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Joel Holt

BASF's Chattanooga plant on Amnicola Highway recently achieved 25 years with zero lost-time injuries, the longest running record for time without a lost time injury among the more than 400 members in the manufacturing sector of the Tennessee Safety and Health Council.

"We believe that BASF's commitment to safety is exemplified by their record of 2.5 million work hours without a lost time injury," said Gina Jones, executive director of the Tennessee Safety and Health Council.

BASF said it achieved the milestone through a combination of company, employee and contractor efforts focused on identifying leading indicators to prevent, reduce and eliminate work related hazards and unsafe behaviors before they occur.

"Employees who are currently working at the site along with the retired employees from throughout the years have made significant contributions to recognize and eliminate workplace hazards," said Rob Gagliano, BASF's Site Director in Chattanooga.

In addition to focusing on leading indicators, employees receive ongoing safety training. Ninety percent of employees are trained as first responders and all production employees are trained to respond to plant and chemical emergencies.


Holt heads operations at Metalworking Solutions

Joel Holt, formerly corporate director of engineering and manager of logistics engineering for Kenco Management Services, has been named to head operations at Metalworking Solutions LLC in Chattanooga.

Holt was appointed vice president of operations at the structural steel manufacturing business, which was formed in 2006 and now employs 78 workers. He will have full responsibility for manufacturing and leading the company in its LEAN initiatives.

Prior to joining Kenco in 2008, Holt enjoyed a 23-year career at United Technologies where he led various LEAN and Six Sigma initiatives.

"The year 2019 is going to be another record year for our company and Joel is an integral part of our plan going forward," said Nick Burrows, president of Metalworking Solutions.

Holt received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Tennessee Technological University and his Master's in Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University.

Metalworking Solutions assists manufacturing companies in the development and production of structural steel and precision sheet metal components, improving final assembly performance by offering superior part quality, best-in-class lead time, and on-time delivery.


Office Depot, Alibaba opening online store

Office Depot and are creating a co-branded online store to expand the reach of both companies with small and medium size businesses.

The two companies announced the agreement Monday as part of a broader array of services they are providing to small business. Over time, the companies intend to help U.S. small businesses sell their products to buyers around the world through, the wholesale trade site of the Chinese online retail titan the Alibaba Group.

It marks's first U.S. partnership with a major retailer. The lion's share of Alibaba Group's business has been providing retailers and brands in the U.S. and around the globe access to the 700 million Chinese customers through its two major marketplaces Taobao and Tmall.

Under its new CEO Gerry Smith, Office Depot Inc., has been pushing the company to go beyond selling office products to become more of a one-stop shop for businesses for all service at a time when small businesses' biggest challenges are cash and time. Nearly 70 percent of its Office Depot's annual sales now come from business customers, up from about 49 percent a few years ago, Office Depot said.


Kenco Logistics adds center in Pittsburgh

Kenco Logistics, North America's leading third-party logistics provider, is opening of a new regional distribution center in Pittsburgh for Shell Lubricants. The 455,000 square-foot facility is designed to reduce transportation expenses and provides quicker access to inventory for consumers in the region.

"We have enjoyed developing this customer relationship with Shell Lubricants over the last few years and the collaborative nature of the relationship so far," said Denis Reilly, CEO of Kenco.

Carlos Maurer, president of Shell Lubricants Americas, said the new regional distribution center will increase the share of customers within a 1-day delivery range by 11 percent and help eliminate more than 1 million road mile a year.

The Chattanooga-based Kenco is the largest privately owned warehouse and logistics company of its type in America.


GM ends production at Cruz plant in Ohio

General Motors will end production this week at the first of five North American plants it wants to close by early next year as part of a companywide restructuring.

The last American-made Chevrolet Cruze will come off the assembly line Wednesday at GM's sprawling Ohio assembly plant near Youngstown, GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter said Monday.

The plant closings come as the Detroit-based automaker moves toward shifting its focus to making trucks, SUVs and electric and autonomous vehicles.

The United Auto Workers has sued GM over the closings, which still must be negotiated with the union.

Ohio's political leaders along with union officials and workers are leading a campaign to save the Lordstown plant, but more than 300 already have transferred to other GM factories.

The plant employed more than 4,000 people just a few years ago, but it has been down to 1,400 hourly employees in recent months.


WarnerMedia shifts to more steaming video

Now that AT&T's $81 billion takeover of Time Warner is a done deal , the phone company is reorganizing its TV and movie businesses to emphasize streaming rather than cable TV networks.

AT&T is bringing in a new executive as longtime HBO and Turner chiefs leave. It's also consolidating operations for different brands to help generate more video for a new streaming service launching this year. Layoffs are expected in the business now known as WarnerMedia, although the company tried to assuage fears that there will be substantial job cuts.

With the revamp, AT&T is "trying to move the organization to a new business model," said Michael Smith, a Carnegie Mellon information technology and marketing professor.

AT&T on Monday named former NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt as the chairman of WarnerMedia's entertainment and streaming businesses. AT&T said the reorganization will give it "agility and flexibility" to better coordinate original programming across its brands and distribute them through emerging platforms such as streaming.