industry

Manufacturing
10:15 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Will Connecticut Be Part of a Manufacturing Renaissance?

The machine shop at the former Swift gold leaf factory in Hartford, part of the state's legacy in the manufacturing industry.
Jonathan Haeber Creative Commons

Changes in technology, energy and world labor markets are all driving a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S., but some economists believe Connecticut may miss out, despite its storied history as a manufacturing state.

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Where We Live
8:41 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Bringing Manufacturing Jobs Back to Connecticut

John Dankosky speaks with (from left) Chris Murphy, Kris Lorch, and Sonny Morneault.
Lydia Brown WNPR

This hour, we kick off our year-long Made in Connecticut series with a conversation about keeping jobs in and bringing jobs back to Connecticut. Last week, Senator Chris Murphy joined us, along with WNPR’s Harriet Jones, and some folks from the local manufacturing industry, to take an in-depth look at the present and future of manufacturing in our state.

Can our state be home to a boom of reshored jobs? How can we keep the skilled manufacturing jobs we already have?

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Recalls
2:52 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

What's Behind The Auto Recall Surge?

Following GM and Toyota, BMW is the latest auto maker to issue a recall of thousands of its vehicles. (Ron Sombilon/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 2:57 pm

BMW is the latest automaker to announce a car recall. Yesterday, the automaker announced it’s recalling 156,137 luxury cars and SUVs because of possible stalling issues.

This comes on the heels of Toyota’s recall announcement this week, and General Motors’ recent vehicle recall notices. There have been more than 11 million vehicle recalls so far this year, and it’s part of the rapid rise of recalls in the past five years.

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Small Business
8:54 am
Fri April 11, 2014

New Haven Cardboard Furniture Company Goes Beyond One-Man Production

Zachary Rotholz of Chairigami.
Alan Yu WNPR

In New Haven, there's a furniture shop where everything is designed, hand-made, and shipped by just one employee working with cardboard.

Now Zachary Rotholz of Chairigami is working with manufacturers in Connecticut to scale up production of his cardboard furniture, and even make it high-tech.

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Workforce Pipeline
3:43 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Manufacturers in Connecticut Continue to Seek Qualified Workers

Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut’s manufacturers have a lot more confidence in the future of their companies, according to a new survey. But they're more cautious about the future of the state.

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Where We Live
8:25 am
Thu April 3, 2014

How Clean Is Our Air?

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution exposure was responsible for seven million deaths in 2012.
Credit eutrophication&hypoxia / Creative Commons

A report released by the World Health Organization last week found that some 7 million people died from air pollution exposure in 2012. In other words, one in eight of all global deaths that year resulted from breathing bad air. 

Today, the WHO considers air pollution to be the single greatest environmental health risk, linking it to cases of asthma, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.

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Bioscience
4:50 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Pfizer to Host Bioscience Incubator

CURE's Susan Froshauer gives Gov. Dannel Malloy a tour of the unused labs.
Harriet Jones WNPR

A new bioscience incubator will be created in an empty building on the Groton campus of drug giant Pfizer. The state will also move its data center to the site.

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Defense Contracts
1:23 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Sikorsky Pays Millions to Settle Pricing Allegations

A Black Hawk helicopter flying over Iraq in 2004.
Staff Sergeant Suzanne M. Jenkins Creative Commons

Helicopter maker Sikorsky has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle allegations that it overcharged the military for spare parts.

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MFG4
11:09 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Manufacturing World Coming to Hartford

Governor Dannel Malloy tours MFG4 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford two years ago.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

This spring Hartford will once again play host to the biggest names in the world of manufacturing, as the MFG4 conference comes to town.

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Social Media
7:40 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Facebook Will Acquire Virtual Reality Company For $2 Billion

The Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles make for an immersive experience.
Nan Palmero Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 8:27 pm

Facebook announced a pretty big purchase on Tuesday: The social media giant said it was acquiring Oculus VR, a company that makes virtual reality goggles, for $2 billion.

The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook, which the company values at $1.6 billion.

