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Study Reveals Ga.'s High-Demand Jobs, Workforce Gap

Sep 9, 2016
In this Feb. 27, 2013, file photo, hands type on a computer keyboard in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes, File / Associated Press

Georgia businesses and educators may finally have the information they need to close a jobs gap that’s been affecting the state for years.

According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, working with the Atlanta office of global professional services consultant Accenture PLC, found significant shortages of qualified workers for the jobs in highest demand in Georgia.

In this Aug. 29, 2016 photo, Marilyn Smolenski uses a mock gun to demonstrate how to pull a handgun out of the concealed carry clothing she designs at her home in Park Ridge, Ill.
AP Photo/Tae-Gyun Kim

For decades, women have had few choices when it comes to the clothing they can wear to hide that they're carrying a firearm. They could wear baggy T-shirts or coats, or put it in a purse and hope it didn't get swiped or that they didn't have trouble getting it out in an emergency.

Enter holsters, corsets, camisoles and other clothing designed to be flattering, feminine — and functional — for the pistol-packin' mama crowd.

‘Disco Kroger’ Shopping Center May Spin A New Tune

Sep 2, 2016

The Limelight dance club on Piedmont Road is long gone, but the grocery store in that shopping center where the club used to be is still called the "Disco Kroger." But what happens if or when that Kroger goes away? It’s a possibility, according to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle.

New York-based Equity One Inc. (NYSE: EQY) owns the 152,239-square foot shopping center on Piedmont Road, which is formally called Piedmont Peachtree Crossing. Major tenants include Binders, Cost Plus World Market and Starbucks.

It has taken about 15 years, but plans for a new convention hotel at the Cobb Galleria Centre could be ready to move forward.  

Atlanta-based Regent Partners is considering building a 350-room hotel on the campus of the Cobb Galleria Centre. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, analysts say the project could help the area attract larger trade shows and compete with nearby cites, like Alpharetta and Atlanta, that are already improving their convention amenities.

Stephen Brashear / Associated Press

 

Chipotle's latest burrito giveaway is for children.

The company is offering free kid's meals on Sundays during the month of September, another attempt to lure back customers spooked by a series of food scares. An E. coli outbreak last year sent Chipotle sales plunging.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Piedmont Healthcare and insurer UnitedHealthcare have reached a deal on a new three-year network agreement, after the two let their previous contract lapse for nearly two months. 

The agreement means the more than 150,000 Piedmont patients who found themselves out of network during the stalemate will likely no longer have to pay more to visit all six of the network’s hospitals and its physicians. Piedmont and United officials said in a joint press release that the agreement is retroactive to July 1 to avoid gaps in patients’ coverage.

EpiPen Drugmaker To Expand Programs To Lower Cost

Aug 25, 2016

Mylan, in the face of heated criticism over price hikes for its EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, is bulking up programs that help patients pay for the drug.

The generic drugmaker laid out a plan on Thursday to expand its patient assistance program and offer $300 savings cards for its EpiPen 2-Pak.

There is no change in the price of the treatment, however, which is what has drawn ire both in Congress and from families that have had to shell out increasingly large sums for the potentially life-saving treatment.

The owner of the last remaining clothing boutique on the Midtown Mile says she’s being forced out for a new restaurant, raising questions about what has long been envisioned as one of Atlanta’s most upscale shopping and dining districts.

Another insurer is pulling its Obamacare plans from the Georgia insurance exchange.

Cigna said it will no longer offer plans on the state's exchange set up through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, starting in 2017.

In a statement, a spokesperson said, “Cigna is participating in selected public exchanges where we can best support quality, affordable options for our customers. In this case, we haven’t yet defined the most appropriate products that provide this combination and that would be competitive in the Georgia public marketplace.”

Jessica Hill / Associated Press

Health care company Aetna says it's pulling its plans off the individual insurance exchanges in Georgia and 10 other states next year, making it the latest major insurer to deal a blow to President Obama’s signature health care law.

Nationwide, the company says it will shrink its presence from 778 counties to 242 next year, and will continue operating exchange plans in only four states: Nebraska, Virginia, Iowa and Vermont. In Georgia this year, Aetna operated plans in 67 counties.

The Home Depot corporate headquarters is seen, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Home Depot is benefiting from a housing market that appears to be recovering.

The Atlanta-based company had its best quarter ever.

The Home Depot reports sales of over $26 billion for the second quarter of this year. That's a 6.6 percent growth over the same time period last year.    

"It's just another confirmation that the housing market recovery remains in place," said Dr. Roger Tutterow, an economist at Kennesaw State University.

Courtesy of Post Properties/MAA

A real estate firm in Memphis, Tenn., Mid-America Apartment Communities, is merging with Atlanta-based Post Properties in a deal worth nearly $4 billion. 

The merger makes the combined company one of the largest publicly-traded landlords in the country.

The new company now oversees more than 105,000 apartment units.

Ron Cameron is a senior vice president and principal of the multi-family advisory group at the real estate services firm Colliers International in Atlanta.

John Bazemore / associated press file

Delta Air Lines is spending $150 million this year on technology upgrades, including a better mobile app. But what CEO Ed Bastian never saw coming was a vulnerability to its reservations and operations servers that would cripple his airline for days.

A computer outage Monday morning grounded planes around the world, stranding thousands of summertime travelers left in limbo as Delta struggled to sort out the mess, its reputation as an on-time airline severely tarnished.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

Delta Air Lines is spending $150 million this year on technology upgrades, including a better mobile app. But what CEO Ed Bastian never saw coming was a vulnerability to its reservations and operations servers that would cripple his airline for days.

