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briefs

CPI to add 14 jobs to city plant

CPI Card Group plans to invest $3.3 million and create 14 new jobs over the next three years as it expands local operations, officials announced Monday. The company from Littleton, Colo., makes credit, debit and secure entry cards for various industries, including banking, government, retail and gaming.

Plans call for adding about 4,400 square feet to the local facility at 613 High St., just north of downtown. The expansion is expected to cost $1.5 million. The company is also buying four pieces of equipment at $1.8 million total.

The upgrade will allow the company to locally produce more smart cards with embedded sensors as the industry evolves beyond magnetic-stripe cards. CPI makes more than 1.3 billion plastic cards each year at its facilities in Fort Wayne, Denver, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Toronto and three plants in England.

The new jobs will be in production with salaries ranging from $23,000 to $45,000 a year, according to an official with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Applicants can email a resume to careers@CPIcardgroup.com.

The Fort Wayne City Council this month will consider the company’s request for tax abatements on the project.

China manufacturing falls to 8-month low

China’s manufacturing fell to an eight-month low in March in another sign of slowing growth in the world’s No. 2 economy.

Released Monday, the preliminary version of HSBC’s purchasing managers’ index fell to 48.1 from February’s 48.5. The closely watched index of activity in China’s immense manufacturing industry uses a 100-point scale on which readings above 50 indicate expansion.

Factory output shrank at the fastest pace in 18 months while new orders and work backlogs increased at faster rates.

The latest report “suggests China’s growth momentum continued to slow down,” said HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin. “Weakness is broadly-based with domestic demand softening further.”

Cisco to invest in cloud computing

Cisco says it plans to spend more than $1 billion over the next two years to build up its cloud computing network.

Cisco plans to use the money to expand its data centers for the new service to be called Cisco Cloud Services.

The move makes the networking company from San Jose, Calif., the latest to enter an arena that caters to the growing number of companies that would rather rent computing space than build their own.

Income gap movie to have free viewing

A documentary film starring Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of labor, will be shown free at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cinema Center, 437 E. Berry St.

Released last year, “Inequality for All” looks at America’s widening income gap as a growing amount of wealth is being amassed by a dwindling number of people. Reich uses humor and facts to explain how income inequality affects everyone.

Film critic Leonard Maltin wrote that the film uses visual metaphors and interviews as it “offers historical facts and contemporary evidence to back its premise that a disappearing middle class is bad for all of us.”

After the movie, local attorney Alan VerPlanck will lead a discussion on ways to address the situation locally.

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