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Western New York, September 2007

Business Expansions

New this Month

The City of Buffalo’s push to put more police on the streets took a step forward when a federal judge and Justice Department officials gave the city the green light to start hiring officers. City officials have been waiting for federal officials to validate the results of a police exam that was given in April. City officials expect at least 60 new officers to hit the streets by next summer.

Steve and Barry’s clothing store is preparing to open a store in the Olean (Cattaraugus County) Center Mall. A former JcPenney store is being renovated to accommodate the retailer and could be moving into the location by late October or early November. Around 100 full-and part-time jobs are expected to be created

Key Bank will bring an undetermined number of jobs to its call center in Amherst (Erie County) over the next six to eight months, as it shuts down a sister site in Dayton, Ohio. The closing will eliminate approximately 150-200 jobs there. The center in Amherst currently employs 310 people.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. will close its Buffalo plant and convert it into a joint venture with Jamestown Container and Norampac that will supply corrugated cardboard sheets for Norampac’s Lancaster factory. The move will eliminate 99 jobs at the plant, but then create an unspecified number of new jobs early next year, once the factory is retooled and reopens under the joint venture, which will be known as Niagara Sheets LLC.

First Niagara Financial Group is buying Great Lakes Bancorp, parent company of Greater Buffalo Savings Bank. The $153 million deal for the 16-branch company will make the Lockport-based First Niagara the fourth largest bank in terms of deposits in the Buffalo-Niagara region. While the number of reductions is uncertain, as many as eight branch offices will close as well as job reductions in management, administration and support.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

After a two- day, nationwide strike, United Autoworkers returned to their jobs at GM’s Tonawanda Engine Plant .The plant has 1,530 production workers represented by the United Auto Workers. The UAW contract expired on September 14, and the plants have been operating after the union agreed to extend the contract. The UAW had not called a nationwide strike during contract negotiations since 1974, when Ford Motor Company plants were shut down. The agreement that has been reached between the UAW and General Motors will now go to the union members to be voted upon.

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