Shaw joins the effort to plant a billion trees
As the world's biggest carpet maker, Shaw Industries Group Inc. has laid a softer surface to floors around the globe. In recognition of this week's Earth Day celebrations, the Dalton-based manufacturer is joining with other companies in Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway family of businesses by also laying down a green foundation for the future by helping an initiative to plant 1 billion trees.
For its part, Shaw has pledged a donation for the planting of 1,250 trees around the world, including in the United States, Mexico and Columbia. Shaw also is encouraging customers and other partners to join the tree-planting campaign with donations. A $10 donation will plant five trees, according to the Nature Conservancy's ongoing Plant a Billion Trees campaign.
The tree planting is a major forest restoration effort to plant more trees to limit carbon pollution in the atmosphere.
"The Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees campaign aligns with our sustain[HUMAN]ability® philosophy and understanding of the systemic connections between people and the planet," said Kellie Ballew, Shaw's vice president of global sustainability. "We're proud to support the campaign as part of our mission to create a better future, both in our communities and across the globe."
Beauty supply packer adds 261 Tennessee jobs
Memphis Contract Packaging announced Monday it will invest $48 million to add a new product line and create 261 jobs at its facility in Somerville.
The beauty product contract manufacturer said it will expand its operations by constructing a new space and adding new equipment. The new distribution and warehouse facility will support contract manufacturing for consumer products customers from leading global brands.
Memphis Contract Packaging is a contract manufacturer of liquid beauty products such as shampoo, lotions and hand soaps. As a result of increased demand for sanitizing products due to the COVID-19 pandemic, foaming hand soap and hand sanitizer will also be produced at the Somerville facility.
Memphis Contract Packaging is experiencing immense growth and we welcome those that are interested in becoming a member of our team," said Troy Propes, the company's CEO.
Coal miners union head urges help in transition
The nation's largest coal miners' union said Monday it would accept President Joe Biden's plan to move away from coal and other fossil fuels in exchange for a "true energy transition" that includes thousands of jobs in renewable energy and spending on technology to make coal cleaner.
Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers Union, said ensuring jobs for displaced miners — including 7,000 coal workers who lost their jobs last year — is crucial to any infrastructure bill taken up by Congress.
"I think we need to provide a future for those people, a future for anybody that loses their job because of a transition in this country, regardless if it's coal, oil, gas or any other industry for that matter," Roberts said in an online speech to the National Press Club.
"We talk about a 'just transition' all the time," Roberts added. "I wish people would quit using that. There's never been a just transition in the history of the United States."
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., appearing with Roberts at the Press Club event, said measures to help coal miners in West Virginia and other rural states must be part of the $2.3 trillion infrastructure package taking shape in Congress.
"Basically what is needed is the human infrastructure," Manchin said. "You can't leave anybody behind."
Stimulus checks vital but limited for many
Even as the U.S. economy shifts its rebound from the coronavirus pandemic into high gear, Americans are still needing all the help they can get with bills and everyday essentials, according to Bankrate's latest nationwide poll.
Two-thirds of Americans receiving a third coronavirus stimulus check worth $1,400 per every adult and dependent in their household say the payment is important to their near-term financial situation. That total includes 40 percent who say the relief check will be very important and another 27 percent who say the payment is somewhat important.
At the same time, 61 percent of those polled say the stimulus money won't sustain their financial well-being for more than three months, as most plan to allocate proceeds toward covering monthly bills (45 percent), daily necessities such as food and supplies (36 percent) and outstanding debt (32 percent).
"Stimulus continues to be a bit of a misnomer, with households predominantly using the money to pay monthly bills and provide day-to-day essentials," says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst. "Even households with those bases covered are opting to pay down debt and boost savings — prudent decisions that lead to more sustained spending in the future."
— Compiled by Dave Flessner
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