published Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Biz Briefs: Hemlock Semiconductor layoffs are permanent

Hemlock Semiconductor layoffs are permanent

A Michigan-based silicon products company says it's making permanent the layoff of 400 workers at sites in Michigan and Tennessee, a move forced by a supply glut and trade conflicts with China.

Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. announced the layoffs in January. They affect 300 employees at a site in Clarksville, Tenn., and 100 at its home base near Saginaw, Mich. The company makes high-purity silicon materials for use by semiconductor and solar industries.


Chatt Fare comes to UTC campus

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe began serving food this week at Scrappy's Place Food Court at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The new eatery, part of the Chatt Fare program that is bringing local Chattanooga restaurants to the UTC Campus, will offer menu items ranging from grilled meats served with signature sauces to salads filled with fresh fruits and veggies.


Few employers give layoff notice

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Tuesday that few employers are in compliance with a state rule requiring them to issue separation notices to all workers when their jobs are terminated for any reason. Displaced workers workers should receive the notices within 24 hours to help them apply for services such as unemployment benefits and food stamps.

"What employers should know is when they don't document separations with these notices, it invites confusion and unnecessary appeals when someone files for unemployment benefits," Tennessee Labor Commissioner Karla Davis said.


Natural gas cars sales up

Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it sold a record 11,600 natural gas vehicles last year, more than four times the number it sold two years ago.

It's the latest sign that natural gas is making inroads as a transportation fuel, particularly for truck fleets, buses and taxis. The consumer market is tougher to crack, but sales are gaining there as well. Natural gas is cheap and plentiful in the U.S. after a spike in production that began in the middle of last decade. At the same time, the price of gasoline and diesel fuel has jumped more than 30 percent.

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