A computer outage Monday morning grounded planes around the world, stranding thousands of summertime travelers left in limbo as Delta struggled to sort out the mess, its reputation as an on-time airline severely tarnished.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

Delta Air Lines is spending $150 million this year on technology upgrades, including a better mobile app. But what CEO Ed Bastian never saw coming was a vulnerability to its reservations and operations servers that would cripple his airline for days.

A computer outage Monday morning grounded planes around the world, stranding thousands of summertime travelers left in limbo as Delta struggled to sort out the mess, its reputation as an on-time airline severely tarnished.

John Bazemore / AP Photo, File

Delta Air Lines says it's still trying to figure out what caused the outage yesterday that crippled operations around the globe, cancelling more than a thousand flights.

The airlines says systems are up but working slower than usual.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian released a video statement this afternoon.

Courtesy of the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Just 15 years ago, Technology Square in Midtown was a mix of mostly blighted neighborhoods. Now, the area at Fifth and Spring streets that abuts the Downtown Connector is now a vibrant district with 15 corporate innovation centers, many of which are Fortune 500 companies, multiple incubators and accelerators and over 150 startups.

With the addition of private-sector companies like NCR Corp., which is relocating its global headquarters to Tech Square, moving into the space, total investment in the eight-block campus will soon reach $1 billion.

New Creative Campus To Bring Start-Up Style To Alpharetta

Aug 5, 2016
Coutesy of the Atlanta Business Chronicle

It’s pretty common in Midtown Atlanta to see high-tech companies occupy loft-style office space with concrete floors, just a few walls and exposed ceilings. But that trend of open offices is now expanding to an Atlanta suburb.

United Parcel Service driver Marty Thompson steps off a truck while making a delivery in Cumming, Ga.
David Goldman / Associated Press

UPS's second-quarter revenue improved on solid performances from its domestic and international package divisions. Its earnings edged up. The company reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the full year.

The package and delivery service's revenue increased to $14.63 billion from $14.1 billion. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected $14.6 billion in revenue.

Paul Sakuma / Associated Press

Sales for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company fell during the second quarter of this year. The soft drink giant announced Wednesday it made $11.5 billion for the quarter, compared with $12.2 billion during the second quarter of last year. Coke says total revenue fell about 5 percent.  

Paul Sakuma / Associated Press

Coca-Cola trimmed its sales outlook for the year Wednesday, citing weakening demand in major international markets including China and part of South America.

The world's biggest soda maker said its global volume for the second quarter was flat from a year ago, dragged down by poor results in some areas outside the United States. The maker of Fanta, Sprite and Powerade said it sold more noncarbonated drinks, but less soda.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, about 20 percent of Georgia is experiencing some level of drought conditions. And the dryness, coupled with the heat, is taking a toll on some Georgia crops.

“The peanuts that don't have irrigation are really kind of suffering from the drought,” said Don Koehler, executive director of the Georgia Peanut Commission. “They have not fully developed as far as plants.”

Koehler said farmers who do use irrigation are seeing costs go up.

Josh Edelson / AP Images for Lyft

No car? No problem for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

These companies are offering rentals, leases and financing deals aimed at getting more drivers on the road. After all, the more drivers they sign up, the more rides are available and the more money they make. But critics say drivers are paying high and even predatory prices.

"The lease terms are awful, you could buy the car for what they are being leased for, or maybe even less," said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, of Uber's Xchange leasing program.

Nike and ACOG

This story is part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here.

Nike designers have created a new pair of Air Trainer SC High ATL sneakers to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Olympics Games in Atlanta.

Mark Lennihan / associated press file

Starbucks says it's increasing prices slightly on brewed coffee, espresso and tea latte beverages.

The Seattle-based coffee chain says prices on select sizes of brewed coffee in U.S. company-operated stores are jumping 10 to 20 cents Tuesday, while prices on espresso and tea latte beverages will rise 10 to 30 cents.

The company says in a statement that pricing in stores is "continually evaluated on a product-by-product and market-by-market basis in order to balance business needs."

Charles Krupa / Associated Press

JetBlue Airways is eyeing starting up service out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport starting next year, according to a recent letter the airline sent to the airport.

In a letter to the airport’s interim general manager, the airline said that they “firmly believe that Atlanta can be an attractive addition to JetBlue’s network,” and plans to launch operations in September 2017 if it can get access to two gates that meet the airline’s needs.

 Atlanta’s City Council has approved up to $675,000 in investment grants for three companies relocating their headquarters to the city.

Technology firms Keysight Technologies, Global Payments and GE Digital are up for so-called “economic opportunity fund” grants.

“So, these grants could be used for anything to help support their move to the city of Atlanta,” explains Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm. Such expenses could include anything from equipment to improvements to company properties.

The U.S. government is urging owners of 313,000 older Hondas and Acuras to stop driving them and get them repaired after new tests found that their Takata air bag inflators are extremely dangerous.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday that it has data showing that chances are as high as 50 percent that the inflators can explode in a crash, injuring people by sending metal shrapnel into the passenger compartments.

Kellogg is opening a cafe in New York as it pushes to reinvent cereal's soggy image.

The company based in Battle Creek, Michigan, says bowls will cost $6.50 to $7.50 and combine cereals like Special K and Frosted Flakes with ingredients like pistachios and lemon zest.

The move comes as Kellogg Co. has suffered declining cereal sales in the U.S., with people reaching for a growing array of breakfast options. To boost sales, the company is also trying to market cereal as a nighttime treat and on-the-go snack.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is renaming its international headquarters after its president and chief executive officer, Charles Steele Jr.

The Atlanta-based civil rights organization announced that it will officially rename the headquarters on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta in honor of Steele at news conference planned for 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The SCLC said in a statement that the headquarters was built in 2004 and cost $3.5 million, most of which was raised by Steele.

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