Steeling cars

With the auto industry finding more uses for plastics and aluminum in its products in recent years, the steel industry is touting steel as the material of choice for automobile manufacture.

The industry has unveiled a conceptual design for steel-intensive compact and mid-sized cars that would meet crash safety ratings while delivering between 52 and 73 miles per gallon, according to the Steel Recycling Institute. The design employs modern high-strength steels and is the result of a steel industry study aimed at providing auto manufacturers with a steel-intensive vehicle able to achieve improved fuel economy, meet safety requirements, be affordable and be environmentally responsible.

“By utilizing new technologies and new steels, the steel industry is helping to reduce the weight of future vehicles without compromising safety,” says Bill Heenan, president of the Steel Recycling Institute. “The source reduction will have additional environmental benefits relative to vehicle emissions.”

One of the best?

If you think your company is one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania, you’ve got a chance to test that hypothesis.

The 2002 competition for the 100 Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania is underway for the third year. Nominations will be accepted until April 19.

Sponsored by a consortium of public and private partners, the program recognizes 50 medium-sized businesses (50 to 250 employees) and 50 large companies (251 employees or more). The Great Places to Work Institute chooses the winners.

All participating companies receive survey results pertaining to their work practices, which can be used to improve workplace conditions.

The nomination form is available at

How ProFound formed

AD 1 Partners, an integrated communications firm serving primarily the hospitality industry, and Decision Partners, a firm involved in decision strategy, have formed an alliance designed to enhance the effectiveness of marketing strategies for hospitality, arts and entertainment industry clients.

The alliance, ProFound, will also serve select corporate and business-to-business clients.

While business is beginning to inch forward for their clients in the wake of the events of Sept. 11, AD 1 is finding that clients and potential clients are looking for more out of their marketing efforts, thus the timeliness of aligning with Decision Partners. Says AD 1 President Mariellen Garman, “Clients and prospects are more likely to want strategic and planning type services rather than ads and marketing communications items. They want advice on how to exit hard times.”

NuRelm nabs funding

NuRelm E-Business Software, developer of Web-enabling software, has received $100,000 in funding from Innovation Works and was selected as a Phase I winner of the Enterprize Business Plan Competition. The funding will be used to accelerate the development and marketing of NuRelm’s software.

NuRelm’s flagship product, NuContent 2.0, is a content management system that allows Web site owners to update their sites without knowing HTML or other programming language. NuRelm also offers an internal Web site search engine option, NuSearch.

Enterprize is a business plan competition managed by the Pittsburgh Technology Council.