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Western New York, May 2003

Business Expansions

New this Month

Hamburg-based Gibraltar Steel Corp. (Erie County), recently announced the acquisition of Air Vent, a Dallas-based company, solidifying its position as one of the leading manufacturers of ventilation products in North America.

Calamar Enterprises (Niagara County) is planning to invest as much as $100 million over the next 10 to 15 years in an expansion of a business park to include senior-citizen housing, more business and office space and medical facilities. The proposal to expand the Woodlands Corporate Center in Wheatfield could create as many as 1,500 jobs by the time the work is done. The plan is awaiting approval by the Wheatfield Planning Board. The existing Woodlands Corporate Center, opened about two years ago, is 85 percent full.

Channel Source Direct (Erie County) a locally owned company specializing in technology sales, will expand into a new headquarters in Williamsville. The expansion could create 50 jobs in the next three years.

A.P. Wagner (Erie County), a 75 year-old appliance parts distributor in Buffalo, will add up to 50 jobs as part of a new service initiative with Home Depot and other clients.

Voss Dental (Erie County) plans to move into a new, larger dental laboratory in Amherst later this year. Its parent company is American Dental Partners. Voss Dental expects to add about 90 dental technician jobs in the next two or three years. American Dental Partners acquired Voss Dental, which employs 66 people, in 2002. It supplies dentists with dental prosthetics.

American Pharmaceutical Partners (Erie County) has bought the former Moore Corporate research and development center on Grand Island and will expand there. The deal revives a site Moore left two years ago in a cost-cutting program.

UPDATE: Joint Schools Construction Board (Erie County) Governor Pataki signed a bill on May 20 authorizing funding for the first phase of Buffalo's $1 billion school construction program. The Governor's stamp of approval means work can begin on the first nine schools targeted for improvements this year. Work is expected to begin in late June or early July.

Tops Markets (Erie County) will open its Jefferson Avenue store in Buffalo on July 9 with 105 employees. Eighty percent of the employees will be part-time workers.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Bethlehem Steel (Erie County) signed over its remaining assets to International Steel Group (ISG) on April 30. International Steel Group will operate the galvanized products plant in Lackawanna and is offering an early retirement incentive for ex-Bethlehem workers. About 50 of the galvanized mill's 350 workers have applied for the severance benefit. ISG also have a tentative agreement with the United Steelworkers of America covering workers at former Bethlehem Steel facilities. The new agreement, if ratified, will be in place until September 2008. The agreement is awaiting ratification vote.

City of Buffalo (Erie County) The State Comptroller will call for creation of a strong financial control board with broad powers over the finances of both the City of Buffalo and the city school system. The State Legislature and Governor Pataki would still need to approve these plans before any control board could be formed. The board's powers could include anything from approval of all contracts and borrowing to signing off on a four-year financial plan for the city's finances.

United Church Home (Erie County) will close its assisted living facility in Buffalo by September 1. The facility employs 75 people.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport (Erie County) Federal reclassification of the Buffalo airport could save most of the 69-security screener jobs targeted for elimination by the end of September. The higher classification would require the airport to have more screeners on duty and safeguard screener jobs. The reclassification is mainly based on annual passenger counts.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Nothing to report.

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