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A new report from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education says a rising number of people are getting educational certificates from two-year Indiana colleges, which may help fill the state’s open manufacturing jobs.

The CHE report focuses on credit-bearing certificates – the kind college students can earn in less than one or two years, from programs that “commonly have a career or occupational focus.”

In Indiana, CHE found a 32 percent increase in production of these certificates since 2012, mostly from two-year public schools like Ivy Tech Community College.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

Within a month of each other, two downtown Lafayette farm-to-table restaurants have announced they’re closing for good.

But experts and chefs alike warn against making too much of the coincidence.

Restauration, a downtown Lafayette restaurant that opened in 2015, was a dream years in the making for owner and chef Kirsten Serrano.  She and her husband, Paco, already had a steady business running La Scala on the courthouse square, but Kirsten wanted to try something new: A farm-to-tale concept that used only local, whole foods and could cater to people with food allergies.

Matt Chaney / https://www.flickr.com/photos/vcucns/

Just days after a federal judge shut down a $54 billion merger between health insurers Anthem and Cigna on anti-competitive grounds, a Valentine’s Day move by Connecticut’s Cigna seeks to dump the Indianapolis-based company once and for all.

 

Cigna officials announced Tuesday they had sued Anthem in a Delaware court seeking a judge’s affirmation that the company had lawfully ducked out of the merger agreement, and that Anthem couldn’t extend the merger’s expiration date.

 

A new report says some Indiana cities could be among the most impacted in the country by a potential trade war.

The Brookings Institution says Columbus is just more than 50 percent dependent on exports – more than any other metro area in the country. Elkhart, Kokomo and Lafayette are also in the top 10.

 

Generations of farmers, agronomists, lawmakers and other alumni of Purdue’s College of Agriculture met for their annual Fish Fry, amid a lot of political and economic uncertainty for the farm industry.

That fact wasn’t lost on the hundreds of Purdue agriculture alumni who flocked to the Indiana State Fairgrounds Saturday.

Most of them rely on farm exports to Mexico, China and other countries where President Donald Trump has pledged to reform trade deals. And Indiana Agriculture Secretary Ted McKinney says it’s on people’s minds.

Simon Law / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sfllaw/

A Tippecanoe County law would drastically restrict the number of days county residents could rent their homes out to visitors on websites such as Airbnb. But the law could be hamstrung by a bill making its way through the state legislature.

 

Indiana’s unemployment rate is at its lowest in more than 15 years.

The Indiana unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percent in December, falling to 4 percent. That’s the third consecutive month the rate went down. It’s the largest three-month decline in nearly two years. And 4 percent is Indiana’s lowest rate since May 2001.

Yet the state’s private sector lost 6,000 jobs last month. Almost all of that – 5,900 jobs – came from the private education services sector. Only the manufacturing and construction industries added jobs in December.

 

A Senate committee approved a bill that would require online retailers to collect sales tax for Indiana even if they have no physical connection to the state.

Online retailers are only required to collect sales tax for a state if they have a physical connection to that state. Otherwise, customers must pay the sales tax on their own –which rarely happens in part because many people don’t know that.

Indiana’s $11 billion farming sector is hoping to benefit under President Donald Trump.

The new commander-in-chief has threatened some trade deals that agriculture relies on. But many in the industry hope his nominee to lead the Department of Agriculture will have a different take.

Sonny Perdue is a former Georgia governor and commercial farming veteran. His home state is known for cotton, peanuts and livestock, not corn and soybeans.

But Jane Ade Stevens, Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Soybean Alliance CEO, says Perdue still has a background in cash crops.

 

Gov. Eric Holcomb told Indiana factory owners Wednesday that he and the state legislature will do more this year to help find and train new workers.

At the Indiana Manufacturers Association’s annual legislative briefing, Holcomb said he knows factories are struggling to find enough qualified employees.

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