Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Made In America,” a round-up of state and global manufacturing news.
U.S. LABOR POOL SEES STRONG GROWTH DURING SUMMER MONTHS
From April to July 2016, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased by 1.9 million to 20.5 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This year, 53.2% percent of young people were employed in July, little changed from a year earlier. Unemployment among youth rose by 611,000 from April to July 2016, compared with an increase of 654,000 for the same period in 2015.
The youth labor force — 16-to-24-year-olds working or actively looking for work — grew sharply between April and July, which is typically the summertime peak in youth employment each year. During these months, large numbers of high school and college students search for or take summer jobs, and many graduates enter the labor market to look for or begin permanent employment. This summer, the youth labor force grew by 2.6 million, or 12.4%, to a total of 23.1 million in July. To see the full summary on youth employment in the U.S., click here.
NIKE, NEW YORK PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM JOIN TO BUILD NEW NORTH AMERICAN APPAREL MANUFACTURING SUPPLY CHAIN
Funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management LLC and Nike Inc. on Thursday (Aug. 18) announced they’ve entered into an apparel supply chain strategic partnership that will increase regional manufacturing capabilities, enable quicker delivery of more customized product to consumers, and drive investment in sustainability. To establish the strategic partnership, a new apparel supply chain company has acquired existing apparel suppliers in North and Central America and plans to invest in advancing their manufacturing operations and expertise to produce innovative, technical and customized apparel.
While terms of the agreements were not disclosed, Apollo announced the new supply chain company has acquired two businesses to form the cornerstone of this strategy: the apparel manufacturer, New Holland; and the embellishment, warehousing and logistics operator, ArtFX. In addition, this new company expects to acquire additional textile and apparel suppliers in the Americas in order to broaden and diversify its capabilities and product offerings.
CATERPILLAR TO PURSUE ‘STRATEGIC ALTERNATIVES’ FOR SOFT ROCK MINING BUSINESS, NEARLY 200 JOBS AFFECTED
To focus on products with the greatest growth potential, Caterpillar Inc. announced Thursday (Aug. 18) it intends to pursue strategic alternatives, including a possible divestiture, for its room and pillar products, which serve a segment of underground soft rock mining customers. The company will also discontinue production of track drills within its Resource Industries portfolio. The room and pillar underground mining products under strategic review include continuous miners, feeder breakers, coal haulage systems, highwall miners, roof bolters, utility vehicles and diesel vehicles. While under review, Caterpillar will stop taking new orders.
In conjunction with the announcement, Caterpillar expects to take actions to reduce its workforce in Houston, Penn., where the room and pillar products are manufactured. While the company intends to sell the room and pillar products, it will also assess other options, including a possible closure of a Houston facility. Total workforce reductions of up to 155 positions associated with the room and pillar business are expected, with some occurring immediately, officials. These actions will more closely align employment levels with current end-market demand. In Denison, Texas, where track drills are produced, approximately 40 positions will be eliminated as a result of the track drill exit and other facility restructuring.