Business briefs: Florida gets nearly $7 million to help laid-off workers

Florida to get nearly $7M to help laid-off workers

Florida will receive nearly $7 million in federal funding to help retrain workers who have been laid off from their jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The money will be used to provide job training, transitional jobs, apprenticeships, job search assistance and career planning to laid-off workers and the long-term unemployed.

"We must constantly innovate and expand best practices to make sure our nation's workforce can compete in the global economy," said labor secretary Thomas Perez in a statement. "Today's awards will help better align workforce skills with the needs of regional industries."

The feds awarded a total of $138 million in grants to Florida and 26 other states, as well as the Cherokee tribal nation.

Miami Worldcenter plans to add mixed-use tower

MIAMI -- The team behind Miami Worldcenter announced Thursday Newgard Development Group plans to build a mixed-use tower on the 27-acre site downtown.

Plans for the new tower aren't clear yet, although it will likely include apartments. Newgard, run by developer Harvey Hernandez, is also building several luxury condo projects in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

In addition to the new mixed-use property, the Worldcenter site plan calls for a 60-story luxury condo tower, a 765,000-square-foot shopping center and a 429-unit apartment rental building.

A recent report by Goldman Sachs questioned whether the project's retail component will go forward. But developers Taubman Centers and the Forbes Company have insisted they plan to build the mall.

"The teams at Forbes and Taubman are seeing strong interest among brands looking to establish a presence in downtown Miami and that excitement will only intensify as construction goes vertical in the coming months," Nate Forbes, managing partner of the Forbes Company, said in a statement.

Analysts cite reasons for Colt's slide to bankruptcy

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Analysts are citing several reasons behind Colt Defense's bankruptcy filing, including struggles to recover from the loss of military business, failure to capitalize on consumer interest in guns and problems in other markets.

The 179-year-old gun maker filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday, estimating it owes up to $500 million.

Richard Feldman of the Independent Firearm Owners Association says Colt forfeited gun sales to police forces at least 20 years ago, believing profit margins were too small.

Moody's Investor Service analyst Gigi Adamo says Colt's business with the U.S. government accounts for 10 percent of sales, down from 60 percent in 2009. Gun sales to individuals also dropped.

Colt says it will restructure while meeting obligations to customers, vendors, suppliers and workers.

-- Herald wire reports