Panera to open cafe in Walpole; Boston Culinary Group expands into Georgia; Ethan Allen trims manufacturing jobs in northern New England; Eastern Bank to open seventh branch on Cape Cod; Commonwealth Solar program briefly exposes customer data.
N.E. unemployment still below national average
BOSTON – New England’s unemployment rate reached 8.3 percent in May, its highest level since February 1977, although the region still remained well below the nation’s 9.4-percent jobless rate.
New England has widely divergent economies, depending on the state. New Hampshire has had the lowest unemployment rate, with 6.5 percent in May. Meanwhile, Rhode Island has consistently had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation; the Ocean State’ s jobless rate rose to 12.1 percent last month. In comparison, Massachusetts’ unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in May, up from 8 percent in April.
Panera to open bakery-cafe in Walpole
WALPOLE – Panera Bread will open its newest bakery-cafe Thursday in Walpole off Route 1 in front of the Walpole Mall. Richmond Heights, Mo.-based Panera said about 40 part- and full-time employees will work at the 5,000-square-foot store. The cafe will feature drive-through service and Wi-Fi service. The cafe joins other area Panera locations such as cafes in Quincy, Boston, Brookline, Dedham, Stoughton, Hanover and Plymouth.
Boston Culinary Group moves into Georgia
CAMBRIDGE – The Boston Culinary Group is expanding into Georgia with a five-year agreement to provide food and beverage services at the 10,000-seat Columbus Civic Center in Columbus, Ga., starting on July 1. The operators of the civic center viewed BCG’s operations at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell as part of their review of the bid. The Cambridge company provides concessions in more than 70 facilities nationwide, including stadiums, ballparks, ski resorts and arenas.
Ethan Allen cuts sawmill jobs in Maine, Vt.
DANBURY, Conn. – Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. of Danbury is shedding a number of jobs in its northern New England sawmill operations, a move that will affect about 60 employees in Andover, Maine, and 260 in Beecher Falls, Vt., as the furniture company consolidates its manufacturing operations. CEO Farooq Kathwari said the company is still dedicated to maintaining its U.S. manufacturing operations, and about two-thirds of its products will continue to be made in the U.S.
Patrick funds jobs for people with disabilities
BOSTON – Gov. Deval Patrick announced that his administration is making $2.5 million available in Medicare and Medicaid funding for five regional collaboratives aimed at supporting the increase of private sector employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Eastern Bank to open seventh Cape Cod branch
BARNSTABLE – Eastern Bank is expanding on Cape Cod, with a new full-service branch that will open on Route 28 in Hyannis later this summer. That office would be the bank’s seventh branch on the Cape and the second in the town of Barnstable. The Boston-based bank currently has 82 retail branches.
State’s Solar rebate program posts personal data
About 810 applicants for the state’s Commonwealth Solar rebate program had personal data posted on a public Web site for nearly an hour, according to the Boston Business Journal. The BBJ, citing a notice from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, reported that the agency that administers the program said a file with names, addresses and Social Security numbers of customers and businesses was posted on its Web site for 50 minutes Thursday before being taken down. The breach affected most of those who applied for the program. The agency said one user accessed the file during the incident.
Worcester builder faces $157K in federal fines
WORCESTER – A Worcester construction firm faces up to $157,000 in fines for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act. Bailin & Associates was cited for work on a 79-acre townhouse development in Worcester. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleges that Bailin failed to apply for a water discharge permit on a timely basis or take adequate steps to contain storm water discharge
The Patriot Ledger