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Western New York, July 2004

Business Expansions

New this Month

Capital Management Services (Erie County), a rapidly growing collections firm, announced plans to add 300 jobs, many at its new facility in Buffalo. Capital Management also has office's in the Larkin at Exchange building where they will also be adding jobs.

UPDATE: First Niagara Financial Group (Erie County), has been pursuing a path of statewide expansion and business lending as it shifts from a traditional bank to more of a commercial bank. It is building new branches in Erie and Monroe counties, and expects to open five or six branches each year to gain scale in Buffalo and Rochester.

Tata Consultancy Services (Erie County), a Bombay-based company, held an opening ceremony for its first training center in the U.S. on June 19 in Buffalo. The training center will serve as a transition from college to the world of work. The software development office is on track to employ 50 people this year and 100 by the end of 2005. Embroiled in a controversy over offshoring of white collar jobs, TCS is pointing to its positive contributions to the U.S. economy. The $1 billion software company has being criticized for sending work to India to be performed by lower-paid programmers.

UPDATE: AmeriCorps (Erie County) on the verge of shutting down a year ago has received a $411,063 in grants. It will enable AmeriCorps to create more than 50 full-and part-time jobs.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Kanthal Globar Corporation (Niagara County) will close its Niagara Falls manufacturing plant. The plant, which makes electric heating elements and electronic components, will be phased out over the next several months. Most of the 65 jobs will be eliminated, although Kanthal will keep a sales office with a few jobs.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Niagara Mohawk (Erie County) workers are bracing for a battle as the present contract is set to expire on September 30. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 97 represents 4,100 Niagara Mohawk workers statewide. The electrical workers union represents mechanics, linemen and clerical workers. The utility, which supplies electricity to thousands of homes and businesses in Western New York, is making contingency plans to keep the lights on in the event of a strike. Talks with National Grid, Niagara Mohawk's new owners, are expected to begin in August.

UPDATE: City of Buffalo (Erie County) Mayor Anthony Masiello is defying the city firefighters' decision to reject a single health insurer, saying all 789 members will be put under the plan today. Rejection of the plan by union members by a 3-1 vote, Mayor Masiello accused the fire union June 30 of trying to undermine the city's struggle to regain fiscal stability. The city's decision to ignore Tuesday's vote will force the union to go to court and file a grievance with a state board.

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