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Western New York, March 2006

Business Expansions

New this Month

A Cheektowaga (Erie County) pharmaceutical distributor plans to move to a bigger facility in Amherst with the help of more than $600,000 in tax breaks from the Amherst Industrial Development Agency. Buffalo Pharmacy's institutional division plans to create an additional 15 to 20 jobs within the next two years and double the size of its current facility. Citicorp is also planning an expansion with their expanded tax breaks creating about 100 jobs.

The Seneca Niagara Gaming Corp. is making an investment of $2.1 million for vacant land in Lewiston (Niagara County). Plans were unveiled March 2 for a world-class, championship golf course in the town. The Seneca Niagara Gaming Corp is prepared to invest $10-15 million on the 18-hole golf course.

Roadway Express is adding nearly 130 jobs as the trucking company reshapes its North American distribution network. The carrier is expanding the role of its Buffalo (Erie County) area operation creating the need for more jobs.

Pentagroup Financial, a Houston-based debt collection agency, plans to open a call center in Orchard Park (Erie County) that is expected to employ 135 people within two years. The $1 million project will become the latest call center to branch out in the Buffalo Niagara region.

TeleTech Holdings Inc. has announced that they have secured a new long-term contract to be supported from its Niagara Falls (Niagara County) customer management center. In late December, because of a loss of contracts, the company announced it would be cutting about 500 jobs at the site. The new contract, with the unnamed healthcare provider, will see the company hire 200 new people in addition to maintaining more than 400 of the employees previously on the staff.

Sodexho Laundry Services is turning an old airplane engine plant on the East Side of Buffalo (Erie County) into a hospital laundry that will add 200 more local jobs. The company has 4,000 employees locally.

Eight months after closing and demolishing its old store, Wegmans Food Markets is ready to open its new 100,000-square-foot store in Depew (Erie County). Employment at the Depew location will increase from 200 to 340 employees.

After nearly two years of construction, The Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino has opened the last of its 604 rooms in its 26-story hotel in Niagara Falls (Niagara County). The first 16 floors opened in late December, by late February another four floors, and on March 31, the entire complex opened.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Riefler Concrete Products shutdown its business in Hamburg (Erie County) suddenly on March 8, blaming a slow winter season, a poor economy and rising expenses. The company made and delivered concrete to building sites. The company employed about 100 people.

Radio Shack Corp. will close a half dozen Buffalo (Erie County) area stores as part of a company-wide plan to trim its store count by nearly 500. No firm closing date is available, but they are expected to close by the end of the year. The firm will continue to operate more than 20 stores in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area.

UPDATE: The Niagara Falls School District (Niagara County) adopted its budget for the 2006-07 school year and in the process is laying off thirty-six teachers and six non-instructional staff members. The $111.4 million budget is $4.2 million higher than this year's.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

An arbitrator struck a major blow to the Buffalo Public School's (Erie County) effort to cut health insurance premiums by $12 million, ruling that the district violated its contract with its white-collar union by consolidating health insurance coverage from three carriers to one.

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