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Western New York, January 2003

Business Expansions

New this Month

Casinos (Erie & Niagara Counties) The Seneca Nation opened its casino in Niagara Falls on New Year's Eve. The casino employs 2,000 workers. The casino corporation has plans to spend another $250 million on a 400-room hotel, parking garage, entertainment center and expanded casino in Niagara Falls, In Buffalo, Seneca officials have said a casino could be open later this year.

M&T Bank (Erie County) will add about 275 jobs in its New York-Pennsylvania territory- most of them in Western New York- as it absorbs the operations of Allfirst Financial of Baltimore. Most of the jobs will be filled by the time the bank closes its purchase of Allfirst.

Heritage Centers (Erie County) has expanded a satellite office to facilitate recruitment efforts as the residential care provider continues to grow. The new space will allow the agency to more adequately hire direct care staff for its 24 facilities. Plans also call for adding another 50 employees this year.

Harbor Freight Tools (Erie County), a retailer catering to the do-it-yourself market for home improvement and automotive repairs, is making the Buffalo Niagara region its first location in the state. The store is expected to open by mid-spring.

Praxair (Erie County) will invest another $9.1 million in its Tonawanda campus as part of a multiyear project to add new technology and expand its research and development operation. Praxair is the world's third-largest producer of industrial gases, and the company's R&D function is based in Tonawanda.

Moog Inc. (Erie County) has won a series of contracts worth a total of $35.6 million to make flight control components and do repair work on military aircraft.

UPDATE: Cummins Inc. (Chautauqua County) added about 250 jobs at its engine plant in Jamestown and will add as many as 500 over the next three years. The $9 million project will increase the plant's workforce from 750 to around 1,000.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Telespectrum Worldwide Inc. (Erie County), informed workers on January 7 that it would close its call center on March 8, eliminating 846 jobs. The Pennsylvania-based company is shutting down after losing its sole client for the Buffalo center, ending the company's four-year presence here. Telespectrum provides customer service for telephone companies and credit card issuers.

Woodward-HSC (Erie County) is closing its factory and eliminating 145 jobs in the region. Work at the Amherst plant will wind down over several months, with the doors closing for good by September 30. Production will shift to plants in Illinois, the company's headquarters. The company will be offering jobs to those willing to relocate to the Illinois facility.

Tops Supermarket (Erie County) Up to 130 jobs in sales and marketing at Tops Markets' corporate headquarters will be transferred or eliminated under reorganization. The company has been consolidating back-office operations for some time to reduce costs and during the last few years, payroll at the headquarters went from 860 people to 620 today.

Jamestown Precision Tooling Co. (Chautauqua County) announced that it plans to close its plant and eliminate 101 employees by June 1. The layoffs will take place over the next six months with some employees losing their jobs as early as March 1.

Kmart (Erie County)The Broadway store in Buffalo is expected to close in 60-90 days, eliminating 65 jobs.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Family and Children's Services (Niagara County) workers have served notice they will begin a strike effective February 3. 51 employees work for the organization.

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