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Economic Forecast
6:09 am
Mon March 24, 2014

After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend

A cold, snowy winter in most of the country hurt economic growth, but forecasters see conditions improving for the rest of the year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:09 am

Somewhere under all of that melting snow, there's a warming economy.

"Adverse weather conditions" have hurt economic growth so far this year, but things are headed in the right direction now, according to a forecast released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.

"Conditions in a variety of areas — including labor, consumer and housing markets — are expected to improve over the next two years, while inflation remains tame," Jack Kleinhenz, NABE president and chief economist for the National Retail Federation, said in a statement.

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Bioscience Connecticut
10:49 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Jackson Labs "On Schedule and On Budget"

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine will open in the fall of 2014.
Credit The Jackson Laboratory

Connecticut officials have welcomed a report on the progress of the Jackson Laboratory site in Farmington. Jackson Labs said its new facility is on schedule and on budget.

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Unemployment
10:24 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Connecticut Job Numbers Tell a Complicated Story

The number of people actively seeking work declined in January.
Credit Harriet Jones

The latest employment report from the state Department of Labor showed a hopeful pick-up in job creation in Connecticut last year. But it also revealed a big loss in jobs in the first month of this year.

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Container Ships
3:37 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Hitching A Ride On The World's Biggest Cargo Ship

NPR's Jackie Northam on the Maersk McKinney Moller, a new container megaship that can carry about double what many other big cargo ships can carry. It's 20 stories high and four football fields long.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:17 am

I started my journey at the famed Gdansk Shipyard, home of Poland's solidarity movement in the 1980s. It was nearly midnight when I arrived and saw for the first time the Maersk McKinney Moller, the world's largest container ship.

I simply wasn't prepared for just how massive it is. The whole ship really can't be taken in, even standing at a distance, so I gave my neck a good stretch by scanning this behemoth end to end, and up and down.

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Container Ships
8:22 am
Wed March 12, 2014

After A Downturn, Global Shipping Bets Big On Everything

A container ship docked at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey. No one on the pier knows for sure what exactly the containers carry — anything from frozen chicken to computers.
Jonathan Blakley NPR

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 11:22 am

On a cold, blustery day at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey, one of several massive cranes whirs along a rail high above the pier, picks up a heavy container from a ship's deck and loads it on a waiting truck back on land. The truck drives away, another arrives, and the whole process starts again.

It's a scene played out every day along America's coasts as massive container ships from across the globe pull into deep-water seaports, waiting to be unloaded. The ships are enormous — some 10 stories high and several football fields long.

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Economic Development
11:54 am
Tue March 11, 2014

UTC Deal Questioned Over Lack of Hiring Demands

Pratt and Whitney's planned new headquarters building in East Hartford.
Credit Pratt and Whitney

The deal offered to United Technologies to redeem extra tax credits could be extended to other corporations in Connecticut. A legislative hearing Monday revealed more details about the huge economic development agreement.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:15 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Hartford Was the Typewriter Capital of the Country

Greg Fudacz is a typewriter collector, enthusiast, and a pseudo-typewriter historian
Chion Wolf

In the second season of the Netflix series, House of Cards, the protagonist Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, pulls out an old family typewriter, an Underwood of course, to write a pseudo-heartfelt letter to the President.

Frank's father gave him the typewriter saying this Underwood built an empire. Now you go build another.

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Doing Business
2:40 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Campaign Aims to Improve Business Climate in Connecticut

Legislative leaders address business owners at CBIA's Business Day
Credit Harriet Jones

The state's poor business climate is a perennial complaint for Connecticut's largest business organization. And now it's launched a campaign to make it an urgent priority. 

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U.S. Economy
9:34 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Jobless Rate Ticks Up, But Job Growth Is Better Than Expected

The scene at a job fair for veterans earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:14 am

This post has been updated.

The nation's unemployment rate edged up to 6.7 percent in February from 6.6 percent the month before, but employers added more jobs than expected, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

According to BLS, the number of jobs on public and private payrolls grew by 175,000 last month — about 25,000 more than economists had expected.

