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Western New York, February 2005

Business Expansions

New this Month

Kohl’s Department Store (Erie County) is encouraging job seekers to call a toll-free number to apply for 450 jobs at its first three stores in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area. All three locations are scheduled to hold grand openings in April.

Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse (Erie County) opened its first area store in Orchard Park on February 8th with about 175 employees. Two more stores are scheduled to open this summer.

Bass Pro Shops (Erie County) signed a memorandum of understanding that will set in motion its $123 million Buffalo harborfront retail project. This development is considered by many to be one of the most important in Buffalo in the past decade. The Outdoor World store is expected to transform downtown into a major tourist destination and create about 400 new jobs.

Quebecor World (Erie County) the world’s second-largest commercial printer, will install three new presses for the book printing and binding plant in Depew. The equipment and attendant upgrades represent a total investment of $24 million.

The Joint School Construction Board (Erie County) the region’s biggest public works project, now 2 years old, is winding down its first wave of reconstruction. The second wave of construction is about to start and involves more than 700 people-including construction workers, architects and engineers.

American LaFrance, (Erie County) a local fire truck manufacturing plant, has begun filling orders for a new kind of fire truck called the homeland security vehicle. The trucks represent a new, expanding sector that suits the plants’ strengths. The company is hopeful the new market will help lead to an expansion of the plant and to continue to create jobs in the local economy.

Business Contractions

New this Month

The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Erie County ruled that the Erie County Legislature may proceed with the budget cuts it originally outlined on February 17. This plan, which includes cuts to departments headed by elected officials such as the sheriff, comptroller, and county clerk, is expected to result in more than 2,000 positions being eliminated.

International Multifoods’s (Niagara County) manufacturing plant in Lockport has closed due to an upcoming change in ownership, eliminating nearly 50 jobs. The new owner informed the Multifoods division that it would not continue operations at the site; as a result work was stopped immediately.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

State University of New York teaching and graduate assistants at college campuses across the state have negotiated a new contract with state officials. The 4,300 employees must now approve the 4-year contract. The ratification vote is expected next month, and the four-year pact would be back-dated to 2003.

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