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Firms tout plan to lift vets’ hiring

Some of the nation’s leading manufacturing companies announced a program Monday to help military veterans gain the skills necessary to fill some of the estimated 600,000 high-tech, manufacturing jobs that remain open because employers can’t find qualified applicants.

The manufacturers say the program will be initially offered in 10 cities. The companies will work with local community and technology colleges to offer training and to put veterans on a fast track to obtaining certification in such areas as electronics, welding and machining.

The effort to hire more veterans will also involve working with employers. General Electric and Military Families at Syracuse University are developing a reference guide that employers can use to help them more effectively recruit and mentor veterans. The guide will be made available to those companies participating in efforts by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the White House to help 100,000 veterans and their spouses obtain work by 2014.

The unemployment rate for veterans is generally lower than the overall unemployment rate of 7.8 percent, but veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had a more difficult time.

Kosciusko Hall of Fame announces inductees

The Kosciusko County Entrepreneur Innovation Hall of Fame has announced its 2012 inductees, who were selected for their “critical and unique talents,” which have contributed to building strong companies and a strong county economy, the group said.

The second annual event honors business leaders in the orthopedics, agriculture, recreational boating, manufacturing and retail sectors.

This year’s inductees are: Jan and John Rinker, Rinker Boats; Tobias Buck, Paragon Medical; Adele De Berri, Da-Lite Screens; Miles Igo, Warsaw Orthopedic (Medtronic Inc.); Wallace Stouder, Penguin Point; and Kip Tom, Tom Farms.

The awards banquet is 6 p.m. Nov. 8 at the 2517 Restaurant in the Ramada Plaza. Tickets are $75. For more information, call the Kosciusko Economic Development Corp. at 574-265-2601.

Morgan Stanley sued over subprime loans

The American Civil Liberties Union accused Morgan Stanley of violating civil rights laws by encouraging a lender to push more expensive and risky mortgages in black neighborhoods of Detroit.

The ACLU and others filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of five homeowners who took out loans from New Century Mortgage Corp., a subprime lender that has since collapsed. Morgan Stanley said the allegations were “completely without merit.”

The lawsuit claims Morgan Stanley pushed New Century to make the risky loans because Morgan made its profit at the start of the process and sold the loans before they could go bad.

Fort Wayne ranks 69th on Realtor search site

Fort Wayne was the 69th most-searched market in the nation last month among 146 metro areas, based on data released Monday.

The website, run by the National Association of Realtors, also said Fort Wayne’s median list price for homes in September decreased 6.3 percent to $104,900, compared with the same period a year ago. The national median list price in September was $191,500, a 0.78 percent increase over a year ago.