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Western New York, February 2012

Business Expansions

New this Month

Data Listing Services LLC, doing business as The Connection, filed an update with the Department of Labor regarding 32 jobs that were previously slated for termination. Ten jobs have been restored and 22 jobs were postponed by a month to occur on March 15. A year ago the company had 326 employees at the site, but due to losing a contract laid off 144 employees. The site currently employs 150.

Plans for a new location of Tri-County Memorial Hospital are underway as demolition of the old Hospital begins February 6th.

Aldi, a discount supermarket chain, held job fairs in the Southern tier in Dunkirk, Jamestown (Chautauqua County) and Olean (Cattaraugus County) on Tuesday, February 7th. The grocer is looking to hire trainees for store manager positions.

The GM Tonawanda Engine Plant will recall 93 laid-off workers to begin work on two new engine lines. GM is also re-opening Plant 4 on Kenmore Avenue in Tonawanda (Erie County), which closed in 2004. The site will be home to a new on-site training center. The UAW says GM expects to hire several hundred people over the next few years as its workload increases.

Courtyard by Marriott has agreed to put a 96-room hotel in three floors of the former Gen. Donovan State Office Building in Buffalo (Erie County). The hotel will anchor the building’s second, third and fourth floors, while the Phillips Lytle LLP law firm has agreed to lease the upper four floors. The hotel is scheduled to open in late 2013.

M&T Bank is expanding office space in both Amherst and downtown Buffalo (Erie County). The financial institution has leased 21, 000-square-feet of office space in Amherst that will house more than 200 employees in its mortgage-servicing division. Of the 200 plus workers, at least 100 will be new hires. In downtown Buffalo, the bank has added 12,000-square-feet in a building where it was already an anchor tenant. Continued growth of the bank has prompted the expansion.

Save A Lot opened its newest store on February 25th in Hamburg (Erie County).

A Buffalo developer is planning to build an upscale hotel in downtown Niagara Falls (Niagara County). Construction of the hotel, which could be a Hilton Garden Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, or Hyatt Place brand, would feature 104 upscale rooms, 24 residential units, and up to 8,000-square-feet of ground-level retail space and patios along Old Falls Street. Construction is planned to begin in 2013, with the hotel opening in 2014.

The Sheraton at the Falls Hotel held a job fair February 28th and 29th. The hotel is looking to fill several positions in housekeeping and maintenance. Cooks, clerks and bartenders are needed as well.

Business Contractions

New this Month

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station’s fate is no longer up in the air. Seven years after fighting to keep the base open, the Secretary of the Air Force announced that the base would lose three of its 11 C-130 Cargo planes, the 107th Airlift Wing would lose its mission, and more than 800-full and part-time jobs could be affected. Many of the affected jobs are part-time positions.

Tanscom Worlwide plans to close its offices in Tonawanda (Erie County) beginning May 16. The call center employs 80 people. A WARN notice has been filed with the NYS Department of Labor.

The Basket Factory, a popular restaurant along the Erie Canal in Middleport, (Niagara County) has closed its doors for good. The tough economy is being blamed for the closure of the restaurant that has been in business for 11 years. 25 full and part-time workers have lost their jobs.

Office Depot will close its location in the Town of Tonawanda (Erie County). The store will be closed by the end of March and the store’s 20 employees will be given a severance package and outplacement services.

First Niagara will shut 8 more retail branches locally as part of its ongoing $1 billion acquisition of HSBC Bank. The operations at each of the shuttered branches will be moved to nearby offices, most of which are located less than a mile apart from the closing branch.

The United States Postal Service has made the decision to move all mail processing operations from Buffalo to a similar facility in Rochester. USPS said once the transfer is completed, the mail processing operation of the Buffalo center will cease. Union officials estimate a loss of about 200 jobs in buffalo as the work is switched and another 420 will move to that site.

Cheektowaga (Erie County) glove manufacturer Manzella Productions has been acquired by Totes Isotoner in a deal that will result in some of the local firm’s shipping and office work being shifted to Cincinnati Ohio. The company employs about 40 people.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Members of SEIU Local 1199 picketed in Lockport on February 25th (Niagara County) to protest layoffs and work cutbacks at Odd Fellow and Rebekah Rehab and Health Care Center. Employees already accepted a reduction in hours but say layoffs are hurting their abilities to properly care for the residents.

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