalo, Cleveland, and, yes, even Hartford. Some of these cities have been losing their overall population, but gaining in their numbers of college graduates in their 20s and 30s.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:50 am
Wed November 12, 2014

The Impulse Society

Roberts says the marketplace and the self are merging in ways we've never before experienced.
Credit Anthony Quintano / Creative Commons

One of the biggest American myths is limitlessness. You'd think by now we'd understand our own limitations but the American myth - and you can hear it on Rush Limbaugh every day - is one where the horizon goes on forever and more growth is always possible and any failure from Vietnam to the 2008 crash that we've ever had is just a case of failing to fully exert our exceptional American qualities. 

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Power Marketplace
9:08 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Big Electric Rate Hikes on the Way for Winter in Connecticut

Your meter may not be spinning any faster, but you'll pay more.
Sarah Simpson Creative Commons

Both of Connecticut’s electric utility companies want to raise rates sharply in January. 

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Technology
7:23 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Microsoft Wants To Mine Data Like A Social Network

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the Future Decoded conference in London on Nov. 10. The company hopes to create new social tools to increase productivity in and out of the workplace.
Kevin Coombs Reuters /Landov

Microsoft — a company most associated with Word documents and Excel spreadsheets — is getting a makeover.

Under new leadership, the software developer is analyzing vast troves of data about its users to create social tools for the workplace. They've got the goods — just think of all those Office emails that bind us together — but the question is, will customers want to cozy up socially with Microsoft, on and off the job?

Old Data, New Strategy

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Connecticut's Plan for Energy Efficiency; Roundtable Looks at CL&P Rates

Kevin Dooley Creative Commons

According to a new scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Connecticut has dropped to sixth place in the national ranking of state energy efficiency. 

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Destination Retail
9:56 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Foxwoods Readies Outlet Mall

An oculus that will let natural light into the quarter-mile-long mall building
Harriet Jones WNPR

In the week that Massachusetts removed the last challenge to its new gaming industry, voting down a potential repeal, one of Connecticut’s casinos showed off exactly how it’s preparing for competition from the north.

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The Business of Governing
10:31 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Catherine Smith Looks Forward to Economic Development 2.0

DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith
Credit Chion Wolf

Economic development was a major part of the campaign rhetoric this election season, and it seems destined to be a high-profile part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s second term.

WNPR sat down with the administration’s economic development chief, Catherine Smith to talk about what a second term will look like.

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American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape
3:24 am
Thu November 6, 2014

In South Carolina, A Program That Makes Apprenticeships Work

John Harris makes a weld for a test during a welding class at Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg, S.C., on Oct. 22.
Mike Belleme for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:41 pm

Several years ago, South Carolina had a problem: a shortage of skilled workers and no good way to train young people for the workforce. So at a time when apprenticeship programs were in decline in the U.S., the state started a program called Apprenticeship Carolina.

"We were really, really squarely well-positioned at the bottom," says Brad Neese, the program's director.

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Ballot Question Defeat
1:05 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Casino Opponents in Massachusetts Consider Their Options

MGM's plans for downtown Springfield include a tower
Credit MGM Springfield

By a 20 percent margin, voters in Massachusetts refused to repeal the state’s casino law. The defeat of the ballot question comes as a relief to those bankrolling projects that were approved in three different Massachusetts communities.

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Technology
4:16 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Domino's Becomes A Tech Company That Happens To Make Pizza

A stats board displayed at the Domino's flagship store in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Emily Fox Michigan Public Radio

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 7:20 pm

If we asked you to name a few technology companies, Google or Microsoft might come to mind. But one tech company that isn't so obvious is Michigan-based but globally present Domino's Pizza.

In recent years, the company has gotten noticeably good at something that wasn't always its focus — developing technology products to get pizzas to people more easily.

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Economic Development
3:33 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

UBS, Connecticut Strike New Deal Over Stamford Jobs

UBS Stamford headquarters
Credit Harriet Jones

The state of Connecticut has cut a new deal with banking giant UBS, which it hopes will keep the company in Stamford for another seven years. 

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Springfield Casino
1:27 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Springfield’s South End Looks Ahead as Massachusetts Votes on Casinos

Springfield's former South End Community Center, and the possible future site of an MGM casino.
Henry Epp NEPR

In a few days, Massachusetts voters will decide whether to keep the state’s casino law in place, or repeal it.

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Development Plans
4:49 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Development on Former New Haven Coliseum Site Gets $21.5 Million State Boost

Gov. Dannel Malloy announces a state investment in New Haven's Downtown Crossing.
Paul Bass New Haven Independent

Governor Malloy announced on Thursday a $21.5 million investment in phase two of New Haven’s Downtown Crossing plan.

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Business
3:45 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Frontier Offers Refunds to Customers Affected by Outage

Credit Thinkstock

Frontier Communications said it will offer refunds to customers who have been affected by outages in service. The Stamford-based company just switched over all of AT&T'’s landline, Internet and streaming video customers.

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Johnsonville
1:20 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Sold! Abandoned Village of Johnsonville Sells for $1.9 Million in Online Auction

The fate of Johnsonville is now in the hands of the new, as of yet unnamed new owner.
RM Bradley Co.

The bidding is over, and the abandoned village of Johnsonville sold on Auction.com for $1.9 million. No word on the identity of winner of the village, or their intentions for the 62-acre parcel of land in East Haddam, Connecticut. First Selectman of East Haddam, Mark Walter, said he would like to see the village, including the restaurant and chapel, restored and reopened for business.

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Sexual Orientation
9:04 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook Comes Out As Gay

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to a crowd before he is honored by the Alabama Academy of Honor at the Alabama state Capitol on Monday.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 4:15 pm

Tim Cook, the head of the world's most iconic technology company, has come out today in an op-ed on Bloomberg Businessweek, saying he's never denied his sexual orientation but "I haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now.

"Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day," Cook writes.

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Marketing
4:42 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Monsanto Hired This Guy To Help It Win Over Millennials

The headquarters of Monsanto, near St. Louis, Mo. Monsanto is the world's largest seed supplier.
Juliette Michel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 11:08 am

As I scrolled through tweets about a panel on agricultural entrepreneurs at the SXSW Eco conference earlier this month, one caught my eye. The sender was Vance Crowe, Monsanto's director of millennial engagement.

Corporate America is currently caught up in a torrid infatuation with millennials, who befuddle and torment the companies who want their dollars.

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The Business of Defense
3:44 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Electric Boat Says $10 Million State Loan Guarantees 8,900 Jobs

Electric Boat president Jeffrey Geiger with state officials.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Electric Boat will use a $10 million loan from the state of Connecticut to buy and refit a building from nearby Pfizer. The Groton-based shipyard is launching a $31 million program to expand and upgrade its facilities.

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