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Local firm gets top fuel contract

Petroleum Traders Corp. has been awarded a three-year fuel contract for a maximum of $66.9 million, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. The contract, which expires April 30, 2017, includes a price adjustment option.

The Defense Logistics Agency Energy in Fort Belvoir, Va., issued the order for fuel that will be used by the Army, Navy, Air Force and federal civilian agencies.

The Fort Wayne company supplies wholesale, bulk and off-road gasoline, diesel and biodiesel fuels to various customers.

Assistance OKd for ex-Federal-Mogul staff

The Labor Department has certified former employees of Federal-Mogul Powertrain-Lighting Division in Avilla for benefits under the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program, officials announced Tuesday.

The ruling, issued March 18, also applies to on-site leased workers employed through Staff Management, Aerotek and Kelly Services.

Benefits are being offered to workers for job losses occurring Feb. 13, 2013, through two years after the certification date.

The company makes lighting sockets for vehicle taillights at 100 Progress Way West, Avilla.

Company officials in February said the decision to close the plant and eliminate 95 jobs was a response to changing market dynamics.

TAA benefits help workers displaced because of foreign imports or shifts in production out of the country.

Services include training, job search assistance and relocation allowances.

For more information, visit a WorkOne center or go to

Manufacturing grew more quickly in March

U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather.

Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead.

The Institute for Supply Management, a group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday that its manufacturing index increased to 53.7 from 53.2 in February. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The increase suggests that manufacturing is growing at a steady but modest pace after cold winter weather caused a sharp slowdown in the first two months of the year.

Even so, factories are hiring at the slowest pace in nine months, the survey found.

The government will release its official jobs report for March on Friday.

Construction spending up scant 0.1 percent

U.S. construction spending posted a slight increase in February as a rebound in construction of hotels and other nonresidential buildings offset a decline in housing.

But housing construction fell as activity was still being depressed by the harsh winter.

Construction spending increased a scant 0.1 percent in February after a 0.2 percent drop in January, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

The increase left construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $945.7 billion, 8.7 percent above the level of a year ago.

The small increase in February came from a 1.2 percent advance in nonresidential projects, led by a 3.5 percent rise in construction of hotels and motels.