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Seven years after McKee Foods Corp; bought the Drake's line of snacks from the bankrupt Hostess Bakery, the Collegedale-based bakery said Wednesday Drake's is introducing a new product that combines chocolate cookie crumbles with fudge brownies.

The new snack, known as Cookies & Creme Brownies, are being sold in in supermarkets, supercenters, value retailers and convenience stores throughout the Eastern United States where Drake's products were traditionally sold since the company began in New York City in 1896.

"Drake's Cookies & Creme Brownies bring together two classic American treats: brownies and cookies," said Chip Stenberg, Drake's associate brand manager. "Drake's fans will enjoy plenty of real chocolate cookie crumbles on each delicious fudge brownie."

Last month, McKee announced it was bringing back one of Drake's original and most popular snacks — the Drake's Mini Pound Cakes.

 

Unum, Cigna among top 50 health employers

The National Business Group on Health presented 50 employers, including the Chattanooga-based Unum Group, with its Best Employers for Excellence in Health & Well-Being awards at its Workforce Strategy conference in San Diego.

Now in its 15th year, the awards recognize top employers for a wide range of well-being contributors including financial security, mental and physical health, social connectedness and community involvement.

"Companies worldwide are embracing a holistic, employee-centric approach to well-being to deploy the most engaged, productive and competitive workforce possible," said Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health

The 19 winners of the top platinum award included CVS Health, UnitedHealthGroup and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. The 22 gold winners included Unum, Cigna, Delta Air Lines, AT&T, Georgia Power Co., and the Target Corp.

 

U.S. Xpress finalist for top drivers award

U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc., the nation's fifth largest truckload carrier, has been named a finalist in the 2019 Stevie Awards for Great Employers for its new professional driver development program. The Chattanooga-based trucking company was the only finalist from the trucking industry to be nominated in the "Workforce Development and Learning" category.

The Stevie Awards for Great Employers recognizes the world's best employers and the human resources professionals, teams, achievements, HR-related products and suppliers.

Over the last year, the professional driver development program at U.S. Xpress has changed from a traditional classroom-style, short-term program to an advanced multi-platform ongoing career development curriculum.

"It is an honor to be recognized for our ongoing commitment to our employees' career-long learning," said Amanda Thompson, chief people officer at U.S. Xpress.

 

Oil prices drop for second day

Oil prices retreated for a second day Wednesday even as the Saudi military blamed Iran for recent attacks to critical oil infrastructure and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the strike an "act of war."

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 2% to close at $58.11 per barrel. It fell nearly 5.7% Tuesday.

It was another day of volatile, unpredictable trading — a taste of the new normal — after Saudi officials said oil production halted by weekend attacks would be fully restored within weeks.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 1.5% to $63.60 per barrel.

A day of heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf normally would send oil prices higher, but fears of an economic slowdown and the decision by the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates sent stocks lower across the board.

The weekend attack on Saudi Aramco's processing facility in Abqaiq pushed crude prices up more than 14% Monday, a spike equivalent to the Iraq invasion of Kuwait before the 1991 Gulf War. The attack led to a 5% drop in global output, but Saudi Arabia said it would be restored by the end of the month

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