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Manufacturing

Reviving a legacy: Grandson of Best Access Systems founder builds security firm that plans to go national

In some ways, Richard Best has never gotten over his departure from his family's business, Best Access Systems. Some memories he'd rather forget. But others he carries with him like treasures carefully secured under lock and key. "That was a very difficult time," Best said in halting tones, referring to 1995, when his youngest brother, Russell, acquired control of the company and used his leverage to buy out him, his father, Walter, and brothers Robert and Marshall. "It was our...
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Manufacturers struggle with China's risk, opportunity: Currency valuation one of many competitive issues

Eighteen months ago, 110 people worked for Swiss Plywood Co., a Tell City-based cabinet-maker in business since 1945. The average tenure was 17 years. Today, only 65 employees are left at the controls of Swiss Plywood's machines. Chairman Bill Borders blames China. "We've weathered storms over the years," Borders said. "But nothing approaching this." Manufacturers in Indiana and across the nation have long complained about what they call Chinese currency manipulation. It's one of a litany of grumbles about Chinese...
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Bias claimed at Citizens Gas: Black workers: Test limited advancement

Citizens Gas & Coke Utility is battling allegations that a test used to screen employees and outside job applicants was biased against blacks, hindering their chances of getting hired or advancing. The city-owned utility last year reached a confidential settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of applicants who weren't hired because the test "has an adverse impact on black employees and applicants for promotion, transfers and hire," according to EEOC documents. Now, that settlement-which included cash payouts...
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Tax credits aid blighted areas: Help open to firms targeting Center Township projects

Federal tax credits supporting roughly $6 million in economic development projects are still available for small-business owners considering expanding or locating in Center Township. The funds are administered through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, which was established by Congress in 2000 to help revitalize blighted areas. In Indiana, the locally based Urban Enterprise Association Inc. helped secure tax credits that can fund $50 million worth of projects, including $12.5 million in Marion County. The tax credits already are supporting...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Manufacturing sector keeps Indiana economy chugging

There is mostly good news on the economy. Both in Indiana and in the nation as a whole, we appear to be heading into the year's second half with reasonably strong momentum. Buoyed by surprisingly low interest rates, a weak dollar and a strong rebound in business spending nationwide, the state economy has turned in a solid performance in the last six quarters. Through the first six months of the year, the Indiana economy is on a pace to create...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Neither SEC, Dick in rush to bring fraud suit to trial

The Securities a n d E x c h a n g e Commission didn't file its civil-fraud suit against former Conseco Inc. Chief Financial Officer Rollin Dick until 2004, four years after he resigned under pressure. Under a timetable approved by federal Magistrate Judge V. Sue Shields July 14, Dick won't stand trial until May 2007 at the earliest. By then, he will have turned 75, and the transactions challenged by the SEC will be more than seven years...
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VIEWPOINT: Hoosiers gave tech transfer a big boost

Today, we take for granted that our state universities play a role far beyond their traditional educational mission-especially in the economic arena. University-sponsored research is being licensed to the private sector, or used to form new companies. Universities are managing business incubators. Consulting partnerships between academia and industry are commonplace. It wasn't always this way. Not long ago, university officials were skeptical of becoming too involved with the private sector. Business leaders and investors didn't recognize the value of innovation...
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Purdue, Regenstrief look for ways to trim health costs: Health & Hospital Association a 'real-world' partner

"Ultimately, we think the benefits of the partnership will be more efficient, costeffective care to the citizens of Indiana," Morr said. "The bottom line is, how can we do what we do better?" Small and medium-size hospitals, which typically do not have people on staff dedicated to study the types of issues the Regenstrief center will tackle, could benefit most from the affiliation, Morr said. Ed Abel, director in charge of health care services for the locally based Blue &...
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Growth in big supply at 3-year-old Milor: Entrepreneur taps experience to land big clients

Michelle Taylor's first customer was a north-side hotel that ordered 3,000 janitorial gloves a month. She got up at 3 a.m., processed the order out of her garage, and delivered the gloves in her car. Less than three years later, Indianapolisbased Milor Supply Inc. delivers 36,000 gloves a month, plus janitorial equipment and supplies and safety equipment, to universities, city and state governments, hospitals and a host of other industries across the country. The 35-year-old black female entrepreneur has moved...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: New data gives economists a new way to gauge state

Ask any economic developer what he or she is expected to produce, and the answer is a single syllable: jobs. Sure, there are a few qualifiers. We want good jobs, which generally means highpaying, secure, or even non-polluting jobs. But high-profile announcements of business expansion or recruitment always lead with the projected effects on employment-often spelled out to the last digit. It's hard to see anything wrong with that. Job growth is easy to grasp and even if we're not...
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