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Technology
12:03 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

SXSW Tech Preview: Snooping, Wearables And More 3-D Printing

Hugh Forrest, pictured here in 2009, is the director of South by Southwest Interactive.
Scott Beale Flickr

South by Southwest Interactive is the technology-driven part of the annual Austin-based festival for digital, film and music and it starts on Friday. An expected 30,000 people will take part in the interactive and film week that precedes music, and they love it for the spontaneity and the chaos. They also hate it because of the chaos — parties on every corner, marketing handouts at every turn and a sprawling program of panels, screenings and speakers that span at least a dozen city blocks in the heart of Texas.

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Connecticut Business Day
1:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Business Audience Quizzes Malloy on Minimum Wage

CBIA members listen to legislative leaders during Connecticut Business Day at the Capitol
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Before he traveled to New Britain for this afternoon’s event with President Obama, Governor Dannel Malloy faced what might be his most skeptical audience on the issue of minimum wage.

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Economic Development
7:59 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

State Strikes Major Tax Credit Deal With United Technologies

An artist's impression of the planned new Pratt & Whitney headquarters building.
Credit Pratt and Whitney

The state of Connecticut has struck a multi-million dollar deal with United Technologies, which it hopes will safeguard the future of research and manufacturing operations here.

Under the agreement, the state will allow UTC to exercise tax credits it has already built up. The conglomerate can exchange $20 million in tax credits each year, up to a maximum of $400 million.

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Electric Cars
11:36 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Any Way It's Measured, Tesla's $5B 'Gigafactory' Is Huge

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:31 pm

Just how big a deal is the "gigafactory" that Tesla Motors says it's going to build to make batteries for its electric cars?

-- It's projected to cost $5 billion between now and the year 2020. Tesla expects to invest about $2 billion. Partners — who it's rumored could include Apple and Panasonic — would invest the rest.

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Health Marketplace
4:12 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Bill Could Allow Access Health CT to Negotiate Prices

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

A legislative committee wants to delay for a year when the state's insurance marketplace, Access Health CT, could begin negotiating prices with the insurance companies selling products through the exchange. 

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Technology
12:23 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Why Facebook Thinks WhatsApp Is Worth $19 Billion

Facebook announced it acquired WhatsApp late Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:19 pm

Facebook's purchase of messaging service WhatsApp — at a price tag of up to $19 billion — is its largest acquisition yet. To put things in perspective, the social giant tried to purchase Snapchat for a fraction of that cost — $3 billion. And it successfully bought Instagram for $1 billion.

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Military Engines
9:38 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Former Pratt Worker Pleads Not Guilty to Shipping Secrets to Iran

A U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in a test flight.
Credit U.S. Navy

A former defense worker charged with trying to ship stolen proprietary information to Iran about the Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program and military jet engines has pleaded not guilty in Connecticut.

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Where We Live
8:26 am
Fri February 14, 2014

The Art of the Oyster

Humans have been consuming oysters for thousands of years.
Credit EEPaul / Creative Commons

Oysters have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. It’s no wonder then that many of us know them as a favored menu item. But these beloved bivalves have a history that extends far beyond the dinner plate. 

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Technology
3:24 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

How The Big Cable Deal Could Actually Boost Open-Internet Rules

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:59 am

An announced $45 billion merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable — the largest and second-largest cable companies in the U.S., respectively — is under scrutiny not just for its massive size but also for its potential impact on Internet use.

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Acquisitions
8:22 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Reports: Comcast To Buy Time Warner

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 12:22 am

Comcast is expected to announce its acquisition of Time Warner on Thursday, various media outlets report.

Bloomberg, citing "four people familiar with matter," says Comcast will buy the cable company for about $44 billion, "combining the largest two U.S. cable companies in an all-stock deal."

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Cable Companies
6:45 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Will Comcast Get Federal OK To Buy Time Warner?

Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 10:44 am

(We put a new top on this story at 9:25 a.m. ET and added an update at 10:15 a.m. ET.)

As NPR's David Folkenflik pointed out earlier today, Comcast's proposed $45 billion purchase of fellow cable company Time Warner will receive some scrutiny from federal officials. Here's some more about that part of the story:

Politico writes that:

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