West Valley Demonstration Project (Cattaraugus County), which employs 535 people, may see the elimination of between 150 and 200 jobs at Western New York's largest federal facility. The proposed cut echoes a budget battle in fiscal 2002 forcing the elimination of about 200 jobs.
Joint Schools Construction Board (Erie County) approved the start of design work for thirteen Buffalo schools under the second phase of the 10-year construction project. The second phase is expected to begin by November, shortly after the first phase is completed. Construction would be completed by September 2006.
Quiznos Subs (Erie County), a national sandwich chain, recently opened two stores in the Buffalo Niagara area. The chain plans to open approximately 10 to 15 restaurants in Western New York this year.
UPDATE: Geico Corp. (Erie County) More than 300 eager job-seekers came to the Town of Tonawanda community center as the company's first round of hiring gets under way. The first phase involves filling 450 to 500 jobs, with the first 75 employees hired and slated to start training March 8.
Kaleida Health (Erie County) is adding 150 positions. It is the largest nonpublic employer in the region with 9,724 workers.
Greater Buffalo Savings Bank (Erie County) is planning to open three new offices in the coming months. The bank has six offices with a seventh under construction in Tonawanda that will open in April. By years end the bank will have 110 employees at the 10 branches.
Economic Development Group (Erie County), an arm of the Buffalo AFL-CIO, is negotiating to take over Buffalo's minority work force training center now being run by the Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council. Without the takeover, there are doubts as to who would train the hundreds of minority workers needed to meet hiring goals on upcoming projects like the 10-year school construction program. Under EDG the center would continue to play a major role in the building trades' landmark labor agreement with the Joint Schools Construction Board, the City Hall board overseeing the schools project.
Uniland Development (Erie County) wants to demolish the former Adam, Meldrum & Anderson Co. in Buffalo and replace it with an eight-story office tower. Uniland is promising to immediately deliver 400 new downtown workers to the now-dormant address, with expectations the office tower will quickly attract business tenants with as many as 800 more staffers. Uniland is seeking $11 million in state economic development funding to make the numbers work on the nearly $40 million project.
Buffalo Schools (Erie County) The Buffalo Board of Education will close five schools after classes end in June as it pursues its pledge to the state control board to shut down 10 schools in the next three years.
Rich Products Corp. (Erie County) announced changes that will move production of frozen nondairy products to out-of-state plants in 2005. The changes could eliminate up to 170 of the plant's 210 jobs as the move takes effect next year. The company also announced 34 job cuts of headquarters workers. That followed a voluntary reduction of 30 other nonmanufacturing workers under a retirement incentive in January. The company has about 1,300 workers locally.
Erie County administrators say they will no longer have to lay off more than 100 county Social Services employees. In December, the county proposed eliminating 147 positions, 101 in the Department of Social Services. On February 12, administrators said they managed to keep 60 to 70 positions vacant through attrition, making it unnecessary to pursue aggressive layoffs.
UPDATE: Buffalo China (Erie County) reopened March 15 as Niagara Ceramics Corp. The company stands to receive $2.1 million in taxpayer-backed grants and loans for preserving the plant, which was targeted for closing by Oneida Ltd. The supplier will have 210 employees.
Federal Reserve Bank (Erie County) Consolidation of U.S. savings bond processing duties is behind the decision to sell the federal building that is the home of the Buffalo branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. The consolidation is expected to trim the local Federal Reserve work force by at least 60, from the current 125.
Durez Corp. (Niagara County), a plastics plant in Niagara Falls, has resumed full production after ending a two-month lockout of union workers in January. About 60 members of the Paper, Allied-industrial, Chemical and Energy (PACE) workers union returned January 12, accepting a cut in pay. Members of PACE Local 1-209 were locked out starting November 12 after the union refused to vote on a company's contract proposal. PACE filed federal labor board charges December 31. Durez employs about 90 people making phenolic resins, a type of plastic used in food can linings and other materials.
UPDATE: Over 1,500 American Axle and Manufacturing (Erie County) workers ratified a new tentative four-year contract on March 7. Structured in the deal is a guarantee that none of the six American Axle plants will be closed. An agreement was reached on February 27, which ended a one-day strike.
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