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Western New York, June 2013

Business Expansions

New this Month

Two new stores have opened at the Boulevard Mall in Amherst (Erie County) Tea retailer Teavana and fashion retailer H&M.

MASH Urgent Care opened its seventh area location on June 7th in Amherst (Erie County).

The popular fast-food chain Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen is coming to Buffalo in October. Construction on the 2,900-square-foot restaurant is expected to begin in July. This will be the first Western New York location for the chain. (Erie County).

Mighty Taco is adding two more locations in Western New York. Mighty Taco is currently renovating a former CDL Truck Driving office in Buffalo and will open later this summer. The restaurants 24th location will open this fall in the former Fuddrucker’s restaurant, which has sat vacant for three years.

Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital has proposed a 34,000-square-foot expansion to its hospital due to the need for expanded patient care. Kaleida health has filed the expansion with the Amherst Planning Board and would be the first expansion at the hospital in many years.

An abandoned property in the industrial loop area in Sheridan (Chautauqua County) is being revived into a cathode ray tube (CRT) recycling company. Nulife Glass NY Inc. is a United Kingdom-based company which takes toxic lead of television and computer monitor glass, all in an energy-efficient manner. The raw materials are then converted into use for paperweights, work surfaces, marbles and tiles among other products. The company is currently in the first phases of cleaning up the abandoned property.

A new partnership between GoodWill Industries and Walmart will help place unemployed women in jobs throughout the community. Goodwill Industries of WNY is among 45 agencies nationwide to take part in the job training and placement program funded through a $7.7 million grant from the Walmart Foundation. The Beyond Jobs program will target women who are unemployed and provide job training, placement and family financial support services.

Moe’s Southwest Grill opened its newest location in Cheektowaga (Erie County) on June 14th.This will be the seventh Western New York area location and the fourth for one franchise owner.

Dunkin’ Donuts has opened its 45th local store in Lockport (Niagara County).

Yahoo is looking to fill more than 125 customer-care positions at its Lockport (Niagara County) operations. The company has put out a release to through the University at Buffalo and held a job fair there between June 18-21. The candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and a 3.2 GPA or higher. The jobs will begin in July.

Pita Gourmet will open its second site in the area. The upscale pita and sandwich shop will open this fall on Transit Road in Lancaster (Erie County).

Roly Poly Sandwich Shops has signed a deal to open its first Buffalo (Erie County) location. The Atlanta-based upscale soup and sandwich chain specializes in healthy options and will open in July. The company has more than 125 locations in 24 states, including two others in New York State.

The ribbon on the newest Mighty Taco location was cut in Kenmore (Erie County). The Englewood Avenue store is the 21st for the locally owned Mexican fast food chain.

McAlister’s Deli, a fast expanding sandwich chain based in Mississippi, is setting up its first shop in New York in Amherst (Erie County). The Buffalo region is likely to become the home of five locations. The first two should be open by early next year.

About 150 jobs are expected to be created over five years at a multimillion-dollar call center that Time Warner Cable plans to build at the former Sheehan Hospital site in downtown Buffalo (Erie County). Time Warner employs more than 1,000 people in the Buffalo Niagara region and has more than 10,000 statewide. The facility is expected to open at the end of the year.

New York City-based iQor, which runs a customer service call center in Depew (Erie County), hosted a job fair on June 26th to fill around 80 positions to answer in bound customer service calls. (June 25, 2013-Business First)

Ingram Micro, a California-based wholesale technology distributor, is looking to add about 250 jobs to its Amherst (Erie County) operations. Currently, about 1,500 people work at the location in sales and service operations. The company is waiting for approval from the Town Board to add additional parking spaces for the 250 new workers.

Frey the Wheelman, a wholesale distributor of heavy-duty truck parts, has found a new site in Cheektowaga (Erie County) for its operations. The project carries a $1.05 million price tag and is expected to add three new employees after its move from its current site in Downtown Buffalo.

Diversified Manufacturing, which has already begun a nearly $5 million expansion project, was approved for assistance from two Niagara County agencies. The Niagara County Development Corp. and Empower Niagara have both committed to the company. The NCDC approved a $400,000, seven-year loan to the company and Empower Niagara will assist with low-cost power. The enlargement of the Lockport plant will enable it to absorb 46 jobs being shifted from the Amherst site, which recently merged with IPAC Inc. The Lockport plant has a current workforce of 100 and if expected to add more jobs after the expansion.



Business Contractions

New this Month

The Frontier School District has eliminated 24.8 full-time equivalent teachers and support staff for next year as part of the district’s budget.

Greatbatch Inc. expects to eliminate an unspecified number of jobs through a restructuring that will combine its commercial battery and medical units into a single entity. Executives at the company have said the restructuring will save the company over $7 million a year, partly by eliminating positions that will become redundant by the merge. Greatbatch employs about 650 at its facilities in Clarence and Alden.

About 30 people will be laid off from Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk ( Chautauqua County). The Lake Erie Regional Healthy System of New York, which oversees the hospital, has also laid off several employees at the Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving over the last month.

Skyes Enterprises Inc. has filed a WARN notice with the New York Department of Labor indicating it will lay off workers at its Amherst (Erie County) site. The call center currently employs 300 workers. The furloughs will take place on September 25.

Nanco Group, a Clarence (Erie County) based food distributor, is bracing for the fallout in the wake of the Paula Deen scandal. The company partnered with Paula Deen Enterprises last year to create Paula Deen Foods, and distributes the brand to national supermarkets. Local supermarkets Tops and Wegmans have dropped the product line and have cut ties with Deen. Walmart has also announced it will no longer place any new orders beyond those already committed.


Labor Disputes

New this Month

Three unions representing more than 7,000 workers at Kaleida Health facilities are conducting strike authorization votes. Members of communications Workers of America Local 1168, 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 17 will vote June 10 to 12. If approved, the union bargaining committee would have the authority to issue a 10-day advance notice of a strike. Kaleida and the bargaining committee have agreed to a June 21 contract extension and talks are set to resume on June 13.

A strike by union workers has been averted as a tentative deal has been reached between three unions-Communications Workers of America Local 1168, 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 17- and Kaleida Health. The master agreement covers more than 7,000 workers. Workers will still need to ratify the agreement.

Rural Metro Medical Services paramedics and EMT’s represented by Teamsters Local 375 have passed a strike authorization vote, enabling union representatives to issue a 10-day strike notice to the company. The current agreement, reached in 2009, expires on June 30. The two sides have been negotiating since early April for a new labor agreement.

The contract between Buffalo and the Buffalo Professional Firefighters Local 282 was approved by the Common Council on June 25th. The 15-year contract will take effect July 1 and includes pay raises, and for new firefighters-contributions for health care and a requirement that they must live in the city.


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