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Western New York, May 2006

Business Expansions

New this Month

Dunkin' Donuts franchise owners Kainos Partners LLC, has settled on a former Stroehmann Bakeries distribution center in Cheektowaga (Erie County) as its central location for the Buffalo area. Once completed, the 22,000-square-foot operations hub will supply all 40 stores that the company plans to open, plus other franchised Dunkin' Donuts locations in the area. The central bakery should be open by the end of this year or early next year and will employ about 45-50 people.

Capital Management Services has expanded its workforce by 250 jobs, following an expansion of its Exchange Street location in Buffalo (Erie County). The debt collection firm has invested $1 million in equipment and 15,000-square-feet of space.

Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc. collections firm announced that it will create another 160 jobs over the next two years with the addition of a fourth regional office in Ashford Hollow (Cattaraugus County). The Cattaraugus Industrial Development Agency provided a $1.2 million incentive package to help the company expand.

Hydro-Air Components, a manufacturer of water-based heating and cooling products, has confirmed that it will build a new $7.5 million, 160,000-square foot-plant in South Buffalo (Erie County) that will be completed by the end of the year. The company had been considering proposals to expand its existing plant, as well as a proposal to move to North Carolina. Hydro-Air expects to add 200 new jobs over an 18-month period, and will retain 114 existing jobs.

Abraxis Pharmaceutical Products plans to expand its Grand Island (Erie County) workforce of 500 employees by 10 percent. No specific timetable has been set for filling the approximately 50 new positions but company officials are anticipating growth and hope to fill the positions sooner than later.

Delphi Corp.'s Lockport (Niagara County) plant plans to hire some temporary employees as the company prepares for a wave of departures from its workforce. The auto parts supplier says it needs to ensure it has enough workers to run its operations, adding that many hourly employees are deciding to take advantage of early-retirement incentives that were announced earlier this year. The company has not yet determined how many temporary workers will be hired or for how long, much depends on the number of workers who sign up for the incentives by June 23. The temporary workers would be hired at $14 per hour, under a supplemental labor agreement with the United Auto Workers.

Business Contractions

New this Month

As part of the $412.4 million proposed budget for the City of Buffalo (Erie County), 49 jobs-mostly vacant firefighter positions will be eliminated. The budget would also create 17 new jobs in various departments and about a dozen other vacant or new positions would be filled for economic development.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Union members urged developers Wednesday (May 10) to pay the prevailing wage rate on their local projects. A few hundred members of the Buffalo Building and Trades Council construction unions and their supporters rallied at Niagara Square. Union members have been picketing Uniland Development Corp.’s office building that is under construction on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo (Erie County) the past few weeks.

Ninety-five percent of the United Auto Workers union members have voted to authorize a strike if Delphi fails to honor its labor agreements. Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America has also voted to authorize a strike. Delphi employs 33,000 hourly workers nationally. The UAW represents 24,000 while the Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America represents 8,000 of Delphi's 33,000. The other large union is the United Steelworkers and they have not scheduled a strike authorization vote. They represent about 1,100 workers. Delphi employs 3,800 at the Lockport facility in Niagara County.

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