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Western New York, May 2004

Business Expansions

New this Month

UPDATE: Casino (Erie County) A hearing is schedule for June 4 on efforts to block the Seneca Nation of Indians from proceeding with plans to put its third casino in Cheektowaga. The mayor of Buffalo is seeking a temporary restraining order to halt any transfer of land near Buffalo Niagara International Airport from private owners to the Senecas. A local organization representing about 5,000 residents, has also filed a lawsuit to stop the proposed casino in Cheektowaga. The Senecas are eyeing a possible August groundbreaking, with a grand opening of the Cheektowaga casino next April.

UPDATE: Seneca Niagara Casino (Niagara County) The Seneca Nation's casino corporation started work May 18 on a 26-story hotel bringing the Seneca Nation closer to its goal of a complete casino resort. The hotel is scheduled to have its first phase completed by August 2005 and be completed by January 2006. The Casino also added 150 jobs with the opening of a poker room and steakhouse.

Tyco International Ltd. is selling Graphic Controls (Erie County) to local interests that will keep the manufacturing operation and its 270 jobs in Buffalo. Graphic Controls is a maker of industrial applications and manufactures ink products for the gaming and entertainment industry.

Time Release Sciences (Erie County), a Buffalo company that makes consumer foam products, plans to hire 200 additional workers and spend $650,000 on new equipment and improvements at its factory. The company currently employs 112 people and expects to hire 100 workers a year during each of the next two years.

Skulogix (Erie County), a Toronto-based company, has expanded its Buffalo area presence. The company has leased a warehouse in Cheektowaga and hopes work on it will be completed in early June. The number of employees they will need has not yet been determined. Skulogix will continue to operate its warehouse in Depew that employs about 100 people.

Independence Air (Erie County), the nation's newest low-cost airline has put Buffalo on the flights schedule for its mid-June launch. Representatives of the airlines are currently interviewing prospective employees for customer service and ramp personnel positions at the Buffalo airport.

Bill Gray's (Erie County) restaurant is opening its first Buffalo location in Clarence in mid June. The restaurant will employ 50 to 60 workers.

NFB Carbon Products (Niagara County) will open a portion of the former SGL Carbon plant in Niagara Falls creating 132 jobs at the plant. NFB Carbon produces silicon carbide, an industrial abrasive.

UPDATE: Upstate Farms (Erie County) has decided it will relocate its new facility in West Seneca, maintaining 127 jobs and adding seven new ones.

UPDATE: Definity Health Corp. (Erie County) plans to move its $10.3 million facility to the Town of Tonawanda by early next year. The company has been offered a $900,000 capital grant and several million dollars in Empire Development Zone abatements from the State.

Business Contractions

New this Month

USF Red Star (Erie County) trucking company closed on May 23 eliminating 106 jobs at the terminal in Amherst.

Moore Wallace (Erie County) will close its printing plant in the City of Tonawanda, eliminating about 85 jobs. The plant is expected to close by July 15.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Kanthal Globar (Niagara County) a manufacturing plant in Niagara Falls is in danger of closing, but the decision will depend on the outcome of talks with the union. The company is scheduled to meet at the end of the month with representatives of Local 1-2058 of the Paper, Allied, Chemical and Energy Workers union. The union faces a challenge in trying to come up with an agreement that would prevent the company from moving the business to a lower-wage country. The plant employs about 65 people.

The International Association of Machinists has reached a tentative agreement with American Axle and Manufacturing (Erie County). The Machinists Lodge 490 represents about 100 workers at American Axle's forge in the Town of Tonawanda. Details of the agreement, which faces approval by the membership, were unavailable. The previous contract expired May 5.

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