Business and labor at a glance

Home Savings names Heirro regional president

YOUNGSTOWN – Home Savings and Loan Co. has named Frank Hierro as its Mahoning Valley Regional President.

Hierro retired last month as president of the Mahoning Valley region of Huntington Bank. He has worked in banking more than three decades, the last 14 years with Huntington, where he oversaw its activity in six counties in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

He is active as a member of the boards of Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp., the Youngstown Business Incubator and the Youngstown State University Foundation. He is also a former chairman of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, and has served as chairman of the annual campaign of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

Hierro holds degrees in finance and economics from Youngstown State University.

Letter: GM wants consumer feedback on Cobalts

General Motors CEO Mary Barra is inviting questions from consumers who lost loved ones or suffered physical injuries because of Chevy Cobalt ignition switch failures.

Consumers are being advised to visit or call 855-382-6463 to learn more about GM’s compensation program. The program is being independently administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg, who is receiving, reviewing and evaluating all claims. They also may visit for up-to-date information.

In a Nov. 17 letter provided to the Tribune Chronicle by a local consumer, Barra remarked, “I want you to know we are working hard to retain your trust. I am confident we have learned from this and have become a better company. We are committed to setting a new industry standard for safety, quality and excellence.”

At least 36 people have died and 44 have been seriously injured in crashes involving General Motors cars with defective ignition switches.

Former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas recently completed an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the GM recall. Barra advised that GM has committed to acting on the recommendations in Valukas’ report. The company has also appointed a vice president of global vehicle safety and added 35 safety investigators, Barra reported. She noted the company has also instituted a “Speak Up for Safety” program encouraging employees to report potential safety issues.

Local financial stocks unchanged

First Niles Financial stocks remained unchanged to close at $9.25 a share in trading Monday. Cortland Bancorp was at $15.70 with no change.

New fundraising director named, kicks off campaign

YOUNGSTOWN – Shepherd of the Valley, which kicked off its Giving Tuesday campaign today, has named a new fundraising director for its Shepherd’s Foundation.

Tony Perrone has been named director of donor engagement of the fundraising support arm for Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Retirement Services.

Perrone previously served as executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Youngstown and special projects coordinator for the Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority. He is president of the Niles School Board of Education and is active on Parish Council at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

In his new post, Perrone will be responsible for directing all ongoing and special project funding programs.

Perrone started with Shepherd just in time to kick off a campaign for Giving Tuesday, a movement celebrated each Dec. 2 that encourages generosity and giving. Perrone, whose grandfather lived at Shepherd’s Niles facility, graduated from Bowling Green University with a bachelor of science in education. He lives in Niles with his wife and two children.

Factory growth slips in Nov. but still healthy

WASHINGTON – U.S. factories were slightly less busy in November, as production and hiring slowed, though the level of activity remained strong.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index slipped to 58.7 last month from 59 in October. Any reading above 50 signals expansion. October’s figure matched a three-year high reached in August.

Manufacturing has been a key driver of growth this year in the U.S., even as it has fallen off overseas. Factories in China, the world’s second-largest economy, are barely growing, according to a survey released Sunday by the bank HSBC Corp.

Staff, wire reports

And a European manufacturing index fell to 50.1 in November, the lowest in 17 months and just barely in expansion territory. Brazil’s manufacturing sector has contracted for the seventh time in eight months.

That has raised concerns among some economists that faltering overseas economies could soon drag on the U.S.

In the U.S., other manufacturing data has pointed to a recent slowdown in output, and many economists said Monday that factories are probably not growing as fast as the ISM’s survey suggests. The index has topped 56 since June, up from an average of just 53.9 last year.

A measure of new U.S. orders rose and order backlogs jumped, both signs that output will likely remain solid in the coming months. A gauge of hiring dipped, but still pointed to steady job gains among manufacturing firms.

Lower oil prices are providing a big boost, the ISM found. Its measure of prices paid for raw materials plummeted to 44.5, the lowest in two years. Cheaper oil benefits plastic manufacturers, who use oil as an ingredient, and steelmakers and other manufacturers who use it for heating and shipping.