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Briefs

Contech tells state of cutbacks

Contech Castings LLC has filed two Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notices with the state, informing officials that 128 jobs have been eliminated in Auburn and about 80 more in Pierceton. The majority of affected workers – 117 – are machine operators.

That number is up from the 170 that company officials told The Journal Gazette earlier this week.

Typically, employers making massive job cuts must file a WARN notice to give 60 days’ notice before job loss. But that rule is waived when the situation was unforeseen.

The WARN filings are dated Feb. 28 and March 1.

Contech officials saidthey learned Feb. 20 that they’d lost a contract. Some workers at both factories were informed in letters dated Feb. 25 that job cuts were effective immediately. Other employees will continue making products for Contech customers unrelated to the lost contract.

Marquis ID planning $3 million investment

Marquis ID Systems is planning a $3 million investment in technology to upgrade a vacant building on Fort Wayne’s northwest side.

Marquis ID, which employs eight, makes secure identification cards for government and state agencies. Plans call for creating four additional positions: a software developer, a general manager and two computer operators.

Mark Steigmeyer and Chris Nichter are equal partners in the business that now operates in a facility off Hillegas Road. The company will move after upgrades are finished to the 11,200-square-foot building at 2914 Independence Drive. The work will include a secure loading dock.

Local economic development officials expect to introduce a request for a tax break at the March 12 Fort Wayne City Council meeting. If approved, the 10-year tax abatement could save the company $245,452.

Applications sought for entrepreneur plan

Indiana officials on Friday announced they are accepting applications for the Young Entrepreneurs Program, which helps college-aged and recently graduated entrepreneurs launch businesses.

The goal is to attract some of Indiana’s “best and brightest” college students and those who have graduated within the past three years to set up businesses in the state, creating jobs. The two-year-old program does not impose an age limit.

Young entrepreneurs can apply by submitting a business proposal to the Indiana Small Business Development Center by March 22.

Judges will select the most promising submissions then invite those aspiring entrepreneurs to make pitches to local officials from across Indiana.

For more information or to submit a business plan, go to www.isbdc.org/yep.

Housing bias victims sought out by feds

Federal authorities are looking for more than 400 blacks and Hispanics in Indiana who might be eligible to collect part of a $335 million settlement between Countrywide Financial Corp. and the Justice Department.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett in Indianapolis said victims of discriminatory lending practices by Countrywide from 2004 to 2008 have until March 29 to contact the settlement administrator for a payment.

Victims should contact Rust Consulting at 1-800-843-5148 or email info@CWFLSettlement.com.

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