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Western New York, November 2011

Business Expansions

New this Month

Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo (Erie County) held a job fair on Thursday, November 10, where local employers will look to fill over 1,200 middle and entry-level position in the City of Buffalo. Companies that will be hiring at the job fair include Geico, Western New York Immediate Care and Embassy Suites.

Norfolk Southern Railways plans to hire 500 people in eight states by the end of the year and Buffalo (Erie County) is one of the cities that will be hiring. The railroad is looking for conductors, machinists and track workers.

DialAmerica, a telemarketing company, is planning to add at least 70 people to its Amherst (Erie County) workforce as part of a nationwide expansion. The site currently has 170 employees.

KeyBank has just completed its eighth new branch in Western New York, completing a massive local expansion it had previously announced. The bank is still looking at other branch opportunities as well. KeyBank employs 950 people locally.

The new Federal Courthouse opened in downtown Buffalo (Erie County) on Monday, November 28th after more than three years of construction obstacles. The $137 million building is the most expensive government building in the city’s history.

Erie County Executive-elect Mark Poloncarz announced the launch of his transition team’s new website, which includes the latest news from the transition team as well as the list of available positions. Over the next month, the team will look to fill approximately 70 positions within the incoming Poloncarz administration.

The new Tim Hortons Café & Bake Shop concept doors opened its doors in Derby (Erie County) Wednesday, November 30th. These restaurants offer cozy seating, flat screen TVs, fireplaces and free Wi-Fi. The chain began the concept in 2009. This is the third store of its kind in the Buffalo market, but the first in the Southtowns. The opening of the new café will create 30 new full-and part-time jobs in Derby.

Northstar Location Services has closed its branch office in Florida and shifted that work to its two sites in Cheektowaga (Erie County). The debt collection firm plans to add another 100 to 150 jobs at its local facilities in the next year or two. Currently the company has about 650 workers in Western New York.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Crawford Furniture has announced it will be closing its Jamestown (Chautauqua County) manufacturing facility on February 9, 2012. The company is still unsure of whether the closing will be permanent or closed for two weeks as part of a restructuring plant and then recall all employees. The company has filed a WARN notice with the NYS Dept. of Labor stating the closure would affect 101 employees.

An Olean (Cattaraugus County) call center will eliminate another 32 jobs in mid-February. Data Listing Services LLC, doing business as The Connection, filed a WARN notice with the NYS Dept. of Labor. 32 jobs will be lost as a result.

The NFTA is poised to eliminate 1/5 of its Transit Police force to cut costs. Police jobs are among the 50 positions targeted for elimination to close roughly half of the authorities’ deficit. The NFTA board is also still considering fare hikes and service cuts in lieu of layoffs.

Steven J. Baum PC has filed a WARN notice with the NYS Dept of Labor. Layoffs of about 90 attorneys and other employees will be permanent at the Amherst (Erie County) law firm after Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other major lenders pulled their business from the firm.

American Axle & Manufacturing will permanently shut down its auto parts plant in 2012. The company has announced its plans to layoff workers at its plant in Cheektowaga (Erie County) as of February 25, 2012. 75 hourly and 8 salaried employees will lose their jobs.

Cott Corp. in Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) is laying off some employees due to a slow- down in business. Some local jobs were lost when Cott took over in 2010, acquiring the company from Cliffstar. Some 11 to 20 layoffs will be coming depending on the amounts of orders that come in.

McKinley’s Banquet and Conference Center on McKinley Parkway in Hamburg (Erie County) closed suddenly, leaving about 50 people without jobs. The property has a banquet facility, conference center, nightclub and hotel. The management group that owns the property said that the operator of the business was delinquent on its lease agreement.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

New York State’s second largest union, The Public Employees Federation, voted to approve the tentative contract with the state. More than 70 percent of the members voted to the new deal that calls for no raises in the first three years and a higher contribution to health insurance premiums. The approval of the contract will stop the layoffs of 3, 496 state employees, including over 200 in Western New York.

CSEA members in Chautauqua County rallied in Mayville against a plan to sell the Chautauqua County Nursing home to a private owner. Union leaders say 300 jobs could leave the community of workers could see their salaries slashed if the sale goes through.

CSEA members in Erie County rallied in Buffalo to protest cuts in Collins’ proposed budget for Erie County. Union leaders are fighting to save the jobs of Social Services workers that are part of the cuts.

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