October 26, 2014

Some Dairy Queen stores in Missouri hit by data breach

Dairy Queen says a data security breach has impacted nearly 400 of its stores in the nation, including 17 locations in Missouri.

The company says customers who ate at those 17 stores in August might have had their names, payment card numbers and expiration dates exposed to hackers.

The company is offering free identity repair service to impacted customers.

A list of the impacted stores and the dates their security was breached is available on Dairy Queen’s website.

With projected additions, Boeing could tap new Missouri incentives

Boeing will bring up to 700 more jobs to north St. Louis County to build parts for its 777x commercial airliner.

Boeing's 777-9X

Boeing’s 777-9X

With the announcement, coupled with other expansions announced in the past 18 months, it appears Boeing will be eligible for incentives approved in a special session of the Missouri Legislature in 2013, that it was hoped would lure production of the 777x to St. Louis.

The threshold for those incentives was the creation of 2,000 new jobs within ten years for aerospace industry projects. According to the release from Governor Jay Nixon’s office, Boeing in the past year-and-a-half has announced the creation of 400 new information technology jobs, 400 research and technology jobs, and just last week, 500 jobs for service and support of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor.

If those marks and the 700 figure announced today are all met, that would be enough to reach 2,000 jobs.

The legislature late last year approved, and Governor Nixon signed, a $1.7-billion package of tax breaks. St. Louis County officials offered another $1.8 billion in incentives.

Boeing employs about 15,000 people in the St. Louis area, but never before has the company had any part of its commercial aircraft operations in the region.

The company will expand its current composites facility to make way for the new work. Production of 777x parts is slated to begin in 2017.

Ford adds van jobs (AUDIO)

The Ford is jumping production of its new van at the Claycomo plant to meet demand for its new van.

Transit van has been on dealer’s lots for about three months and it’s selling well enough that Ford plans to add as many as 12-hundred more workers for a second production line at Claycomo.

Plant Manager Dan Jowiski says the company has more than met the quality jobs quotas set by the state to qualify for the tax incentives state law allows.

But the assembly line jobs are only part of the story.  Jowiski says the second assembly line will produce ripples. “For every job we add at an assembly plant,” he says, “it roughly affects our supply base and their communities with an uplift factor of nine.”

He says Ford will have 2400 workers building the various versions of the transit van by the end of the year.  Another 3600 will be building the F-150 pickup trucks.

AUDIO: Jowiski interview 7:21

GMC adding 750 jobs to Wentzville plant

General Motors will add a third shift to its plant in Wentzville to make pickups and vans, adding 750 new jobs beginning early next year.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the new shift will bring employment at Wentzville to 3,350 workers. Plant manager Nancy Laubenthal says anticipated demand for two midsized pickups that will be made at Wentzville, the GMC Colorado and the GMC Canyon, played into the decision to increase production there.

This will be the first time the Wentzville plant has had three shifts.

Missouri workers’ comp costs projected to fall next year

Missouri businesses could pay less for workers’ compensation insurance premiums next year.

Missouri Department of Insurance Director John Huff

Missouri Department of Insurance Director John Huff

The Missouri Department of Insurance says insurers are likely to see a 3.7-percent drop in loss costs for claims in 2015. That’s based on a report by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

Those loss projections are used in the setting of rates by insurers.

Department Director John Huff says that’s good news for Missouri businesses.

“The workers’ compensation market continues to be very competitive in Missouri,” says Huff.

He says the largest driver behind the predicted decline is a reduction in overall medical costs.

“We had some larger claims the last couple of years that cycled into the data and those large claims are coming off of the data,” says Huff. “The good news is, Missouri businesses are continuing to see a decline in the number of claims – the frequency, if you will – is continuing to reduce for businesses, so employees and employers are working together to create safer workplaces.”