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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 31, 2006

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Jobs program for ex-military

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday signed a proclamation aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial kicking off the Helmets to Hardhats program in Hawai'i, which connects National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty military members to training and job opportunities in the construction industry.

Hawai'i now becomes the 20th state with a Helmets to Hardhats program in which veterans receive credit for their military training and experience when they apply for construction and trade apprenticeships and other positions. For job listings and other information, visit www.helmetstohardhats.org or call (866) 741-6210.


TOYOTA RECALLING PRIUS HYBRIDS

LOS ANGELES Toyota Motor Corp. said yesterday it plans to begin a global voluntary recall of nearly 320,000 of its hot-selling Prius gasoline-electric hybrid sedans to repair a potentially faulty steering system component.

That will involve about 170,000 vehicles sold in the U.S., said spokesman Sam Butto of the automaker's Torrance, Calif.-based U.S. sales unit.


CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DIPS

NEW YORK Consumer confidence soured in May, as Americans fretted about the overall economy's future and the job outlook. The drop in a widely watched barometer of sentiment was the steepest since hurricanes pummeled the Gulf Coast last year, increasing worries about the health of consumer spending.

The New York-based Conference Board said yesterday its consumer confidence index fell almost seven points to 103.2, down from the revised 109.8 in April. The fact that confidence has remained relatively high (it was as low as 61.4 in March 2003) despite a slowing housing market and elevated gas prices bodes well for the economy, says Sean Snaith, director of the Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific.

"To see consumers still with this high level of confidence is a good sign that the expansion is going to continue," he says.