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Confidence up

BOSTON - Massachusetts business confidence jumped in March, but employers also said they are having difficulty finding skilled workers to fill jobs.

The Associated Industries of Massachusetts Business Confidence Index rose 2.8 points last month to 54, AIM reported yesterday. The trade group's index uses a 100-point scale, with any reading above 50 designating a positive outlook.

AIM said 52 percent of members surveyed for the index reported they were experiencing difficulty filling jobs. The biggest problem cited was a lack of people with the required skills in applicant pools.

The state posted an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in February.

-Lisa Eckelbecker

Rocket domes

WESTMINSTER - TechPrecision Corp., a manufacturer of large-scale fabricated and machined metal components, announced that it has received multiple orders totaling approximately $650,000 to manufacture precision rocket domes for an aerospace customer, and a critical assembly for a key defense account.

The orders are expected to ship by the end of third quarter of calendar 2011.

TechPrecision has customers in the alternative energy, cleantech, medical, nuclear, defense, aerospace and other commercial industries.

- Martin Luttrell

McCaffrey move

CLINTON - Maegen N. McCaffrey, executive director of the Wachusett Chamber of Commerce, is leaving for a position as chief communications officer for a nonprofit agency in Gardner.

Ms. McCaffrey, who has been head of the Wachusett chamber for seven years, said she was offered a job at Gardner-based RCAP Solutions through a longtime friend and colleague.

RCAP Solutions, a member of the Wachusett chamber, is a development corporation - part of a nationwide network - that helps communities apply for public and private grants.

- Karen Nugent

Home sales

WALTHAM - The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported that the number of single-family homes put under agreement in March was up 40 percent from February, but down from the same month a year ago.

On an annual basis, both single-family and condominium pending sales were down from the same time last year due in part because March 2010 was the second-to-last month for people to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit.

The number of single-family homes put under agreement in March was 4,023, down 16.33 percent compared to 4,808 in March 2010. On a month-to-month basis, single-family homes put under agreement were up 40 percent from 2,874 homes in February.

The number of condos put under agreement in March was 1,649, down 22 percent from 2,122 units in March 2010, MAR reported. This is the

11th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases in the condo market. On a month-to-month basis, condos put under agreement were up 45.4 percent from 1,134 units in February.

- Martin Luttrell

AMSC issues 4th quarter update

DEVENS - Power technologies company American Superconductor Corp. issued an update amending its anticipated financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010, after a Chinese wind turbine customer refused to accept shipments of electrical components.

AMSC expects to report final fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2010 results in May.

On March 31, Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd. refused to accept contracted shipments of 1.5-megawatt and 3-megawatt wind turbine core electrical components and spare parts that AMSC was prepared to deliver. AMSC believes that Sinovel intends to reduce its level of inventory.

These delayed shipments are the primary cause for lower-than-anticipated financial results for AMSC's fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2010. AMSC currently expects total revenues for its fourth fiscal quarter will be less than $42 million and that it will generate a net loss for the fourth quarter on both a GAAP and non-GAAP basis.

- Martin Luttrell

Caliper makes Denver connection

HOPKINTON - Caliper Life Sciences Inc. will work with Catholic Health Initiatives of Denver on methods for evaluating and predicting the effectiveness of new cancer drugs.

The Colorado health system's Center for Translation Research will provide tumor samples to Caliper Discovery Alliances and Services, a Caliper unit, for studies.

Caliper sells sophisticated equipment and technologies used by life science researchers.

-Lisa Eckelbecker

BNY Mellon jobs go to Westboro

WESTBORO - Bank of New York Mellon Corp. will shut its office in Pawtucket, R.I., and relocate more than 200 employees to its Westboro center.

About 100 BNY Mellon employees in Pawtucket who have chosen not to relocate will be laid off with severance.

"BNY Mellon's office lease in Pawtucket is expiring, and with adequate space available in the company's Westboro, Mass., location, relocating operations there was a logical and fiscally sound decision," the company reported in a statement.

About 900 people already work for BNY Mellon's investment services business in Westboro.

The operation was previously owned by PNC Financial Services Group Inc. of Pittsburgh.

BNY Mellon acquired PNC's global investment servicing business last year.

The announcement comes just weeks after Fidelity Investments made a similar decision to close its Marlboro office and move most of the 1,100 jobs to Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

-Lisa Eckelbecker


CUTLINE: Ms. McCaffrey
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Title Annotation:MONEY
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Geographic Code:1U1MA
Date:Apr 6, 2011
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