Business & Economy

Business & Economy
8:42 am
Mon August 18, 2014

NC Teachers Get Close-Up Look At German Work Education Model

Asheville High School Media Coordinator Michelle Mills visits Siemens Professional Education Center in Berlin.
Credit Leoneda Inge

North Carolina’s manufacturing story is old and complicated.  In just the past decade, the state has seen many traditional manufacturing operations shut down, devastating tens of thousands of workers and their families.

But this decade has also witnessed the growth of a new kind of manufacturing. Next Generation manufacturing is cleaner and more nimble and requires highly-skilled workers.  And you have to start early building a talented workforce.

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Business & Economy
7:29 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Mass Job Loss Connected To Suicidal Behavior

Duke study says girls and African American teens experience spike in suicide-related behavior when there is major job loss in their communities.

A new study out of Duke University shows there is a direct correlation between mass job layoffs and a spike in suicide-related behavior among girls and African American teenagers.

Anna Gassman-Pines found when 1 percent of a state’s working population lost their jobs, suicide-related behaviors increased by 2 to 3 percentage points among girls and black adolescents in the following year. 

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The State of Things
11:14 am
Wed August 13, 2014

How North Carolina's Furniture Industry Is Still Changing

Stanley Furniture manufactured its Young America line at the Robbinsville, NC plant, which shut down this summer.
Credit High Point Market


North Carolina has a rich history of producing furniture. High Point has been at the center of the market for more than a century. 

But the industry looks much different than it did just a few decades ago. Globalization caused many companies to send manufacturing overseas. Most recently, Stanley Furniture Company closed its plant in Robbinsville.

Some large companies are trying to reverse that trend, while small custom furniture shops pop up across the state.

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Craft Beer
5:11 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Craft Brewers Tweak N.C. Water To Match Western Mountain Flavor

The Sierra Nevada brewery in Mills River, N.C.
Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 2:11 pm

Craft beer sales have been growing by double digits, even as overall beer sales have flattened. And several independent craft beer makers — all based in the Western U.S. — are expanding production to the East. But to keep the flavor true, they have to tinker with beer's main ingredient: water.

Every day, a half-dozen employees of Oskar Blues Brewery file into a small room in Brevard, N.C. It's cluttered with boxes, petri dishes and test tubes.

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Business & Economy
10:05 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

North Carolina Pork Had Been Surging In Russia... Not Anymore

North Carolina has exported $37 million in pork to Russia, year-to-date.
Credit Eric Mennel / WUNC

Last year, according the State Department of Agriculture, North Carolina exported about $3.7 million in meat products to Russia. So far this year, that number has increased ten-fold, to $40 million. Now that Russia has banned the import of American beef, pork, and poultry products, that surge will come to a halt.

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Business & Economy
10:05 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Power Companies Want More Control Over When Electric Vehicles Recharge

Credit David Dodge / Green Energy Futures via Creative Commons

Eight different auto manufacturers and 15 different utility companies are teaming up with the Electric Power Research Institute to test technology that will allow them to determine when electric cars can recharge.

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Business & Economy
9:37 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Orange County Leaders Declare A Need For More Assisted Housing Options

Carrboro's and Chapel Hill's mayors spoke out against the dwindling number of section 8 housing available for low-income families there.
Credit / Creative Commons

Several major property management companies in Carrboro and Chapel Hill are no longer accepting federal housing assistance vouchers.  Housing assistance advocates say options for low-income families in the area are dwindling.

James Davis of the Orange County Housing Authority said at a press conference in Carrboro yesterday that there's a misconception that Section 8 recipients don't work, or that participating in the Section 8 program is difficult.

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Business & Economy
8:32 am
Tue August 5, 2014

NC Has 12th Most-Expensive Mortgage Closing Costs

North Carolina ranks 12th for mortgage closing costs.
Credit AKZOphoto / Creative Commons

A new national survey shows mortgage closing costs are rising across all 50 states. 

Holden Lewis is a mortgage analyst for  He says North Carolina ranks as the 12th most expensive state. 

“Mortgage closing costs went up this year about five or six percent compared to last year.  And lenders say that the reason is regulation,” Lewis said. 

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Business & Economy
12:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday From Texas To Maryland, But Not In NC

All the states surrounding North Carolina have a Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday.

This weekend would normally be North Carolina’s Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday.  But that ended last year.  The state Retail Merchants Association is asking business owners to track sales anyway.

The state legislature’s argument for doing away with the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday was it cost North Carolina $13 million dollars in lost sales tax revenue.

But supporters of the popular sales tax holiday say consumers saved $13 million dollars.

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The State of Things
12:26 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

The Cases For And Against Cuts To Jobless Benefits

Credit Wikimedia


North Carolina lawmakers voted last year to end long-term unemployment benefits.

The move meant the state stopped accepting money from the federal government for workers who had been out of a job for 20 weeks or more. Legislators said they made the change in order to start paying down more than $2 billion in jobless benefits the state already owed to the federal government.

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