Originally created 05/05/02

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EMPLOYER SPOTLIGHT

Keebler Co.'s Murray bakery

LOCATION: 1550 Marvin Griffin Road

OWNER: Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich.

PRODUCT: Murray, Murray Sugar-Free, Famous Amos and Keebler brand cookies; Krispy saltine crackers

EMPLOYEES: 582

SIZE: 462,000 square feet on 32 acres

PRODUCTION: The bakery's eight production lines, which feature continuous-band ovens longer than a football field, roll out 100 million pounds of product annually.

HISTORY: Augustan John L. Murray Sr., a salesman for Best Foods, started Murray Biscuit Co. in 1941 using a hand-crank cookie maker he was given as payment on a debt. The operation came under ownership of several different companies, beginning with Beatrice Foods Inc. in 1965. In 1998, the bakery was bought by Keebler Co., which was acquired by Kellogg Co. in 2001.

RECENT NEWS: The bakery is undergoing an expansion that will add 26,000 square feet by the end of the year.

BIZ BITES

Monsanto's revenue could be on rise

ST. LOUIS - Five regulatory decisions in the next year could add $1 billion to Monsanto Co.'s revenue, Chief Executive Hendrik Verfaillie told shareholders at this week's annual meeting.

The company, which manufactures the bovine growth hormone Posilac in Augusta, is awaiting decisions from Brazil on planting Roundup Ready soybeans; the United States on planting new varieties of corn and cotton; and the European Union on imports of Roundup Ready soybeans.

One decision already has gone in Monsanto's favor: India approved the company's BollGard cotton for planting this spring.

More women are in construction

From 1995 to 2000, the number of women in construction nationally rose 20 percent from 762,000 to 913,000, according to the National Association of Women in Construction in Fort Worth, Texas. Women made up about 10 percent of the construction work force in 2000.

But the construction field may need women more than ever before in the coming years. By 2008, the number of new workers required in construction is estimated to be 60,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Teen power hits the marketplace

The Employment Policy Foundation in Washington says nearly 60 percent of employable teen-agers - around 8 million - will join the labor force this summer. The other 40 percent will spend the summer traveling, going to summer school or doing volunteer work.

The biggest draw is the retail sector, including restaurants, where the seasonal demand for clerks, cashiers and servers typically peaks between June and September of every year.

People want stuff in stuffers

Most consumers don't mind getting special offers stuffed into their bills and credit card statements, but only if they're tailored to their buying preferences.

Mobius Management Systems, a Rye, N.Y.-based developer of customer service initiatives, polled 300 people online and found that 58 percent like the stuffers.

But it also found that 85 percent said they didn't want unsolicited offers via e-mail, even if those were personalized to their tastes and interests.

WEB HELP

Sites offer financial help

Next to federal or state financial aid, scholarships offer a helpful way to defray or cover the cost of a college education.

Here are a number of Web sites you can use as tools:

  • An online questionnaire that matches information-specific scholarship opportunities can be found at www.collegeboard.com.
  • Browse scholarships by academic field at www.collegelink.com/clnk/scholarship.
  • See details on more than 60,000 scholarships at www.fastweb.com.
  • At www.scholarships.com, you can find a scholarship search and insights on a variety of scholarship-related topics.
  • Useful questions and answers on how to research and find scholarships can be found at www.srnexpress.com/schfaq.htm.
  • BUSINESS 101

    Logos, slogans crucial to success

    Product names and logos are so important that many companies spend millions of dollars developing them each year. Small businesses should at least spend some time thinking about how to distinguish their products or services from the competition.

    One strategy is to use a symbol to create an instant visual representation of your product, says New Mexico-based small business consultant Paul Tulenko. Think of McDonald's Golden Arches.

    Slogans add value to a product and give the buyer a feeling of confidence. Think of Toyota's "Oh, What a Feeling" and Wendy's "Where's The Beef?"